"Partnership" with Whistleout

I find it most concerning that, having published a review which clearly shows Aldi as best SIM-only phone plan provider, the article then encourages users to use Whistleout as a tool to find the best service for them. As you put it “We’ve partnered with search engine WhistleOut to help you find and buy the right plan for you.”
This is a significant problem, as Whistleout has no mention anywhere on their site of Aldi Mobile, or several other value provders, since none of them pay a fee to Whistleout.
I appreciate Choice’s need to find sources of revenue, but I regard it as unethical for you to encourage the use of services which specifically exclude the providers who you recommend. In many cases this will defintely NOT “help you find and buy the right plan for you.”
Please consider terminating this arrangement, or, at the very least, specifically alerting people to the fact that it excludes many plans that do not pay Whistleout a fee.

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Welcome to the Community @MessyJez,

That is an interesting point. @BrendanMays may wish to respond for Choice.

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Something to be mindful about with comparison sites for all sorts of products and services. It may be free to use, but there is money required to run the site. Often it comes from commissions paid by product and service providers.
Perhaps Choice has a relationship to use the data that Whistleout gathers. Let’s see if a comment from Choice is forthcoming.

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Hi @MessyJez, welcome to the community and for your first post.

AldiMobile is covered by WhistleOut, and it has AldiMobile 5 plans it compares with other mobile providers. These are the carriers and number of plans that it compares is available on its website:

https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/Carriers

It also provides some detailed information on the Aldi plans such as these:

https://www.whistleout.com.au/Search?q=aldi

When using WhistleOut, the first search results page only shows part of the search results. One has to click on ‘Load More Results’ to see all available packages. AldiMobile when load more results more is selected.

It also worth checking for any mobile carrier that their network coverage suits your needs or is suitable where it is used most (at home, to and from work and at work). For example, while AldiMobile uses part of the Telstra network (called the Telstra Wholesale Network), it is significantly less coverage than those onsellers which use the whole of the Telstra network (such as Telstra or Boost). Likewise with those which use the Optus or TPG/Vodaphone network. WhistleOut has coverage maps which can be useful when researching a suitable mobile provider.

It is worth noting that WhistleOut provides comparisons for both commercial and uncommercial results…unlike many other comparison websites that in their small print one only finds out that their results are those which they obtain commercial benefit from. The WhistleOut website explains what the search result mean and how to identify those which are paid advertising or are a commercial partner with WhistleOut:

https://www.whistleout.com.au/How-We-Work

It also acknowledges that:

We can’t cover all products in the market as the product maintenance burden is too large, but we always endeavour to include at least the top ten service providers and usually many more. We maintain pricing combinations (deals, promotions, products, fees) for the thousands of products in our database. We’re also aware that showing too many products can be a little confronting for some users, and might make browsing the results seem like a daunting task for them. We endeavour to make the results as accurate and comprehensive as we can, while making them easy to follow. To aid this process we include filter options and navigation tabs with each set of query results so users can best hone in on the results most suitable to them.

Those which are included (including AldiMobile) are outlined in the first link in this post.

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Hi @MessyJez, thanks for getting in touch with this feedback and apologies for any frustration this has caused you.

Here’s the ‘Best SIM’ article mentioned above. The scoring is explained in further detail in the article, but in short, the scores are based on a survey conducted by CHOICE, asking people about their experiences. It includes factors like call clarity, customer service, even how easy it is to read the bill.

Our satisfaction report is not influenced in any way by WhistleOut, which uses a number of filter inputs for its site navigation. I was able to find the ALDI plans using those filters, I’ve included a couple of screenshots below. However, in undertaking these partnerships there is a significant amount of assessment and ongoing review process from CHOICE to ensure people we refer have a good experience. I’ll be sure to pass on your comments, as we appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

In the meantime, I’d encourage you to join this thread if you are after some further discussion on best SIM or other plan options, or if you’d like to share your own experience.

Cheers,
Brendan

Screengrab examples here:

We offer this disclaimer on the CHOICE site:

image

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Thank you for your very prompt responses and clarification. I appreciate the explanation of the inclusion of additional carriers on the expanded list.
However, I was drawn to the WhistleOut page headed " Editor’s Pick: Best SIM-Only Phone Plans June 2021", and, in particular their recommendations for “Best SIM-Only Plan – Heavy Use, and Best SIM-Only Plan – Everyday Use”. (https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/Guides/best-sim-only-byo-mobile-phone-plans)
In both cases they listed 6 carriers as “Best”, and it is particularly noticeable that only one of Choice’s top 9 recommendations, Belong, is included in their list.
I think that, at the very least, there is room for discussion with WhistleOut over the apparent inconsistencies, which, certainly from where I am looking, would tend to suggest that the results which their query engine provides may not be aligned to the criteria which Choice uses.
I am not for a moment suggesting anything untoward in this arrangement, but simply that it may need some better clarification, to ensure that users are not inadvertently misled.

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One has to remember that WhistleOut is an organisation independent of Choice and can carry out its own recommendations using different criteria (or the same criteria with different weightings) to that of Choice…to give different results to that of Choice. They outline how they determined their June recommendations at the bottom of the page.

If they said they were from Choice or the same as Choice, there would be an issue…as this would be misleading.

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