From October 1, Telstra is putting up its prices on many of its phone plans, for both mobile and landline users. Will you be affected and how much more will you pay? We've summarised the main shifts below.
Picture by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
These changes won't affect everyone. In particular, most of them don't apply to users on bundle plans (which combine home phone, mobile, internet and pay TV in a single bill). It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Telstra wants all its consumer customers locked onto long-term bundle contracts well before the National Broadband Network (NBN) becomes widely available.
- Charges for calls to 13/1300/1345 numbers will go up from 30 cents to 35 cents.
- Access fees (often referred to as line rental) are going up on several HomeLine plans. (Annoyingly, Telstra is changing the names of most of the plans from October 1, which makes the changes less visible).
- Charges for local calls on HomeLine Complete, Plus and Advanced plans are going up by 2 cents.
- 0018 Easy Half Hours, which provided a fixed-rate half hour call to overseas destinations, are being retired. In truth, anyone wanting to make cheap overseas calls will have switched to Skype or another VOIP option years ago.
The big shift here is that all mobile plans will shift to per-minute charging. This is already the Telstra approach for new customers, but some of its older plans used 30 second blocks. This could make calls rather more expensive if you happen to be on one of those plans.
Telstra's own announcement points out some of these plans haven't seen price changes in nine years. More broadly, we'd note that if you find those prices high, there are lots of other options and competitors. In the landline market, there's no obvious compelling reason to choose Telstra over anyone else. Its Next G mobile network is highly regarded and faster than its rivals, but there are still plenty of alternatives.
What's your reaction to the changes? Tell us in the comments.