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

By rosebud - 2 July 2009 31

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.

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Guess how much a free handset and free voicemail can cost you?
Spideydog 7:00 pm 02 Jul 09

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

Deckard 6:43 pm 02 Jul 09

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.

farq 6:25 pm 02 Jul 09

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.

G-Fresh 4:53 pm 02 Jul 09

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?

gargamel 4:47 pm 02 Jul 09

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 Killer 3:30 pm 02 Jul 09

Four words – read the small print.

Inappropriate 3:27 pm 02 Jul 09

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

YapYapYap 3:21 pm 02 Jul 09

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.

The Axe Man 3:18 pm 02 Jul 09

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?

Jivrashia 3:10 pm 02 Jul 09

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)

frontrow 3:07 pm 02 Jul 09

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 banshee 3:06 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…

Spideydog 3:00 pm 02 Jul 09

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 ?

frontrow 2:22 pm 02 Jul 09

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.

Danman 2:15 pm 02 Jul 09

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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