Calls - 60%
Text - 60%
Data - 60%
Overall - 60%
In a competitive environment, Woolworths Mobile’s offerings aren’t quite as competitive as some, and while they have the advantage of making use of the Telstra network, it’s not the entire Telstra network. On the other hand, for those after a new phone, contract prices are very reasonable and the “Zero Bill Shock” guarantee will give many people peace of mind.
Tied closely in with the supermarket business that everyone identifies the name with, Woolworths Mobile aims to offer a mobile phone plan
– either prepaid or via buying a new phone on a contract – that can also top up your supermarket rewards account with bonuses, or make recharging a prepaid service cheaper. On the surface, it looks like good value, However, there’s a few gotchas buried in the fine print that you should be aware of.
Woolworths Spring 2017 Deals
Woolworths is always offering smartphones at special prices. Just recently, the new Samsung S8 was available at a significant discount. In October 2017, you can get the Motorola Moto C for only $149 – with a bonus $20 pre-paid recharge.
Woolworths is using – in their own words – “parts of” the Telstra 4G and 3G network
. Now, any part of Telstra’s network is going to be great when it comes to coverage – it’s the highest quality mobile voice network in Australia. But it’s only when you dig around in the coverage maps that you notice the restrictions that are the likely reason for the “part of” disclaimer; 4G coverage in most areas is limited to the 700MHz band. That has more of an impact on data than voice – more about that below. But it also limits the number of active cells your phone can connect to; meaning that the coverage, while good, won’t be quite that of the branded Telstra product. However, all SIM-only plans, phone plans, and recharges $20+ come with unlimited calls.
Pretty basic stuff for text messagers here, with unlimited texting even on the cheapest prepaid plan (including unlimited MMS messages within Australia, too; international text and MMS is charged at 50/75c each respectively).
Being on Telstra’s 4G network is great news for data users – it’s fast and responsive – but the apparent limitation to the 700MHz frequency band has its consequences. For one thing, you won’t be able to take advantage of the super-fast downloads of LTE Advanced even if your phone supports it, since that technology requires the use of frequency bands your Woolworths service can’t operate on. It’ll also leave you more susceptible to congestion at busy times, possibly falling back to the slower 3G network. On the plus side, the 700MHz band penetrates buildings especially well, meaning in-building coverage should be above par.
It’s worth mentioning that Woolworths doesn’t charge for extra data – nor do they let you go over your limit. If you hit your limit, your smartphone suddenly becomes isolated from the internet until you buy some bandwidth or top up! On the $30 and $45 recharge plans, you can roll over up to 15GB of your unused data allowance to the next recharge if you like – great for storing up some extra data to use during longer trips or holidays.
Woolworths offers a pretty straightforward three-tier plan structure for both prepaid and post-paid. The cost of the post-paid plan varies wildly depending on which phone handset you choose to contract with; the actual plan costs are $35, $50 and $70 per month for the S, M and L plans respectively, but then you need to add the phone repayment. These plans come with 1GB, 4GB, and 8GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. The M and L plans also come with international minutes
Data-wise, prepaid users get a choice of data allowances ranging from “possibly too small to be useful” (500MB) on the lowest recharge to a nice hefty 10GB on the top-end offering. You can recharge with $15, $20, $30, or $45. A $15 recharge only brings you $250 calls, while the other options come with unlimited calls.
Moreover, post-paid plans have a “Zero Bill Shock” policy attached, stating that you will never pay more than you agree up-front.Woolworth’s mobile offerings
are tied into Woolworths Rewards, the revamped version of the Everyday Rewards card that many regular supermarket shoppers would already have. The card gives you a flat discount of 10% on every prepaid recharge. For post-paid customers, special offers appear regularly, such as an amount of reward dollars being put on the card for signing up. Check in the supermarket catalogues and the Woolworths Mobile web site for the latest offers.
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