Phones and Internet
There are five different carriers:
1) Vodafone- there has been a lot of issues with this. I.e. you cannot receive messages or you have been overcharged. Calls are very expensive. http://www.vodafone.com.au
2) Optus- www.optus.com.au (note: if you do decide to go with this company, choose the turbo charge deal as they have really good value $30= $120 worth of credit per month that you can use to call, SMS, MMS anyone or use the internet on your mobile phone. And sometimes they do have competitions where you can win awesome stuff, such as an iPod, trips etc.
3) 3- www.three.com.au- most students like this company because they have awesome deals on calls overseas. But you can’t get good service without a 3G compatible phone. For a list of compatible phones see their website. As of late 2011 Three and Vodaphone have merged so they are no longer separate companies.
4) Virgin- virginmobile.com.au
5) Telstra- www.telstra.com.au
Pre paid or post paid. Which do you prefer?
Prepaid has no contracts, no bills. You can pay when ever you want and whenever your credit is low. There are prepaid vouchers for as little as $30 and you can buy it at the supermarket or other retail outlets. Some supermarkets have 10% discounts.
There are no hidden surprises either. You get to know how much you have spent and where.
Post paid has a contract, usually for 24 months and also has bills that you have to pay every month, regardless of how much money you have. For fixed contracts, you will need to pay the same amount each month regardless of how much you have spent. Many students find that this option is costly.
What if I’m not happy with my service or bill?
Try to talk to the dealer about this. If they won’t help, it’s best to write to the Ombudsman.
Consumer protection and the law
The law states that if you are not happy with anything that you buy or enter into (such as a phone or internet, water or electricity or gas contract), then you can ask for a refund within their company or store policy which is located somewhere on their website or at the front counter of the shop.
When you go to a shop and you buy something and it does not work or does something different then what it should do, then you can ask for a refund and return the item. A no refund sign in a shop is illegal.
You will need to provide the shop with a receipt saying that you paid for it.
But shops and companies might let you exchange the item other than give you a refund if you change your mind.
But sometimes if a company deems a product unsafe then it may be recalled and you will have to return the item, unless otherwise specified. You will get a refund for this.
Check out: www.consumer.vic.gov.au for more information and product safety recalls. To find out about the latest product safety recalls check out: http://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/952401.
If you have an iPhone you can download and install the MyShopRights phone app for free from the consumer rights website. It lets you know what your rights are as a consumer.
For the first few days in Australia, you may need a phonecard to use at the pay phones. You can buy one for $5, $10, and $20 at any supermarket, newsagent or post office.
Calls from a pay phone costs about $0.40 per minute. There are pay phones in the city campus near the gym and in Bundoora West campus outside the library.
Phones at home
To connect to an existing line will cost around $60-$70. To connect to a new line will cost around $100-$200. You will usually get bills every month or quarterly depending on the company that you use. You can pay online, over the phone or in person.
Skype is an online program, which lets you call home for free via webcam or mobile phone, provided that the recipient is on Skype and is subscribed. But if you want to call people on their mobile phones and they are not with Skype it is 1.9c per minute and you pay as you go. You can buy a subscription from 0.9c a minute. You can call people from other countries. You can talk as long as you want. You will need to sign up for the service.
There are a few companies around. You should check out their websites.
1) TPG- http://www.tpg.com.au (they have a mobile internet deal for $1 per month)
2) Dodo- they only do broadband internet, but they do mobile phones and electricity and currently they are having a 20% off your electricity bill. Check out www.dodo.com.au for more information.
3) Optus- www.optus.com.au
4) Vodaphone- www.vodaphone.com.au
5) Telstra- www.telstra.com.au
Pre- paid or plan. Which is better?
Pre- paid is better for students who have not much money. Plans are better for students with heaps of money to spend each month. You can get your internet and modem as a memory stick from many outlets, such as Officeworks, newsagencies, phone shops etc.
Prepaid or postpaid.
Do you want to pay by the month or pay whenever you can? With Prepaid you can pay on the go but it is expensive to setup. You can pay it whenever you need. Postpaid is where you pay a certain amount each month but you get a few extra things. All the setup costs around $80 AUD.
Dial up or Broadband, which is better?
Broadband of course! It is faster and less costly. You can download data for half the price.
here are some links for you to check out to get your broadband internet and to see which one suits you the most. Broadband internet is expensive here.
1)http://www.vodafone.com.au/personal/wireless-internet/mobile-broadband/– Three and Vodaphone are now one brand.
4) Dodo- they are slow at times but cheap per month when you combine your home phone with the internet. It is $49.90 per month. https://connectto.dodo.com/wizard/servicecheck.aspx#plans
Oh wait I have heard that there is free internet at RMIT, is that true?
Yes there is a free wireless service that RMIT provides you with as a student. You can use this wireless service on your laptop all around campus, as well as some cafes and shopping centres with the RMIT wireless sign on it. You just have to pop down to your campus IT service, check their wireless hours on their door and ask them to install it for you. It is free.
Check your bill online (for prepaid and some post paid customers).
It’s important to check your bill and usage online. It is free, All you need to do is sign up for this service. You need to do this to make sure that you are not being ripped off or that there are no billing errors. Ie : they charge you for something you did not use or subscribe to. If you believe that your mobile phone company made the mistake tell them either in person/online or over the phone. It is important to tell them so that they can fix the mistake and not make it again. If they won’t budge then make a written complaint to their complaint service. If not then you tell the Ombudsman. They have to then investigate the matter.
Small differences do matter as students