Telstra Switching To Per-Minute Billing For Postpaid Plans

If you're on a Telstra postpaid mobile contract, chances are you'll already have received a letter from the telco explaining a new change that will kick in from March 20: switching from charging in 30-second blocks to 60-second blocks. Unsurprisingly, not all customers are happy with that change.

Nick at our sibling title Gizmodo has a detailed report on the issue, including comments from Telstra's lawyers on how they can vary the terms of a contract even after it has been established. Telstra calculates that most customers on cap plans won't notice the difference anyway, as they don't spend the full value of their cap. The biggest impact would be on customers who routinely make very short (sub-30 second calls), who could see costs rise quite a bit.

Impacted by the change? Tell us your reaction in the comments.

Telstra To Begin Charging Per Minute For Calls From March [Gizmodo]


Comments

    Best plan I was ever on was Vodafones "No Plans" plan from about 2000. It was simply 1c per second, billed per second, no flagfall, 25c texts. So simple.

    It drastically cut my phone bill, and presumably everyone else's, because they killed the plan pretty soon after they created it. But I truly miss the days I could make a 10 second phone call for 10 cents.

    As i mentioned on Gizmodo

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/02/telstra-to-begin-charging-per-minute-for-calls-from-march/#comment-119071

    ..."

    Optus: 35c flagfall, 90c a min (ok network)
    Telstra: 37c flagfall, 80c a min (cheaper, best network)
    Vodaphone: 35c flagfall, 90c a min (same as optus)

    I think that the clear winner here in terms of cost is Telstra, who seem to have the best network."

      Seems like at least 3 major networks are price fixing - how is that competivive behaviour

    "Telstra calculates that most customers on cap plans won’t notice the difference anyway"

    Then why are they doing it?
    They'll have run the numbers and it will most certainly be working out in their favour!

    Hopefully it'll be like the $2 surcharge for paying your bill - embarrassing and reversed soon :)

    I was pissed off when Virgin went from per second billing to 30 second blocks. When I first moved to virgin, a 1 second phone call costs about 27 cents. Then it moved to about 57 cents, now its over $1.00 for a 1 second call. I see a massive profit here. And while where at it, lets just congest the network, so everyone has to call each other back.

    As for Telstra, my minimum call charge is currently 31 cents, with this move, it will make it 42 cents. "Won't notice a difference" Maths calculates 11 cents more!

    Originally Flag Falls were invented for per second billing. The alternative at the time was charging in 30 second blocks!

    Some how it is now acceptable to have a flag fall and charged per minute.

    This is ridiculous and call charges are too high.
    Do you know that if you get a local SIM card in India (a Pre-Paid one) that you can call a mobile in Australia for ~$0.20 a minute and no flag fall? That is an International call from a mobile to Australia and it costs 1/4 of Telstra's normal local rate. There are even some mobile providers in Australia that have a cheaper per minuet call rate to International destinations then it is to call a local number.

    New Zealand got rid of flag fees ages ago. I'm on an optus unlimited plan so I don't have to worry myself. Considering the amount of call drop-outs I get I would be making regular complaints and logging drop-outs in call if I was paying a flag fee. Time to fight back but can we really?

    Example of a customer who uses very close to their $49 cap that gives then $400 of calls. All their calls are between two minutes and two and a half minutes.
    37 cent connection fee + 40 cents per 30 sec
    $400/ $2.37 = 168 calls
    New rate is $2.77 for calls between 2 and 3 minutes = 144 calls
    Customer is used to making 144 calls a month
    Therefore the customer is 24 calls short per month
    24 x $2.37 = $56.88 is what the customer has to pay on top of the $49 cap!

    A CUSTOMER'S BILL CAN BE MORE THAN DOUBLED

      Well done there just goes to show that Telstra is fill of spin. Is there any way to get out of a contract?

        Yes some customers are getting out of their contracts. Some customers are accepting credits to their accounts of up to $300.

    A bit annoying, but given I make about 1 voice call a week (if that), I don't think it will impact my usage too much. What does mildly aggravate me is making an adjustment to my terms of usage while on a two year contract.

    Telstra requires you to sign up for two years to stop you defecting to other suppliers who may offer better contracts. That's fine I agreed to that, I can't alter the contract conditions and they shouldn't be able to either. I signed the contract and was not informed that they can at any time alter the contract. Do you think that they would ever sign a contract that one sided. Class action anyone ??

      Have spoken to the telecommunications ombudsmen, they have informed me that Telstra has to give each individual customer a 30 day option to change to a new contract that may suit, or about 40 days to opt out of there current contract no incurred costs to the customer, my complaint has been lodged with the telecommunications ombudsmen who notifies Telstra, now I have to wait up to 10days for Telstra to call me!

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