Three Lessons Everyone Can Learn From ALDI Mobile's Data Crackdown

ALDI Mobile upset a lot of people earlier this week by halving the data allowance on its unlimited mobile plan. Even if you're not an ALDI Mobile customer, and even if the provider itself is dead within three months, there are some key lessons all data-hungry smartphone users can learn from the incident.

Picture: Getty Images

Lesson 1: Not everyone uses massive amounts of data

A day after it halved the data allowance on ALDI Unlimited from 5GB to 2.5GB, ALDI Mobile belatedly issued a press release explaining the move. Its reasoning?

Our research shows the majority of ALDI Mobile customers use less than 1GB of data monthly and as such, the reduction in data allowance should have minimal impact on our existing customers. With market-wide increases in the cost of pre-paid data, this change has been made to ensure the ALDI Mobile service remains affordable for our customers.

It's not hard to pick holes in this reasoning. If only a small proportion of customers are using more than 1GB, why was it necessary to slash the allowance so much? And might that low usage have something to do with the daily download limits ALDI imposed earlier this year?

Those questions aside, it is the case that not everyone chews through a large amount of data on their phone. If you routinely connect to Wi-Fi at work and at home, 1GB might be plenty. Track your usage on your phone (easily done with an app for iOS or Android) and work out what you really need. There's no point paying through the nose for data you don't use.

Lesson 2: Conditions on prepaid often alter

Because there are no long-term contracts involved, prepaid providers can change their terms and conditions. It goes with the territory. That might be because, like ALDI Mobile, the provider wants to make the service more profitable. It might be because the company has gone broke. Regardless, there's little value in complaining when those circumstances change. If you want fixed conditions, sign a contract (but we don't recommend that).

Lesson 3: Using prepaid means you can change when circumstances change

We've made this point before, but it always bears repeating: the beauty of a prepaid plan is that you're not stuck on a long-term deal. If you need more data, or a different network, you can switch rapidly. Changing these days is relatively painless (check out our detailed guide

We have specific recommendations for the best value prepaid plans available on each major Australian network. If you're on ALDI Mobile, now seems a wise time to switch.


Comments

    Lesson 4: For those that don't use much data, Aldi ensures a certain level of usage by forcing multiple session disconnect/reconnects throughout the day at a cost of 5c/150byte per go.

      Can you give me some idea of how often they force disconnection? How many times in 24hrs?

    All I ever wanted was a mobile on which i could make emergency or other very occasional phone calls to family. Data allowance does not realy interest me as i use wifi at home and cafes. I switched from T pre paid and went to Aldi 1. Because it uses T network which is the only mobile provider which works in my area, and 2 because i had up to 12 months to use up say $30 Aldi recharge, but with Telstra i had only about a month. I just dont make that many calls in a month.
    Is Aldi really on the way out? What do i do then? I AM A 60 YEAR OLD ON A DISABILITY PENSON for God's sake! I will just have to go without a mobile.

      There are other options out there, whilst not quite as attractive as ALDI's (who aren't being booted just yet..), they are still quite reasonable, JB hifi seem to offer long life telstra prepaid:

      http://www.jbhifi.com.au/phones/pre-paid-mobile-plans/long-life/

      Admittedly not as cheap as ALDI, but, $60 a year is still pretty good value in my opinion.

    The real lesson: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is, especially after the Kogan incident.

    Fantastic, now I'm restricted. I used to use all 5GB given! and now I can't get it! FFS.

    At least they didn't change the $15 2GB data addon! That's still pretty good value.

    It's sad to see that there is no where you can get a decent amount of prepaid data any more.

    I've just jumped onto Yatango mobile after I got the free trial deal for Kogan customers which was great... Well that is at least until I discovered that by getting a 10GB data pack and using an average of 333MB a day, to use that data... I would automatically be in breach of their Fair Use policy which only allows for usage over 300MB for no more than 2 days. I swear that isn't even legal! To use their 10GBs of data within their policy I would have to use something like 299MBs a day for 28 days then 800mb a day for 2 days. That's just absurd!

    they cut data allowance to 1 gb now... f**k aldi

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