There are many mobile phone plans and each plan offers something different. Ask the right questions at your service provider’s store, on their website or over the phone, so you choose the plan that’s right for you.

A service provider must make its contracts available on its website – it’s the law.

Don’t sign a contract until you understand it.

Coverage

  • Do you have good coverage in my local area and other places I’ll want to use the phone? (Not all providers have good coverage outside major cities.)
  • Can I see a coverage map to check coverage?

Contract length and cost

  • How long is the contract? 1 or 2 years?
  • What’s the minimum I’ll have to pay each month and the total I’ll pay over the contract period?

Call costs

  • Are calls charged for each second or for a block of time? (Most service providers use 60 seconds for their block of time. This means that, if your call lasts less than 60 seconds, you are still charged for 60 seconds.)
  • What calls are not included in the plan like calling overseas or any other numbers?
  • Is there a flag fall with the plan?

Monthly limits

  • What happens after I have used up the included value for the month?
  • Will the plan prevent me from going over a cap or can I continue using it but get charged extra?
  • What are the excess usage costs for going over the monthly allowance or limit for texts, voice calls and data?

Changing or cancelling my contract

  • What will I have to pay if I end the contract early? (This cost can be quite high.)
  • Can I go onto a cheaper or more expensive level of plan if I want to? Will I have to pay extra to change?

Locked phones

  • Is the phone locked to your network? (If the phone is locked, it means you can’t use the phone on another provider’s network.)
  • Is there an extra cost for unlocking the phone? (Some plans automatically unlock the phone at the end of the contract period.)

Using the phone overseas

  • What will it cost to make voice calls, receive voice calls, send texts and use data overseas?
  • How can I keep track of my costs when I am using the phone overseas? (International roaming usually incurs extra charges.)

Warranty

  • What does the warranty cover and how long is it for? (If you buy your mobile online overseas you may not have a warranty and the phone might be set up in another language.)

Saving money

  • Will ‘bundling’ my mobile phone save money? (Bundling is when you put your phone on the same contract with other telecommunication services like your home phone or internet.)
  • Can I get free calls to phones on the same network, cheaper calls at certain times of the day or free social networking?

Payments

  • Will I be charged extra for paying my bill in certain ways? (e.g. over-the-counter, credit card)
  • What’s the cheapest way to pay?

Dealing with Phone Problems

Whether it’s your fault or not, you have legal rights that can help you to sort out problems or make complaints about your phone or mobile service provider.  The Australian Government’s Money Smart Advisory Service will show you the best way to resolve your mobile phone issues.

Article Reference: www.moneysmart.gov.au