Damn, Telstra’s Prepaid Freedom Cap Isn’t Getting Decent Data Packs

Damn, Telstra’s Prepaid Freedom Cap Isn’t Getting Decent Data Packs

One of our favourite prepaid deals used to be Telstra’s Encore Cap deal, since you could use your built-in “recharge credit” to increase the data limits to decent levels without spending extra cash. When Telstra replaced that with the Freedom Cap deal, it took away the option to do that. Now we learn Freedom Cap will get data packs of its own, but you’ll have to pay for them up-front.

Beach picture from Shutterstock

Fat Duck Tech reports that the Freedom Cap will soon have its own “Data Top Up Recharges”, costing $5 for 250MB or $15 for 1GB. However, you have to pay cash for those: you can’t use your recharge credit. Even more annoyingly, the recharges only last for 14 days. So while they might be useful in an emergency, they’re not a sensible basis for ongoing purchases.

In that context, arguably the best prepaid deal for the Telstra network remains the Beyond Talk package, which does let you use recharge credit to add data packs without spending extra money. The big downside here is that you won’t have a lot of voice credit, outside of the 500 “bonus talk” minutes. But if data matters to you more than calls, it’s worth considering. Otherwise, check out our guide to the best prepaid deals on each network.

Telstra adds data packs to prepaid Freedom deal — but there’s still a nasty sting! [Fat Duck Tech]


  • It was only a matter of time. The Encore caps with a data pack gave exceptional value for money. The new Freedom caps, not so much. The Encore caps are not forced to across to the Freedom caps, which is great for anyone already on board. However I won’t recommend anyone go across to Telstra in a hurry, the new Freedom caps are no better than other providers prepaid offers. Step backwards Tel$tra. If Telstra really want’s to be number one let the data packs come off the freedom recharge credit.

    Encore data break down:
    $50 = $900 call + $50 Recharge – $49 datapack (which mean 3GB of data) + 800MB of free data.
    Giving you 3.8Gb of data for $50 out of pocket. If you don’t make any calls and run the $900 call credit as data PAYG you get 450MB extra.
    Total = 4.25GB max

    Freedom Data break down:
    $50 = $950 call + $50 Recharge + 1.6BG data
    If you don’t make any calls and run the $950 call credit as data PAYG you get 475MB extra.
    Total = 2.075GB max

    You’re getting half the credit you used to for the same money if your a heavy data user. If you want more data you’ll have to pay for it (source: above article). If you want similar data as the old Encore Cap you’ll have to pay $80.

    • Optus $2 a day for unlimited calls and 500Mb of data per day.
      ~15Gb a month for $60

      Some days I go over and pay an extra $2 for the day for an extra 500Mb for a total of 1Gb a day

  • Until someone else builds a network that actually works as reliably and consistently as Telstra’s, they’re going to keep getting away with this. Seeing as nobody else can compete in coverage, there’s no incentive for Telstra to not just compete, but actually be reasonable on price. So they don’t.

      • What benefits do you get on the Prepaid Cap + that makes it do valuable. Never heard of it so just wondering…

  • If you want the Telstra network, con contracts and no hassles, just go with Boost.

    $40 a month and you get unlimited calls and text as well as 2GB of included data which should be enough to most people who switch to WiFi whenever they are not out and about.

    There are much better deals available if you are willing to consider other networks but as @drcollossus pointed out, if you can only use the Telstra network, you will have to accept Paying more and getting less.

  • As someone who pays $150 a month to Telstra on a billed plan, I’m glad these clear rorts of the prepaid system are being curbed back.

    They are prepaid, if the customers don’t like it they can go elsewhere and get a congested network with slow speeds.

    If you want the best data speeds you have to pay for it, especially if you want a lot of it, and that’s perfectly reasonable.

  • I recently moved to colombia. I pay $10 a month for 3 gig of data. It has some other bonuses, but the data is all i need to communicate.

    Data shouldn’t cost so much. Telstra extorts people because they can.

