These Phone Companies Still Don't Offer Free Calls To 1800 Numbers

Calls to 1800 numbers are supposed to now be free no matter what kind of mobile plan you are on. While most of the major Australian carriers have got on board and made calls free across all their plans, there are some laggards.

Couple picture from Shutterstock

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) today released a list of the carriers which don't offer free calls to 1800 numbers across all their plans. The "all" is important; many of these providers offer free calls on some plans, but not across the board. These are the offenders:

  • AldiMobile
  • Bendigo Bank Telco
  • Cmobile
  • Dodo
  • GoTalk
  • Hello Mobile
  • Lebara Mobile
  • Live Connected
  • TPG
  • Vaya
  • Vodafone
  • Yatango

And the companies that do offer free calls to 1800 numbers across every current plan they offer:

  • Amaysim
  • Boost Mobile
  • iiNet
  • Optus
  • Spintel
  • Telstra
  • Virgin

The disappointing aspect of this is that because the majority of carriers did agree to offer free 1800 calls by January 1 2015, there's no actual regulation requiring them to do so. It's supposed to be an example of industry self-regulation, but what it demonstrates is the limits of that approach. Voting with your wallet by switching carriers is the only really effective way to put pressure on those companies.


    This is one thing that annoys me about Virgin Mobile. I have cap credit (that I hardly use) that can be used for 1300 numbers at the standard call rate, but if I need to call a 1800 number I am charged outside my cap (admittedly at a cheaper rate).

      @dets, why are you being charged (even at cheaper rate) at all. Virgin website shows that 18 and 1800 numbers are 'Free in Oz'. If you are being billed, I would be calling up and questioning why. I know I don't get charged on my Virgin account.

        Thanks for letting me know, looks like Virgin must have changed their policy! I can say for sure that up until August last year (at least) they charged outside the cap for 1800 numbers, I was charged an extra 38c that month for a 33 second call. I also looked at the site at the time, which confirmed it was a "special number call".

    Even more gear-griding is how some of them charge a "special number" surcharge for 1800 numbers. I know Amaysim used to do this and I think they still do for 1300 numbers.

    Of course some of these are a bit redundant (Boost Mobile etc.) who only offer "unlimited" caps, so it becomes a matter not of whether they charge for a type of call or not, but whether it's included in the cap.

      If it's not included in the cap then it's not free though, is it? (That has been the case for some unlimited plans in the past.)

    For the companies listed as offering free 1800 calls, do we know if this also applies to grandfathered plans as well as current offers?

    According to their CIS Spintel do not have free calls to 1800 numbers.

    Yes it does appear that Spintel do not have free calls to 1800 numbers -
    Also, add this to the "don’t offer free calls to 1800 numbers across all their plans" list; Telechoice (below their $40 plan).

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