13/1300 number costs for bundles and mobiles unfair

As I understand it 13 and 1300 numbers were established to offer consumers access to services for the cost of a local call.
Having been on a plan now which includes local and interstate calls in the bundle, I was surprised to see calls to 13 numbers and 1300 numbers were not included.
On further investigation I find that calls to these numbers from a mobile phone on a prepaid plan are a minimum of double the rate for all other calls.
I am especially concerned for those on a pension or welfare benefits.
Mobile timed calls to government agencies and service providers can be a long wait on hold with little likelihood of a result at the other end.
This is not fair, reasonable or acceptable and should be changed as a matter of urgency, given that the poor in our society are now less likely to have a land line.


I pay $120 a month for a Telstra bundle and on top of that they charge 40c for each 1300 call - you would think that having paid $120 for the month they could drop the addition 40c per 1300 call. Most months I have an additional $2 to pay.

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Mine is similar,
Imagine the following scenario.
Your Telstra internet and phone on the NBN is now be connected via your Telstra modem.
The service fails neither your phone or internet will work and you need to contact Testra faults by mobile phone and your mobile is a prepaid as you go amaysim mobile.
Your cost for that call which from my experience is up to 20mins will be at the rate of 29 cents per min.
If you are with another provider for your land line and you have a Telstra prepaid as you go mobile it will cost you 89 cents per minute plus flag fall.

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I can tell you that I am with Amaysim. And that they offer TRUE unlimited calls and texts and include all 13 and 18 numbers in that arrangement. No contract and fantastic customer service. I would not advise the large phone companies. I have done a significant amount of research and can tell you that Amaysim is up there with the best (for me anyway).
If you are on a PAYG scheme with Amaysim you will pay the by minute rate. However, if you are on an unlimited plan it’s exactly that.
Hope this helps.


I’m with Optus on a home bundle that costs $120 / month and yes they charge for all 1300 and 13 numbers even if you ring Optus on their 13 number it costs. Seems very odd when everything within Australia is unlimited on the plan.

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We pay double the cost of a local call to 13 numbers from our landline. It never used to be so high and I doubt it costs the telcos much more than it does to provide a standard local call.

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I have a Telstra landline plan that gives free calls to all except 13/1300 numbers, as I think do many other users. It has always puzzled me why almost all businesses put up these numbers thinking they are doing customers a service by allowing them to make a call at a cost of at least 40c when, if they could phone a normal 8 digit landline number the call would be free. The solution to this problem is to get businesses to put up their 8 digit number as well as their 13/1300 number. I also have a mobile plan that gives free calls to 13/1300 numbers but I would rather use my landline as the hands free is much more convenient when on hold. When I ring a 13/1300 number I ask the operator for their 8 digit number; usually they don’t know what it is. After explaining that many customers would benefit if they also advertised an 8 digit number, I then suggest they ask their superiors to get in line with modern business practice and put both numbers. If they are still not convinced I point out that some customers might want to ring from overseas and (so far as I know) they need the 8 digit number. I have had a few wins; some now put ‘overseas callers please phone…’ . But even if you do get an 8 digit number to call, you will still get through to the same operators and onhold experiences - even if you are overseas! Please join the good fight!

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This is a situation where a consumer has to do their research and it’s not all that hard these days with mobile plans. There are many cost effective prepaid plans which offer unlimited national calls (incl. 13 & 1800 numbers), sms and mms. I’m currently with Kogan Mobile which runs on the Vodafone 4G network and for $29.95pm I get the unlimited features and 3GBs of data.

I agree. I’m on a $100 pre-paid top-up with telstra, which is supposed to include 200 minutes of “standard talk time” that lasts 2 years. However they charge cash for the 1300 numbers (and a lot of cash at that).

Seems downright deceptive to me.


I agree Richard. And these 13 and 1300 numbers are business numbers that were meant as a convenience for customers so there was just a single number, the business was charged a premium too. And now it is almost impossible to avoid this extra charge because most businesses including Optus do not publish their regular landline number.

I am on a similar home phone plan and get charged only for these numbers on top of the monthly charge that is meant to include all local, national and international calls as well as internet access!


The other side of this problem is that many arrogant businesses, government departments, and organisations refuse to publish “local” numbers for mobile users, only 13, 1300 or 1800, that often get slugged big mobile charges. The most common reply when the question is asked of them is “not our problem, take it up with your mobile carrier”.

One nasty example, and nastier if one has a prepaid mobile, is a certain road service organisation operating in Victoria. When asked about a local number they first extolled how wonderful 13 numbers are, but when pressed advised one could get to road service through their overseas customer service number (a local one) during business hours; They are still not publishing a local number for mobile users needing roadside assistance.

Weird, we are on an Optus $115 bundle for phone & broadband (NBN) and 13 numbers are free (as are local, interstate, mobiles within Australia and a limited selection of overseas calls).

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It varies by the mobile carrier, and sometimes even by plan with a carrier…

I pay $158.00 a month for a bundle; including landline, foxtel , internet cable and something called “Go Mobile Data Plan Casual” for $15.00 monthly that I’ve yet to figure out.
My most recent bill ,I paid for five 13numbers (mostly telstra) $1.60, Non Telstra mobiles -
6 calls $7.92, Telstra mobiles - 3 -calls $4.54 (mostly tradies for quotes) all on my landline.
I’ve asked them to match their competition but all I get is friendly overseas operators that have no idea what they’re selling. I also get tons of commercials from FOXTEL which I pay for (having commercial free entertainment).

I agree. 1300 was originally designed to be a marketing tool which avoided the expense to companies of 1800 (freecall).

Now it is acting as a disincentive and I am surprised that marketing businesses have not put pressure on the telcos to fix the problem.

I have an “unlimited” plan with Dodo and they charge me $0.44 for calls to 13 numbers. It stinks!


I have been researching NBN phone plans. Many have free local/national
calls included but charge for 1300 numbers. An easy campaign for Choice to run would be to encourage companies with 1300 numbers to also quote a local phone number as well to eliminate this cost. Please take up the cause for us Choice


We use iinet for our landline and they’ve just increased the cost of calls to 13 numbers to 40 cents which is a real pain as our back to base alarm contacts one for 8 seconds at a time. I can’t imagine it is costing iinet anywhere near that for these calls.


Great idea. Go for it Choice!


I too have Amaysim on my mobile so I now use it whenever I have to call a 13 or 1300 number. Who would have thought mobile would be cheaper than fixed line!!!

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I am a very light mobile user, typical monthly bills are around $5 on a postpaid pay-as-you-go amaysim service. FWIW it is much cheaper than my landline for any call excepting 13 numbers.

My landline and internet service was out for 11 days. Every time I rang the telco 13 number on my mobile I would spend 10-20 minutes on hold at $0.29 a minute before I spoke with a human who was only too happy to ring me back. In comparison it is $0.12 to any regular landline or mobile in the country and $0.06 to North America! When I rang the caller ID local number displayed by the telco ringback I got an announce-only message referring to ring the 13 number!

Imagine people with prepaids running out of credit while on hold, especially at night. Those with plans such as amaysim unlimited have 13 numbers included so everyone does not feel the same pain.

Every business who has a 13 number should be required to publish a local number AND/OR all mobile carriers should be required to bill 13 calls at rates no higher than a standard call when not bundled in.