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.
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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.