2 July 2009

Guess how much a free handset and free voicemail can cost you?

| rosebud
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Mr Rosebud has recently had this unpleasant eye opener to the dark arts of marketing hype:

Surely the sophistry of telcos is getting so extreme these days that the end of the world is nigh.

On Transact’s $19 mobile plan you get a free handset and free voicemail. But when you use the voicemail to retrieve a message it can cost you $1-$2 per minute. The nice bit is you can’t delete the message until after you’ve listened to it.

All they have to do is remind grandma and grandpa to leave a nice long message and the telco can sit back and rake in the cash. If you want to opt out of the plan – fine. That will cost the full price of the handset and no – we dont accept returns of used handsets – which 11 days into a 2 year plan comes to $442.88.

You can avoid the voicemail charges by having it disabled – which probably explains why you see so many people using mobile phones whilst driving these days.

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S4anta said :

I choose to yell now, twice

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

F**k

I still don’t think that putting something in the fine print that contradicts what’s in the title should be an acceptable marketing practice.

Hint for Marketers: when you see those ads on shows like The Simpsons or The Chaser, where the guy says something like “Cheese Balls” in a loud voice, then “does not contain cheese or balls” very quickly in a quiet voice, THAT’S A JOKE! IT’S CALLED SARCASM! THEY’RE MAKING FUN OF YOU, YOU AR$EHOLES!

S4anta said :

I choose to yell now, twice

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

F**k

Very good advice. Shame all the fine print is pretty much the same.

I choose to yell now, twice

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

ALWAYS READ THE FINE PRINT

F**k

Yeah we have satellite as well but I still use my cell phone
for personnel use when I’m outside company time. When I’m overseas
I use Singtel as the roaming rates are cheaper or any other local pre paid cell
phone service if im in that country for a while.

Spideydog said :

shauno said :

I use Telstra

Spideydog said :

frontrow said :

Needless to say, I am a staunch opponent of Telstra and can’t understand why so many people are with them ?

I use Telstra for the sole reason they have the best coverage by far in out of the way places such as the North West Shelf WA.

Let me try that again …. it is ok for the people who actually have a choice, I mean ….

shauno said :

I use Telstra

Spideydog said :

frontrow said :

Needless to say, I am a staunch opponent of Telstra and can’t understand why so many people are with them ?

I use Telstra for the sole reason they have the best coverage by far in out of the way places such as the North West Shelf WA.

ok for the people who actually have a choice I mean …..

Clown Killer7:01 pm 03 Jul 09

I use Telstra for the sole reason they have the best coverage by far in out of the way places such as the North West Shelf WA.

We used to use Telstra for the Kimberly, Pilbara and surrounds but recently switched to the Thuraya satellite network accessed through Optus. The phone units roam both satelllite and 3G and work on whatever’s best at the time of call. Battery life’s not flash, 3G coverage is close to Telstra’s Next G but you’ve got satellite as well all with the bonus of not having to use Telstra.

I use Telstra

Spideydog said :

frontrow said :

Needless to say, I am a staunch opponent of Telstra and can’t understand why so many people are with them ?

I use Telstra for the sole reason they have the best coverage by far in out of the way places such as the North West Shelf WA.

dvaey said :

My girlfriend is on a prepaid with virgin for 10c/min calls and 10c sms’s. She claimed she was using credit fast so wanted a capped plan. The same cost ($25) capped plan gave ‘$150 credit’. It forgets to tell you the call rate goes to 80c/min and sms rate to 25c, hence negating a big part of your savings anyway.

Always do the maths and research your call rates with a microscope, cos the phone companies will grab you every chance they get. Also, stick with pre-paid that way you cant get in over your head.

I’m on the 10c per minute text and sms with Virgin (an internet only deal) and it’s about the best thing I could find. Minimum fuss – cheap service.

The claim of ‘free voicemail’ in the OP really should be reported to the Telecommunications Ombudsman. Regardless of the fine print, it’s obviously deceptive marketing.

Also – f^&k Transact. The amount of sh1t I’ve had to go through with them just ain’t funny. I’m convinced that they’re managed by a pack of viciously retarded purple-assed baboons.

I just upgraded to a 3GS iPhone on optus

Danman are they good? I’m going to get one this weekend… Time for an upgrade from the trusted N95.

screaming banshee3:37 pm 03 Jul 09

“Hi, you’ve reached Mr Rosebud. I missed your call but don’t bother leaving me a message because Transact can shove their fees up their ar$e. Please call back later”

With most companies, you can also turn off the voicemail feature, so people calling you don’t leave a message. And even if you can’t turn it off, you don’t have to listen to the voicemails, that’s still optional. People who ring you regularly will soon figure out that there’s no point leaving a message.

And there’s no harm in saying to everyone who you give your number to, “don’t bother leaving a message if I don’t answer, because Transact is a bucket of scum and charge through the nose for me to listen to them”.

I closed a mobile account with Transact back in 2005. Bills kept coming, and I kept ringing, waiting on hold for hours to speak to someone who made me feel guilty for not speaking their language, and telling them that the account had been closed. After a year or so, I started writing “RTS: addressee has no further business with Transact” on the envelopes and popping them back in the post. Haven’t heard from them since I moved house 2 years ago…

And as much as I hate the idea of saying something nice about a telco, everyone who’s praising 3 is spot on. The only problem I had with them is that they only accept payment one way and they made you feel guilty for not speaking Hindi too.

Spideydog said :

Deckard said :

frontrow said :

That’s my point, Spideydog. If 3 is selling you the calls for $29 then they are worth $29. The $150 is marketing hype aka a lie.

