1800 and 13 numbers are often promoted as “freecall”, but that isn’t necessarily the case if you’re calling from a mobile. Telstra has reduced the confusion for its customers a little by making calls to 1800 numbers free from all its mobile plans, both prepaid and postpaid.
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That’s not a perfect outcome, since Telstra still charges for calls to 13 numbers from mobiles (which are usually charged as the equivalent of an untimed local from landlines) on some plans. There had been proposals to make it illegal to charge for calls to either kind of number, but those were ultimately replaced with a scheme which requires carriers to eventually make calls to 1800 numbers free while offering ’13-friendly’ plans that charge those calls like regular lines.
With Telstra making this switch, we’d anticipate similar changes soon from Optus, Vodafone and major MVNOs on any plans which don’t already include free calls to 1800 numbers.