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You can also choose to drop it off at your local Aus post counter. Although, we cannot accept responsibility for non-delivery of mobile devices if returned via Australia Post so we would recommend you use our free courier service.
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Chances are you have more than one mobile phone in your family and possibly a home phone to boot. Mobiles phones are an expensive that didn’t exist 30 years ago in the average household so they are now putting extra strain on the budget. It might be you use your phone more than you really need to or that the plan you’re on doesn’t really suit your usage.
Or you just might be addicted to sending text messages.
Here are some ways to save money on your phone bill.
1. Mobile Phone Bills
It’s important to know how each member of the family use their mobile phone and if they need separate plans or if the phones can be bundled to get a better deal for everyone.
If a bill exceeds its limit time and again then its time to look at alternative plans and options. If you’ve just exceeded the limit once then make sure you stay under the minutes included in your mobile plan. KNOW YOUR PLAN. They offer free minutes so you get used to talking and then wham, no more free minutes.
Young children don’t need to be on plans – prepaid will keep the budget in tact and your children’s phone habits under control. Using prepaid will make sure you don’t talk for longer than you can afford.
Check out Boost – they have great deals at great prices and you can keep your number easily too!
2. Alternatives to Phone Calls
There are many ways to communicate with someone without having to use a mobile phone. One of the most common ways is to use the VOIP option, which is based on Internet calls. A VoIP phone looks no different to a regular home phone except that it is set up to transfer digital signals via an Internet connection, rather than through a landline phone plug.
Another alternative is Skype. Skype has its drawbacks, such as calls can drop out or there can be interference with your call, but it is a lot cheaper and more convenient to use for a lot of people.
3. Stick to Your Allowed Limits
Phone companies are out to make money off you so try to stick to your allowed limits. They want you to go over your allowed limits and will charge you if you exceed them, often at high charges.
4. Try Using a Prepaid Phone
The best way to stay within your budget is to use a pre-paid plan. However, the price per minute is often more than on monthly plans so be aware that it might not always be cheaper. You need to know how much data and calls you are making to make an educated decision whether a pre paid phone will be best for you.
You will also always know how much you have spent on your phone calls.
5. Avoid Insuring Your Phone
If you change and replace your phone frequently, then insurance is probably not for you. There would be too much cost involved in getting your phone insured. If you have home and contents insurance you might be able to add a phone onto that. Also check your warranty.
Although not all insurance options cover malfunction and breakdown, Apple offers its own warranty options for customers to cover technical problems and defects.
Apple includes a one-year warranty for the phone itself and any Apple accessories contained in the original packaging. The warranty covers any defects in materials and workmanship, provided the product is used ‘normally and in accordance with Apple’s guidelines’.
Apple also gives its customers the option of the AppleCare Protection Plan at an additional cost. This gives customers an extra year of warranty, with telephone technical support for two years, an express replacement service for damaged iPhones and access to overseas repair or replacement.
AppleCare Protection can be purchased any time within the one year warranty period, and for iPhones it includes :
– Protection for damages and defects for the phone itself, its battery and included Apple accessories – Software support for iOS and Apple-branded applications (Mail, Safari, iTunes, etc)
– For frequent travellers, it also provides the handy option of global repair coverage through Apple retail stores or authorised technicians.
The main differences you need to remember between the warranty Apple provides customers and insurance bought through your carrier:
– Apple’s warranty covers breakdown, mechanical failure and manufacturing errors and defects. It does not assist customers if their device is stolen, lost or for any damage caused by accident or external causes such as liquid contact, fire, or misuse.
– Insurance offered by providers usually doesn’t include electrical or mechanical breakdown (although Optus gives customers this option).
It does cover your phone being lost or stolen, and any accidental, unforeseen damage. Policies that do cover breakdown or failure apply only to repairs that aren’t covered by a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee.[/box]
So while a manufacturer’s warranty is best for covering product failure and electrical and mechanical problems, it won’t help you if you drop your phone, or mistakenly sit in a full glass of water (it happens). And although insurance is invaluable if your phone is stolen, it may not give you appropriate cover if your phone’s software dies three months after your purchase.
Australian Consumer Law and your rights
A customer’s rights and abilities to seek reparations for faulty products are covered in Australia by the Australian Consumer Law, which covers all states and territories and regulates fair trading and consumer protection.
What consumers need to know is that warranties issued by manufacturers do not restrict a customer’s rights – they don’t override or limit the Australian Consumer Law, and just because your warranty has expired or a fault isn’t covered by the manufacturer, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not entitled to assistance or compensation from a retailer under Australian legislation.
The law states that:
- Consumers have the right to ask for a repair, replacement or refund for goods that are faulty, unsafe, look unacceptable or don’t work the way that they’re supposed to.
- Australian consumers are entitled to a refund or replacement for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably unexpected loss or damage.
- Consumers are also entitled to have goods repaired or replaced if they are not of acceptable quality, even if there is no major failure.
- For minor issues, businesses may choose whether to repair, refund or replace the faulty item, and any repairs must happen within a ‘reasonable time frame’.
- For major problems, consumers are given the choice between a replacement or a full refund.
6. Always Check Your Bill
Phone bills can read like alien speak so you must carefully go through your bill and try to understand it. Many extra charges are put on phone bills so be aware and always question what you don’t understand.
If you find anything strange on the bill contact the phone company and ask them to explain it to you. It is your right as a citizen to know all the charges made to your account. The better you understand the billing process, the better you will be at spotting unjust charges.
7. Switching Phones
If you damage or break your phone while you’re still on a contract but the phone is out of warranty then you might need to pay for a replacement. However, you can be smart and avoid this cost. Simply look for a used phone with the same company’s SIM card in it. Buy one on eBay from a reputable seller or ask friends and family – but make sure it’s unlocked.
8. Negotiate Again
When your contract expires or is about to expire, you can contact your phone company and ask for a new contract at cheaper rates and ask them for a newer phone too, they might just give you one, especially if you say you’re tossing up between them and another company at the moment. They might just want to keep all the customers they can. There’s no harm in asking or negotiating.
9. Games and Ring Tones
Be careful of any downloads that require you to give them your credit card information. A lot of these will state in the small print that they can charge you at a later date for various things so try and stick to the free games and ring tones which can be found online.
10. Internet Charges
Internet charges vary greatly around Australia and some of the smaller providers are giving excellent service at excellent prices so don’t dismiss the smaller providers. Make sure you are getting the fastest broadband service you can possibly get and expect unlimited data in your contract. Also look at bundles from the big providers as it might be better value or even cheaper to have a bundle service for your Internet, phones and TV.
Be a smart shopper and compare deals. Providers want your money so use your knowledge to your advantage. Good Luck.