Yeah but $29 worth of calls at 3 will get you a hell of a lot more than the $30 worth of calls at telstra.

Exactamondo

Plus you also get heaps of skype and internet included in the cap plan – a damn good deal because you can use skype and email to reduce the number of calls and SMS. Not to mention the inclusion of a decent handset.

my ‘spit telstra’ prepaid sends me free texts on missed calls as I have voice mail disabled. Works for me.

Cheapest phone setup may be this: if your lifestyle allows, get a basic $60 phone and go prepaid Texter, have a separate camera and use email or other online facilities for transmitting photos. Put the voicemail on the maximum ring so you almost always get to it, and put the code for turning voicemail on and off into the phone and get used to using it. Use a provider whose voicemails you can delete a few seconds in. Keep your landline if you can – because of untimed local calls.

My girlfriend is on a prepaid with virgin for 10c/min calls and 10c sms’s. She claimed she was using credit fast so wanted a capped plan. The same cost ($25) capped plan gave ‘$150 credit’. It forgets to tell you the call rate goes to 80c/min and sms rate to 25c, hence negating a big part of your savings anyway.

Always do the maths and research your call rates with a microscope, cos the phone companies will grab you every chance they get. Also, stick with pre-paid that way you cant get in over your head.

Deckard said :

frontrow said :

That’s my point, Spideydog. If 3 is selling you the calls for $29 then they are worth $29. The $150 is marketing hype aka a lie.

Yeah but $29 worth of calls at 3 will get you a hell of a lot more than the $30 worth of calls at telstra.

Exactamondo

frontrow said :

That’s my point, Spideydog. If 3 is selling you the calls for $29 then they are worth $29. The $150 is marketing hype aka a lie.

Yeah but $29 worth of calls at 3 will get you a hell of a lot more than the $30 worth of calls at telstra.

tranact’s prices and customer service is even worse than telstra’s.

it’s a big challenge to better telstra at their own crappy game, but somehow transact managed it.

Inappropriate said :

No such thing as a free lunch; always read the fine print.

Good call.

Clown Killer said :

Four words – read the small print.

When will we all get the message?

Do you want to get off the contract? If so, you used to have a cooling off period with these contracts – perhaps you could look into whether you have that in this case.

Clown Killer3:30 pm 02 Jul 09

Four words – read the small print.

Inappropriate3:27 pm 02 Jul 09

No such thing as a free lunch; always read the fine print.

I’m on a $20 ‘capped’ service with a mob called Savvytel – it buys up space on (I think) Vodafone’s nework. There is no contract – I can terminate the service at any time – and pretty cheap call costs. For my $20 I get what Savvytel says is $120 worth of calls/messages/internet access a month. Other than one month, when I was out of Australia and made quite a few calls home, I’ve never hit the $120. Mind you, when I did, Savvytel bills users one dollar plus $20 for each dollar over the limit i.e. running up a total of $121 will cost $21, $145 will cost $45 and so on (plus the monthly $20 fee).

I’m not a big user of my mobile, so this mightn’t suit someone who is.

Looking at the bill; examples of call costs are: 9m:19 call to local landline = $7.90, 35m:36 call to a mobile in Adelaide = $28.90, mail diversion = $nil, mail retrieval appears to cost 42c for each 30secs.

Don’t you read the Terms and Conditions?

I don’t even bother with VM. If I don’t answer my phone and you want to talk to me call me back later
Why would I pay to collect a message that is, a majority of the time, useless

‘Hi xxxx, sorry I missed you. Can you call me back? xxxx’

Worthless. How about YOU call me back?

It’s actually 40c per 30 seconds plus flagfall of 30c, which is $1.10 for one minute…. OUCH!

Telstra charges 30c for 30 seconds, without flagfall charge = 60c a minute.

BUT, it appears that TransACT don’t charge the caller to record a message into your voicemail. That is, you’re probably wearing the caller’s cost. Different service charge model I guess?

Here’s a comparison:
TransMOBILE Cap 19 / Telstra 20
Call (30 sec) – 45c / 47c
Flagfall – 30c / 27c
SMS – 25c / 25c
Included mthly credit – $100 / $20 (National voice calls only. Does not include calls to voicemail. I think there’s a bit more story behind TransACT’s $100)

That’s my point, Spideydog. If 3 is selling you the calls for $29 then they are worth $29. The $150 is marketing hype aka a lie.

screaming banshee3:06 pm 02 Jul 09

Free voicemail?

Since when have you ever had to pay for the voicemail service. I mean of course there are retrieval fees but actually paying for voicemail…

frontrow said :

Never believe telco marketing hype. Anyone who claims that calls that they will sell you for $19 are “worth” any amount of money that is not $19 are not speaking the same language that I speak.

It does when you are on a Telstra $30 plan and get …… $30 of calls. Get on the 3 $29 cap plan and you get $150 of calls and $150 of 3 calls and a call rate less than the Telstra $30 plan !!!! Math is pretty simple there.

Needless to say, I am a staunch opponent of Telstra and can’t understand why so many people are with them ?

Never believe telco marketing hype. Anyone who claims that calls that they will sell you for $19 are “worth” any amount of money that is not $19 are not speaking the same language that I speak.

Its all in the fineprint to read.

I just upgraded to a 3GS iPhone on optus – a pretty quick transition at a shopfront as I was an existing customer, but I still took the 10 or so minutes to scour my contract. If there was anything I disagreed on or wanted to question, I coul draise it before being contractually committed.

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