No matter which broadband or mobile phone provider you choose to go with, chances are you’ll be handing quite a bit of your hard-earned money to them over an extended period of time. If you’re happy with the quality of the service you’re getting, you could easily remain with a provider for years. Sure, there are always those deals from other providers that turn up from time to time that might tempt you to switch, but what about if the provider you’re with now actually rewarded you for staying with them?
As you may have heard, many companies put the majority of their marketing efforts into finding and signing up new customers, happy to let existing customers keep on paying every month without rewarding their loyalty or letting them know of better plans that might come along (utilities companies are notorious for this). But in the fast-changing world of communications, companies have started to realise that it’s worth keeping loyal customers around – after all, the happier they are, the longer they’ll stay.
Australian Mobile and Broadband Loyalty Programs
To help persuade customers that their current provider appreciates them being around, broadband and mobile providers have borrowed an idea that’s served the credit and airline industries well for decades – loyalty programs. The concept is simple enough – offer perks to customers on an ongoing basis so they’re reminded, every time they take advantage of one, that they’ve made the right choice in sticking with the brand.
We’re starting to see loyalty rewards programs pop up more frequently – some permanent, organised and structured, others more ad-hoc, temporary or even completely unadvertised. Here’s a few of the most popular examples.
Having offered various perks to its customers for years, Telstra’s an old hand at the loyalty game, but they’ve taken it to the next level with the recently launched Telstra Plus. Customers have always had access to perks such as discounted movie tickets and priority pre-bookings for concerts, sports and other events. But no, those basic rewards form just the first tier of a three-tier system, with Silver and Gold membership being awarded to those who spend above certain amounts in one year. Those more luxurious tiers come with extra perks (such as free subscriptions to streaming services like Kayo Sport and Stan, and free premium tech support) but no matter what tier you’re on, you accumulate Telstra Plus points every time you pay a bill, recharge or otherwise spend money on your Telstra account.
Those points then translate into an airline-like rewards store full of tech goodies for you to buy with your points – smart speakers, phones, tablets, gadgets and more.
Easily the most organised and fully-developed of the current loyalty schemes in the sector, Telstra Plus is free for all Telstra account holders to join – so if you’re a Telstra customer, it’s worth taking the time to quickly get signed up. Even better, you’ll be rewarded with 25,000 Telstra Plus Bonus Points when you get the new Telstra TV on a monthly setup.
Not one to be left out of the loyalty perks game, Optus has millions of customers who stick with the company’s broadband and mobile services for many years. The scheme has traditionally taken the form of a set of static perks that any Optus customer can access once they’ve registered – which can be done via the Optus app or your Optus account page. You just need an Optus broadband or phone service to register, then you’re all set to take advantage of the available offers.
Needless to say, discounted movie tickets are a key part of the perks setup, and extremely popular. You can book standard tickets at Hoyts cinemas for only $12.50 each – or if you’re after something a bit comfier, Hoyts Lux tickets can be had for $27.
There are plenty of competitions with desirable prizes, from mobile phones or VIP tickets to see touring rock and pop acts to full-scale trips to England to watch football or Los Angeles to be a guest at the American Music Awards. Discounted pre-sales are on offer for upcoming events, too – concerts of all types and even special retail store events. And for those who like to travel, there’s instant discounts on various holiday experiences.
It’s all pretty straightforward – but Optus is about to enhance their loyalty scheme substantially, with a “Perks eWallet” being added soon. We’d expect to see a similar rewards structure to what Telstra is offering now, which is good news for Optus customers who are happy to stick around.
Not wanting to be left out of the customer-pleasing fun, Foxtel has launched its own rewards program – something that makes perfect sense for Australia’s largest pay TV provider, as they have many customers who’ve been with them continuously for a large number of years. Named Foxtel First, the program is only available to direct Foxtel customers – if you’re a Foxtel From Telstra customer you’ll get rewarded via the Telstra Plus program mentioned above.
Very much like Telstra Plus, Foxtel First works on a tiered system. Which tier you qualify for depends on how many years you’ve continuously been a Foxtel customer. If you’ve cancelled at any point, your year count is reset – so the program is designed to give the greatest rewards to the most loyal Foxtel customers.
There are four tiers – Bronze (0-3 years), Silver (3-8 years), Gold (8-15 years) and Diamond (15 years and over). You can join Foxtel First by heading to your account page on the Foxtel web site, or directly from the My Foxtel app for iOS and Android. Everyone who signs up for the program gets a welcome gift of a free premium movie rental on the Foxtel Store, so it’s well worth signing up even if you’re a more recent customer. Rewards on offer include the usual discounted movie and sporting tickets, competitions and offers – but the higher tiers also get to preview new Foxtel shows before anyone else, streamed direct to their iQ box. With some fantastic shows on the way over the coming months, that could be the best reward of all!
Vodafone “Bundle & Save”
Taking a different approach to rewarding customer loyalty, Vodafone recently launched its own program that’s designed to give something back to the customers who have more than one Vodafone service in their life – so for example, if you have your NBN service with the company (it has to be NBN 50 or NBN 100 speed) and also a mobile phone service, you get 5% off each plan. If you have a mobile broadband plan as well, you get 10% off each plan – and it keeps on going up to a hefty 20% discount on every plan if you have five or more.
As you can probably guess, this could save families a heap of money if they bundle all their plans together on the one account. It’s a different kind of loyalty reward to the flashier programs that are becoming popular, but you can’t argue with saving cold hard cash!
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While organised loyalty programs from other providers are rare, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to keep your business – and in some cases they’ll make that crystal clear by offering some nice bonuses for sticking around. One example was MyRepublic, who ran an offer for their broadband customers this year where paying for 12 months of broadband in advance granted you two months more completely free. That offer is no longer active, but if you’re a MyRepublic customer it’d be a good idea to keep an eye on the emails they send you for future offers. Aussie Broadband also ran a similar offer last year, alongside their “refer a friend” scheme which rewards loyal customers who bring new customers to the provider.
Are They Worth It?
The best thing about the various loyalty programs that are on offer is they don’t cost you any money to be a part of. If you’re a happy customer of one of the companies that runs a rewards program, it makes sense to get yourself signed up and take advantage of the perks. And when there’s extended rewards based on the accumulated money you spend with the provider (as Telstra offers now, and Optus looks like offering soon), that’s an even bigger incentive to get yourself signed up as soon as possible.
After all, there’s nothing better than getting stuff for free – and it’s about time that being loyal to the same provider across months and years was properly rewarded!