Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Taking Advantage Of Work Benefits - Mobile Phone

I'm really lucky that as part of my job I get my mobile phone charges paid for. This saves me a fortune as you would expect. I haven't even seen a bill in years.

I work for a telecommunications company so have a good understanding of how people in Australia use their phones and the benefits available if you know what to look for.

When you sign up to a mobile phone provider (or signing up to a new one if you’re changing companies), it's really important that you read and understand what you're signing up for, before signing anything! It's a contract the same as any other contract, so please read the details.

Make sure you understand what you get for your commitment, flag falls, rates, cancellation fees, the total cost of the contact etc. If you don't understand or are unsure about something, don't sign anything until you've had your question answered to your satisfaction.

Before you use your phone to enter competitions, download ring tones, send photos or SMS people, make sure you understand what you'll be paying. Premium services attract premium charges. This particularly applies to using your mobile to access data service or send emails (if you have a newer handset with these capabilities).

There are also a number of ways you can save money on your mobile bills. Find out who you call that are with the same phone company. Most companies offer same network discount rates or even free calls on the same network at certain times of the day. An important thing to note is some of the smaller providers actually lease their network from the big companies (Telstra and Optus) so the benefits may even extend past your specific company.

If your bills are still too high, it might be that you're on the wrong plan. Call the customer service department and get them to check if you might be better off on another plan. Plans change all the time and if your current plan no longer suits, see what’s available to meet your new needs. A word of warning on this one though, make you’re your usage patterns has changed for a good 3 months, if it's just a one month blip, you may want to stay where you are as often if you switch to a new plan you may not be able to go back to the old plan if your usage pattern changes back.

Remember, if you do happen to receive an unexpectedly high mobile bill, you should always contact your service provider in the first instance. They really want to keep your business if at all possible, so why not take advantage of it!

To recap:

  • Read everything and understand it before signing anything
  • Ensure you know what you paying before you use your phone
  • Take full advantage of same network call rates and free call times
  • Make sure your phone plan still meets your ongoing usage patterns by reviewing every 3 months
  • Always call your current providers customer service call centre before cancelling
  • If you have a very high bill you can't pay, call them straight away to make payment arrangements

2 comments:

  1. I am also in the middle of the changing phones. I have been with Telstra since my first mobile phone about 10 years ago. Now I am wondering if I should stay with Telstra given that the other providers are providing quote competitive packages. The difficulty I am finding is trying to make the comparison realistic, eg does Telstra $29 compare well with the Three $29 plan.

    There are so many choices on the market, which is good as it drives competition between providers, but makes it very confusing for the consumers. I guess you can't have the cake and eat it as well.

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  2. Hi dd
    I often forget that my work mobile, which is the main contact point for all the 200 staff in my area, is a benefit as it rings so many times during the day I want to throw it in a river!!

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