Post Office Mobile Phones

My wife needed a new, simple mobile phone. Not a smart phone, and one that was unlocked from a phone company. Living in country Western Australia, our choice was limited, so when we were in Perth recently, (and after checking with CHOICE) we visited several Optus, Telstra and Vodafone stores. There was very little available in simple phones, and some stores could not show us any. We were advised to try Australia Post. Yes, AP does have (presumably suitable) unlocked phones, but they are all in sealed boxes which cannot be opened and there none on display. So what my wife was being asked to do was to shell out around $100 for something she could not test for size, weight or convenience. This seems to be quite ridiculous if not unethical.
In the end we purchased outright a suitable but locked phone from one of the major phone companies on a fairly cheap pre-paid agreement, and when this expires in a couple of months will just have it unlocked, which appears to be a relatively straightforward exercise.
But we find Australia Post’s attitude quite astounding.


Thanks for the report @marmot :+1:

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My husband recently purchased a simple prepaid phone from Vodafone for $29 or thereabouts. He’s happy with it, and prepay works well for us.

enbconje, does the unused money roll over? I need a cheap phone for emergencies and the occasional text, and don’t want to pay for calls that are not used.

Aldi has good reviews for phone plans - don’t know if you can buy a phone from there. I know Coles sells cheap phones.

@julwood, [quote=“julwood, post:4, topic:14035”]
I need a cheap phone for emergencies and the occasional text, and don’t want to pay for calls that are not used

check amaysim pay as you go . You need to bring your own phone, but.

@julwood, If you don’t have your own phone, some second hand shops (inc. pawn brokers) sometime have cheap used phones along with selling websites like Gumtree.

Thanks for that. Sounds like a good deal.

Hi, Julwood. We just prepay $50 (but you can choose to prepay a smaller amount) and we get a reminder when our credit gets down to $10 so we can top it up again. Have a look at the Vodafone site - I think you have 12 months to use the amount of your prepayment (haven’t checked the website recently). We’ve been doing this for some years now and haven’t had a problem.

Also ALDIMobile have a prepaid $15 or $30 recharge. Phone calls cost $0.12/minute, texts are $0.12 each, and data I think is charged at $0.05/Megabyte. They send a text when you get below $10, below $5 and just before you run out of credit. The recharge is good for 365 days. They use part of the Telstra network.

There is also Amaysim (which uses the Optus network) and as you noted Vodaphone who have 365 day prepaid plans.

So if all that is wanted is phone calls and texts then buying any one of Telstra, Vodaphone or Optus prepaid cheap handsets from Woolworths or Coles then putting a SIM from ALDIMobile in the Telstra handset if that is what is purchased, an Amaysim one in the Optus one if that is the one bought, or change you plan to the 365 day one with Vodaphone will probably fit the purpose.

We were looking for the same type of phone as you described and had the same experience that we couldn’t actually view the phone outside the box, but this happened at Vodafone, who we are with. So wwe ended up at Australia post and at that outlet they did have an open one, which we then purchased, after being able to view the phone. It was a flip phone with large buttons, Aspera. I think we just got lucky that that outlet had a display cabinet for the phones. Vodafone didn’t have the phone we were interested in on display and wanted us to pay for the phone before opening the box. Left very unhappy!

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Yes the Aspera was the one we were interested in, but after trying 3 Post Offices, gave up. We bought a Doro flip phone from Optus which my wife finds excellent. Compact, but decent sized buttons, good clear screen and great sound. We bought it on an initial Optus package, $10 for 45 days. We might then move to a $60 package with a 365 day expiry, which amounts to $5 per month. But after that we’ll have the phone unlocked - I think it’s free at that point - and either move to Hello Mobile which uses the Vodafone network and offers calls to any fixed line phone for 30c untimed and calls to mobiles at 30c F/F + 12cpm (a 2 minute call is 55c and a 20 minute call costs $2.70). There is an automatic top-up to $10 when the account falls to $2. I’ve used Hello Mobile for several years and have been happy with it. I have a second old mobile I keep in the car. It uses Aldi which, as others have mentioned, has a 365 day expiry and calls to landline or mobile cost 12cpm. A 2 minute call costs 24 cents and a 20 minute call $2.40, using part of the Telstra network.

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I was with Amaysim and wanted a new phone so I bought a Optus prepaid from a store (either Target or Woolworths ) and as Amaysim use the Optus network it was simply a matter of using the Amaysim sim card, I believe this works with all the carriers if you are changing to a 3rd party that uses their network then it’s not a problem