With more providers than we’ve ever had before, it can be difficult to find the telco that’s right for you. While more providers means more choice, it also means better deals for everyone – including seniors and pensioners. Even better, the days of ‘one size fits all’ plans are over. Now you can tailor your plan to your internet usage – not the other way around. So whether or not you’re available to access the NBN – more on that later – you’ll be able to find the plan which is right for you, even if you don’t have an internet connection!
The Southern Phone Community
It might seem odd at a time of mega telcos which seem to do everything from connect your television to wash your socks, but there are a few smaller, community-run companies out there – like Southern Phone. Southern Phone was formed in regional Australian communities years ago to help fix the lack of value and choice in phone and internet services outside of Australia’s big cities. Today, they continue to provide valuable service across Australia for anyone who needs home phone, broadband internet or mobile phone services – no matter whether you’re in country Australia or if you’re in the big smoke.
That’s good news for anyone who’s keen on some of Southern Phone’s more innovative services – like the choice they offer with mobile plans running on Optus 3G/4G, or their satellite broadband plans for people in truly remote areas of the country.
Can I keep the phone – and my number?
If you’re changing your plan and provider, even if you’re saving money you don’t want to lose access to your phone or phone number. Whether you’ve had the number for two months or 20 years, it’s at best an inconvenience and at worst it can mean you’ll lost contact with long lost friends.
With Southern Phone, you can keep your phone and your phone number. There’ll be more than a few providers who’ll likely contact you offering broadband internet plans, saying that’s the only way to keep your phone connected – but in fact, that’s not the case at all. You just need to find a provider that specialises in looking after people with specific needs, and Southern Phone is one such company.
“Change is overrated” is the slogan that Southern Phone uses for the set of phone plans they appropriately call Next Home Phone. The idea is simple – they know that a lot of people don’t want to be forced to get a broadband internet connection or risk losing their home phone, so they’ve crafted a set of plans that do nothing but the home phone – and do it at a great price!
There are three Next Home Phone plans to choose from: Small at $25/month, Medium at $44/month, and Large at $60/month. With the first two, seniors can enjoy a $5 monthly discount. Meanwhile, the highest-end plan not only delivers unlimited local, national, and mobile calls, it also gives up to $10 monthly discount to seniors with a valid Seniors or Pensioners card. For a limited time, seniors can also avail of these plans for half the price for the first six months.
Seniors Plans with Southern Phone
Get connected from wherever you are in Australia with great value home phone, mobile, and broadband plans from Southern Phone. NBN bundles w/ home phone & modem start from only $60/mth (inc. $5/mth discount).
Is there a seniors or pensioners plan?
There’s no specific plan targeted only at seniors or pensioners – but they do offer senior discounts just like with the Next Home Phone options. Every plan has a unique discount for seniors or pensioners, which means you’ll save even more off the cost of the already great deal that you sign up for. These differ as Southern Phone loves a good deal, so be sure to check with them when you’re signing up.
Moreover, there are three plans overall in the home phone category, which are all free of “line rental” (one great thing about the NBN is that there’s no “line rental” rate, so you just pay for the service and don’t have to waste money on pointless fees).
At the base level – perfect for those who don’t make many calls but want the home phone available for people to call them – is the Standard Small plan, which is just $24.95 per month. Local calls are capped at 25c per call, with call rates gradually increasing for national and mobile calls, along with numbers starting in 13. While you pay per minute for each call, the cost is capped – so you won’t be hit with any surprise charges.
The Standard Medium plan – coming in at just $39.95 per month – offers you unlimited local and national calls, along with pay-as-you-go calls for mobiles and numbers starting in 13. If you want to make sure your bills are the same every month, then the Standard Large package will get you unlimited calls to every local, national, mobile and 13 number in Australia.
It’s a bit more expensive at $69.95 per month, but you also know that it will never be higher than that (other than if you make international calls, of course). Also don’t forget that there are seniors discounts on every plan – bringing the cost down further.
Best bundles for seniors
As with the phone deals, there aren’t any bundles specifically targeted at seniors – but they’ve still got some great bundles which will cater to all of your telecommunications needs. First out of the blocks is their ‘triple bundle’, which is available on the NBN network. This will get you home broadband with a modem included, a mobile plan – and a home phone plan for the one monthly price.
They’ve also got one NBN bundles, which include broadband connection, home phone, and a Wi-Fi modem. These bundles start from only $60/month loaded with 100GB of data. For unlimited internet, that starts from $70/month. Southern Phone’s NBN bundles are on a 24-month contract.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use mobile phone that includes unlimited calling and texting for your everyday needs, then you can choose from either the Seniors Mobile X Small and Small plans. The former has 1GB of mobile data while the other has 5GB priced at $36.50 and $47.50 each month, respectively. These plans include the Swissvoice C50, a simple smartphone specially designed for seniors.
Is Southern Phone right for me?
A community-owned phone company set up to serve rural Australia, Southern Phone might be able to offer you competitive deals but they’ve not forgotten their community spirit. Their website is easy to use and their deals are relatively simple.
Their customer service team is friendly – and they’re based in rural Australia, so you know they’ll speak a language you understand. On the whole there might be cheaper plans out there, but for the services you get, they’re pretty hard to beat.
What people are asking about Southern Phone
Throughout its history, Southern Phone has been a company owned by local councils of many of the communities it operates in. In December 2019, it was purchased by AGL Energy and is now a 100% owned subsidiary of that company.
If you’ve got access to the internet handy, you can pop onto Southern Phone’s web site (or use their free smartphone app) and live chat with one of their support team, or send a detailed message and get a response back via email. If you’d rather speak to a human, you can call them on 13 14 64 from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
If you’re having connection issues with your internet, the first thing to do is to power off your modem, wait 30 seconds, turn it back on then wait a minute or two. If you’re still not connected, get in touch with Southern Phone’s tech support people on 13 14 64 (8am to 8pm) and they’ll be able to check your connection from their end, as well as letting you know if there’s a more widespread outage of any kind.