Vodafone's newly-announced Business Elements plans allow business customers to customise plans for their work phones. That's a potentially appealing idea, but some combinations make more sense than others.
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The revamped plans build on the existing concept of allowing voice credit for multiple users to be shared across the business, but also allows different inclusions for other features. The minimum requirement is either $29 per user a month (with $100 of credit) or $49 (with $200 of credit), which covers voice calls and texts, with at least two users. As with Vodafone's consumer plans, calls are charged at relatively high rates: 98 cents per minute plus a 38 cent connection fee (which applies to voicemail too), while texts at 30 cents each.
You can also include Infinite Add-Ons for additional features. $5 a month makes voicemail free; $10 a month gives you free voicemail and infinite standard texts; $25 a month gives you free voicemail, texts and calls to Australian numbers; and $35 extends that to free calls to 13 and 1800 numbers.
The practical effect of the add-ons is to make the $49 plan look like decoy pricing. Why would you pay $49 a month for a plan with limited credit when $54 a month gets you unlimited calls? One answer might be because you can share the credit across a few different phones on the $49 plan, while the add-on only works for a specific caller; another might be if you want to make international calls. Nonetheless, I suspect most businesses would opt for predictable pricing.
All the plans require a 24-month contract (though the Infinite Add-Ons can be purchased on a 12 month contract). You can get a subsidised handset under that deal; if you're bringing your own, Vodafone knocks off five months in access fee charges. Also note that the option to share voice and data credit doesn't work with overseas roaming.
Data is available in bundles shared amongst all users. 2GB a month costs $20; 5GB is $50; 10GB is $100; 20GB is $180; 50GB is $300; 100GB is $500. Excess data is charged at 2 cents per MB. You can also pay $5 a month for a dongle for use with that data (though in this context a Wi-Fi hotspot would seem to make more sense, and many people might just use their phones or tablets).
To score any of these deals, you need an ABN. That's not hard to get and a couple could easily grab one each for their personal phones, though I'm not sure the rates are cheap enough to make that worth the hassle.
Sound tempting? Overly complex? Still worried that it's on Vodafone? Share your thoughts in the comments.