There was a time, many years ago, when I would buy a mobile phone through one of the large telco companies as part of a plan that included data and phone calls. I never thought about doing it any other way. The plans seemed good value, but when you add up what you pay over a (usual) 24-month term they rarely stack up.
These days, when I need a new phone call I buy one outright. I have bought the last two online from Hong Kong – the second one problem free the first one less so. My Neil bought his online through Kogan. Not only did we find by buying online the phones themselves were cheaper, but it meant that I had a choice of providers and plans.
As blogged about last year, I compared several different plans that were on offer. I tried the Kogan’s Vodafone based product (which offered exceptional value), but alas, I had trouble getting coverage in my work building let alone out bush where Neil’s family lived. Canberra may be the nation’s capital but it is a bush capital as well, and with it comes limited coverage. Telstra products work best for our needs.
Last year Neil and I invested in a $249 twelve-month phone plan from ALDI mobile. It included 42GB of data; Neil and I have used barely half, and that’s despite my Instagram habit and us both hot-spotting data to facilitate my boys playing computer games. I tried desperately to use up my 42GB but even so I only averaged 1.6GB a month. As this plan soon reaches the end of its year-long life, it is time for us to update to a new one.
ALDI still offer the $249 twelve-month product, and now they offer up to 80GB if you are an existing customer and upgrade before 1 January 2019.
But today, ALDI launched a new product – a $99 1 year super pack that includes 12GB of data. This will only allow us 1GB of data a month, but we are learning that more and more places have free WiFi available. I will need to be more organised about checking available WiFi rather than just relying on my data plan, but for getting a quality mobile product for only $8.25 a month I think this is worth it. If for any reason I run out of data, I can pay an additional $15 to purchase another 3GB. So today we rushed out and both bought new plans. We were quick as this product is only available instore. When ALDI first launched their 365-day product last year, it sold out within the first day at our local store.
In blogging about this plan, I want to be clear that I do not receive any commission or any other kickbacks from ALDI for promoting the benefits of this plan. As a Kogan shareholder, I was really disappointed that their Vodafone-based product did not cover where the in-laws lived (Neil nicknames it Vodafail, but notes that if you are planning to travel overseas, you can buy overseas data cheaply through Vodafone). Meanwhile, my Neil and his family have noted no difference in quality in switching from Telstra to ALDI (other than a reduction from around $79 a month from the traditional deal of phone and plan).
In the year since I last looked at mobile phone plans, there have been a number of new plans including Catch mobile. A useful starting resource is Whistle Out, which compares many different products. I’m anticipating that there could be some good deals this week to align with the deals going on around black Friday, and even in the lead-up to Christmas, so it is a good time to look. And if you are in the market for a $99/year ALDI mobile phone plan, my advice is to get in quick.
What mobile plan to do use? How much data do you use? How much do you pay, and are you happy with the coverage? Share your experiences on the Joyfulfrugalista Facebook Group.