Telstra Making Voicemail Nastier On Prepaid

Telstra Making Voicemail Nastier On Prepaid

If you’re on Telstra prepaid and you use voicemail, life is about to get a little more costly. If you’re on the Cap Encore plan (the most heavily promoted of Telstra’s prepaid offers), from July 31 retrieving voicemail will be charged from your recharge credit rather than your call credit.

Picture by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Grabbing voicemail on Telstra isn’t cheap: you’ll pay 39 cents connection fee and 89 cents per minute or part thereof, which means every single message costs you at least $1.28 to retrieve. Previously, Telstra took this amount from the call credit assigned to each Cap Encore plan. Now it is taking it from the recharge credit, which is a much smaller amount. For instance, a $30 plan has $30 of recharge credit and $250 of call credit; a $100 plan has $100 of recharge credit and $1900 of cap credit.

In practice, this means that on a $30 plan, retrieving just one voicemail a day would entirely use up your recharge credit before the month was out. Your cap credit can only be used for calls and texts to standard Australian and international numbers. Recharge credit is also used for data, and calls to non-standard numbers.

If you never use your recharge credit and don’t exceed your data allowance, then you may not notice the difference. But for heavy voicemail users or anyone who sometimes exceeds their data allowance and gets occasional voicemail, it will be an unwelcome change.

Voicemail charges are one of the more prominent hidden traps in prepaid mobile plans. As we’ve pointed out before, only Virgin Mobile and Red Bull offer free voicemail access on all their plans. Optus and Boost offer free access on their day-to-day plans, as do most ‘unlimited’ caps.

Telstra appears to be undergoing some heavy tweakage of its plans right now, having yesterday quietly altered its postpaid contract mobile deals as well. Thanks Kanthan for the tip!



  • Very annoyed. My $50 recharge under prepaid cap encore used to give 2 GB of data. It’s dropping to 800MB. I’m switching to Amaysim once my next recharge expires. I need more data not less!

    • I switched months ago and never looked back.
      I mean sure reception might not be as good on paper, but in practice I’ve not had any issues at all.

      Plus the amaysim website is soooo easy and fast, so is their Android app

    • You need to review Telstra Pre Paid offers once again.
      If DATA is your priority, perhaps its best if you switch to the TEXT & DATA plan as a $50 recharge gives you 3GB.
      The Cap Encore is really for people who do a bit of everything – call, text, sms and data.

  • Guys, don’t forget you can also check your voicemail messages from a landline phone. Simply call your number, when you hear your greeting, press hash # then enter your pin.

  • A $30 recharge will get you a total of $250 value, which is $30 recharge credit and $220 call credit, totalling $250, not $250 call credit as stated in the article. Doesn’t really matter as it’s a small distinction.

  • Divert calls to +61418707111 instead of +61101. The caller’s message would then be converted to SMS which would be sent to your phone free of charge.

    • My service has automatically changed mine to convert it to text.

      This is fine as long as long as everyone who calls you speaks English, I have family members who don’t speak English so the voice to text is virtually useless to me.

  • If you set a passcode on your voicemail on telstra prepaid, you can simply call your own phone number – as you’re on a call it will be diverted to voicemail, at which point you can enter the code and access it as normal. The Telstra billing system is so absurdly primitive that it bills this as a standard mobile call, using regular mobile minutes.

    If you’re using an iPhone (and perhaps other phones) you can even automate the process by adding a ‘voicemail’ entry in your address book with a number in the following format: “(your own mobile number),#,(your voicemail pin code)” – the commas provide a momentary pause, allowing the voicemail system to catch up and start listening for the next sequence of numbers – you’ll hear your phone automatically navigate the menus, entering numbers at the right moment, and after a couple of seconds you’re in!

  • If you want your mobile to simply ring out with no option to leave any type of message whatever that do what DragonScale1988 from whirlpool told me to do, Ive just done it and Im freeeeeeeeeeee
    Call 125 111 say “Mobile faults”
    and get them to add CNSDIS2 ( call notification disable) to your account
    the phone will now ring out and hangup
    and if not calling from the handset, test while on call if possible 🙂

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