Your mobile contract is up, but your phone is still working perfectly.
Do you really need to enter into a new phone contract?
There are a couple of aspects to consider.
Firstly, MobileMuster estimate there are about five million unwanted phones in homes around Australia (they collected more than one million mobile phones for recycling in the 2017 financial year).
While it is impossible to tell how many of these are in good order, we should all still be working towards less waste.
Secondly, you can save heaps by considering a sim-only plan.
Under this arrangement you need only get a new sim card (free from most providers) and then choose a monthly plan with calls and data that suit your needs.
This is definitely worth considering if you don’t really need to upgrade to the latest handset.
Plus you get a lot more freedom to choose your tariff plan depending on your usage patterns, as you’re not stuck in a contract with the one provider for years.
It also means you can take advantage of the deals offered by resellers of phone networks, known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
According to technology analyst firm Telsyte, MVNOs are leading the way in new mobile accounts and now comprise almost seven per cent of the total market.
They are attracting new customers faster than the big companies such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, according to Telsyte’s research.
One of these MVNOs is Pennytel. Its CEO, Rene Sugo, believes Pennytel’s growth in particular has been driven by superior service.
“Because we are smaller, we can cater to niche markets, for example in our case that is the over 50s, whose mobile and customer support needs are quite different to someone say, in their early 20s.
“We resell Telstra’s mobile network, so we can offer a quality product, but at cheaper rates,” he said.
“It also means we can focus on ways to develop extra value for our customers, such as always having a real person answer your enquiries rather than a chatbot.”
As there are only three phone networks in Australia – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – you will end up on one of these networks no matter which MVNO you use.
The network coverage for the MVNO may be slightly less than the big three, but Mr Sugo said you rarely notice the difference.
On a sim-only plan, you can keep your number, and you can still choose from a range of plans.
By opting for a provider like Pennytel that doesn't lock you into a contract, it means you are free to switch plans as your needs change.
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