To put that in perspective its $660 per annum to have a landline including call costs or $300 plus expensive call costs.

Now many are bamboozled by a new thing called NBN.

They are told they must transfer to NBN within six months, or their landline phone will be cut off.

The cheapest monthly (not Telstra) NBN12 (lowest speed) combined phone/data plans start at around $50/100GB/unlimited calls. But no one tells them they may need to pay for a modem, installation, and a new DECT/Wireless handset system as the old wired phones/extensions/alarms/medical alerts won’t work. And they are pressured into 24/36 months plans to lock them in for a free (and very crappy) modem.

Many seniors have a mobile phone for emergencies – end that too if you are with Telstra

These people don’t want data – just reliable phone service. Post-NBN phone only options are here, and if you have an elderly parent or relative, you need to read it, or they will be ripped off.

This group seldom use more than a few MB data (if at all) for email and making/receiving calls from family. Most would prefer a phone with big buttons that does not need constant recharging. Many just put it in the car in case of a breakdown. The cheapest Telstra plan now is $50/50GB per month – $600 a year to have a damned emergency mobile.

Telstra

The mobile solution at least is to leave Telstra and have no regrets

There are companies known an MVNOs  (mobile virtual network operators – list here) that buy wholesale voice and data capacity from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and resell their network.

Companies including Boost, Aldi, and Woolworths uses Telstra’s 3/4G LTE networks that cover most of Australia’s population. They do not have access to its 4GX or 5G networks, which means data download speeds are capped at 100Mbps. Do not be concerned – unless you are a power user and live/work in a 4GX or a mythical 5G area you won’t get any faster than 100Mbps even on Telstra.

We won’t go into all the MVNO plans – you can find them at WhistleOut. But there are a few caveats to remember.

Telstra may have screwed all its lower-revenue users, but its mobile network still has the best coverage with Optus not far behind (check online coverage maps first). Avoid Belong as it is 100% Telstra owned, and many say it is even worse (like Telstra, it performs abysmally in the independent Product Review ratings).

Avoid ‘bait and switch’ promotional plans that offer ‘bonus data’ for the first month etc. These may be good for the first month or so but then revert to lower data or higher prices.

Also, remember that you need to contact the MVNO if you have service difficulties or faults. Lower cost MVMOs may only have customer internet chat (not phone) or online support. But then I have received such poor service from Telstra’s faceless Philippines call centre that is next to useless so that may not be an issue.

You have a choice of mobile pre-paid or monthly post-paid plans.

Pre-paid, for example from Boost, means no contract. You can cancel at any time but will lose your number unless transferred to another MVNO. It allows you to control costs buying what you need via monthly recharges.

Post-paid (usually for 12 months), e.g. as offered by Woolworths has the advantage of rolling unused data over to a 100GB databank as well as promotional data for Rewards members. Aldi also has some excellent plans, including a three-user family pack to share data. It also has 365-day expiry data-only plans for tablets and laptops.

GadgetGuy’s take – Don’t be Shaun, the Sheep. Leave Telstra or be shorn like a sheep

Telstra

Telstra is pissing off its mobile customers. That is a statement of fact.

Somewhere PMG/Telecom’s DNA – the universal service provision – was lost. That meant things like senior’s plans, plans to suit all incomes, public phones (at Woop Woop and beyond) and a genuine caring service attitude are overtaken by the holy dollar. Good for shareholders – enormously sad for Australia that fondly remembers the ‘Telstra past’.

Maybe its Telstra’s grand plan to sort the wheat (high revenue) from the chaff (Joe and Jane Average) – sure seems like it because I doubt anyone could be stupid enough to piss off its mobile, hell all customers, as Telstra seems to be doing.