Woolworths has sold its own brand prepaid service since 2009, but has stayed away from cap deals or direct phone offers. That changes this week with the supermarket launching a pair of cap plans and two handsets -- but the call and data rates are on the steep side.The two cap plans, both via Optus, have a 45-day expiry and include 5GB of data. The $29 plan includes $250 of any network calls and $250 in credit for calls to other Optus customers. The $49 plan includes $500 in each category. While that sounds generous, the call rates are high (and not actually visible on the site as I write this): 89 cents per minute for calls, with a 30 cent flag fall.
Both caps require a $2 starter SIM, and offer a 10% discount on recharges to Everyday Rewards card holders. Data is also counted in 1MB increments, which isn't ideal for low-volume usage, and there's no sign of the free social networking site access offered on other Optus plans. Tethering is not allowed with the 5GB of supplied data. As with most prepaid plans, there's no overseas roaming option. Woolworths' old pay-as-you-go plans (also on Optus) will continue under the Everyday Mobile brand and be aimed at lower-volume customers. With that said, the lack of transparency and the data restrictions mean this isn't a particularly appealing prepaid offer for smartphone owners.
The two handsets on sale in Woolworths stores will be the Huawei Sonic for $188 and the LG Optimus ME for $138. Reportedly, neither are network-locked. Would you be happy buying a phone from Woolworths, or would you prefer a more specialised retailer? Impressed or appalled by the rates? Share your thoughts in the comments.