  • Thanks for explaining the differences in the plans…i switched from encore to feeedom and realised afterwards about the lack of data packs…. After a few phone calls to Telstra i was able to get changed back to the encore plan even though they say you cant go back to encore once you change to freedom…. I mentioned words like Optus and Ombudsman and deliberately hiding the finer print,and lo and behold Telstra was able to change me back. Telstra can be very underhanded and deceptive.

  • This is really bollocks, I changed over from Encore to Freedom during my most recent $30 recharge, thinking that it would of course have Plus Packs. I thought it made sense to update to the latest plan given that it’s marketed as the equivalent of the old Encore plan.

    I could not believe it this morning when I went to top-up data (with my $30 credit) that all the Plus Packs are gone!. The mobile website did NOT state this when I went to switch over a few weeks ago. A lot of people will use the barebones mobile site on their phones to switch over (because that’s where you go to quickly check your remaining credit), so this is a very underhanded tactic by Telstra.

    I have learnt my lesson now: if a new plan is offered in place of an old one, always go onto the full desktop site to read the fine print missing from the mobile site!

    I’m going to call Telstra and ask to be put back on the old Encore plan.

  • I just spoke to Telstra after reading this post – they do have another option for additional data other than sending the extra $ on vouchers which they just did for me.

    You can convert your existing recharge credit to data 1.5g for $25.00, it can currently only be done by them over the phone and only lasts for 14 days but still a good option as my double data seems to run out about 1/2 way through the month anyway.

  • I’m wondering that if I change my plan to freedom will I loose my current credit and it’s bonuses? Also will I get freedoms bonuses if I have recharged $30 on cap oncore and then changed????

  • I loved the pre-paid cap encore so much that when my wife plan expired with vodafone, I brought her to to Telstra only to learn they don’t offer the encore plan anymore. The freedom plan was advertised as an equal so went along only to discover no other plus packs than the INTL browse one. Now we are not travelling abroad so that $50 recharge credit seems to be a big waste. I am so disappointed. I really thought I could get our mobile budget under control and have the best plan for us. Greedy telstra has screwed us just like every other greedy telecom. WTF!!!

  • Can I just say… WTF is with “Telco-dollars”? These mythical $250 of credit you get when you pay $30… lets just remove that “$” from the front of 250 and call it T$ or something.. heck, not even “Dollars” at all… it’s a marketting technique to obfuscate true cost of calls from you whilst making it near to impossible to compare plans with other telecoms providers. ACCC! It’s time to clamp down on this and prohibit use of “$” or “Dollars” or anything that pretends to be real money.

    I’m really disapointed by the “Freedom” plans bypassing browseplus packs, and in a slightly underhanded way too, you don’t clearly find out that you cannot buy browseplus packs until you go looking for it, before then you only find out that you can only use your Telco-Dollars credit on voice and text if you download the T&C disclosure PDF and check the fine print at the bottom of the infographic on page 1.

    Telstra, I’d move my whole family including the olds over to one of your prepaid plans if you brought back something like the Encore, until then, I’m sticking with my $19/month 2.25GB BYO Virgin resold crapy Optus plan and so is the rest of my family.

  • Like many fellow Aussies, where I live determines who my Provider is, and sadly it’s Telstra aka the bogpond. I have the Encore plan, as I tend to use text’s more than the calls, and I also send a lot of MMS’s. I recently bought an S5 from Telstra, rather than going the Grey phone, that isn’t my issue. At the moment with the Encore plan I can add an MMS pack, and for shhhhh but for some reason the pack isn’t taken off my $30 recharge. My new phone is on the Beyond Talk, which costs me $50 p/m unlimited texts, however while I can add MMS pack to it, I am watching my $50 go down in chunks.

  • Telstra’s attitude to customers is just short of contempt. Because they have the monopoly on good coverage they treat us like shit. When Optus gets eaual coverage their customers will leave in droves. I will be one of them.

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