There’s one thing that’s certain with contract-free mobile deals in this country: prices keep going down, as value goes up. It’s a great time look for a provider that won’t charge a fortune. Plus, the ever-growing range of third-party mobile providers has made sure that you’ve always got plenty of options to get talking, texting and surfing without breaking the bank. Vaya and Woolworths are no exception..
Vaya has been a mainstay of the budget mobile industry for years now. Though they’ve recently been bought out by much-admired provider amaysim, they continue to operate as their own entity. The telco still boasts some of the most keenly-priced mobile deals you’ll find anywhere.
Supermarket giant Woolworths has, of course, been selling mobile phones and provider SIMs for years from the kiosks in their stores. There’s no wonder they ultimately decided that joining the fray as a provider in their own right was a smart move. They’ve done so in style, too, snagging Telstra as their network and tying their plans into their store rewards scheme.
The difference out of the gate is a simple one. Vaya is a post-paid provider (without a lock-in contract), while Woolworths operates on a prepaid basis. You can get a postpaid plan through Woolworths, but only with the purchase of a phone and its associated contract.
So which one’s right for you – Woolworths or Vaya? Read on!
There’s a wide range of Woolworths phone plans available if you want to buy a new phone through them, but you will be limited to a small variety of brands and models on a two-year contract. It’s their prepaid plans, however, that really excel when it comes to sheer value. Woolworths is one of the very small number of providers that’s gotten access to Telstra’s massive 4G network. As such, you’re getting unrivalled coverage on what’s generally agreed to be the best network in the country. All without having to sign your life away on a contract.
Woolworths prepaid plans come in three flavours, with the basic $15 recharge suitable only for the lightest of users with its limited calls and only 400MB of data. If you’re after value, your eyes should be on the two upper plans. At $30 per 30 days, you get 3GB of data, unlimited calls, text and MMS, and 150 minutes of international calls to ten major countries. You also get $100 credit for other international countries and any other premium calls. Spend $45 and you get all that, but with unlimited international calls to those countries and a massive 8GB of data.
You can also roll over unused data on these plan. Whatever you don’t use up one month rolls over to be added to the next, up to a limit of 15GB. That’s a brilliant inclusion, making sure you get what you pay for with your data allowance – and it’s only available on the top two plans.
Woolworths sells “starter packs” for both plans that give you extra data for the first three months, and we’d recommend you take advantage of them. Also, sign up for Woolworths Rewards, the free loyalty card, to get 10% off recharges – making these two plans only $27 and $40.50 per month respectively.
There’s no getting around the fact that Vaya mobile plans offer big value when it comes to the basic cost of entry. You can get unlimited calls, text and MMS for as little as $16 per month with this company that Money Magazine constantly rates as one of the best-value propositions out there.
Compared to Woolworths offerings, Vaya’s $26 plan gives you 3GB of data, while their $36 plan gives you 8GB for less than even the discounted Woolworths rate. You also get unlimited international calls to ten major countries on the latter plan. Discounts are available for new users here, too. You get $3 per month off each plan for the first three months, making those two plans $23 and $33 respectively at the outset.
Vaya uses the Optus 4G Plus network, which comes very close to Telstra’s in terms of coverage and rivals it for 4G speeds in some areas. Thus, you’re not getting massively short-changed in that department.
If you’re looking for a basic mobile service without a huge slab of data, Vaya wins hands down over Woolworths. That highly limited $15 Woolworths recharge simply can’t compete with Vaya’s $16 ($13 for the first three months) base plan with unlimited calls and text and 1GB of data. If data is more important to you, though, this is a much more even fight than you’d expect.
One thing to watch out for, though: Vaya is a post-paid-only provider. That doesn’t mean there’s a contract – there isn’t – but if you go over your data limit, you’ll be billed accordingly. At a rate of $10 per GB, to be exact. That could get very painful very quickly if you don’t pick the right data limit to suit you. Whereas with Woolworths, once you use up your data you’re simply offline till you recharge, with no surprise bills. It’s something well worth keeping in mind if you’re budget-conscious.
Woolworths Mobile might be a relative newcomer to the scene, but they’re certainly shaking things up. That’s thanks to their sheer market power and their partnership with the Telstra network. If you can budget for at least $30 per month, there’s amazing value available as a purely prepaid user – particularly so if you’re willing to join their Rewards program. Vaya still owns the low-cost end of the market, though. The telco is competitive across the board with Woolworths, while giving you the flexibility of switching out to a cheaper plan if you find out you don’t need the data. Just be sure you pick a plan with enough data. While there’s no rollover, so you’ll lose any unused data at the end of the month, the penalty for going over your limit makes the value side of things a little less attractive.