8 Questions to Ask a Potential Mobile Provider

8 Questions to Ask a Potential Mobile Provider
This article is sponsored by felix mobile.

Sometimes we rush into things with a mobile provider. It’s easy to do. You get swept up in the excitement of upgrading your phone and jump into a new contract, but then a year down the track, the honeymoon period has well and truly worn off. They’re no longer what you’re after and you’re wishing you weren’t tied down.

Even if you’re itching for a change, don’t make any snap decisions, yet. You’ve got to survey your options and work out what you need before you jump ship. The last thing you want is to wind up trapped in a similar boat to the one you were in before.

So, whether you’re nearing the end of your contract or are a free agent looking for a better deal, ask these eight questions before you make a move.

1. Can I keep my current phone number?

The idea of having your phone number change is disorienting to say the least. Those digits are heavily ingrained in our brains. The good news is, providers have to transfer your phone number if you request it. Just don’t cancel your current mobile provider before finding another one – otherwise, they won’t be able to port (transfer) your number. So, if it wasn’t drummed in enough yet – no sudden movements.

2. What is your environmental impact like?

As we use our handy little devices all day, the mobile data networks that power them are contributing to CO2 emissions. It’s worth finding out if your telco is doing something to offset their carbon footprint. 

felix mobile is one of Australia’s few telco brands putting in the hard yards in this arena. Powered by 100% renewable electricity, felix mobile is certified carbon neutral by the Australian Government backed initiative, Climate Active. It supports certified carbon offset projects and donates a tree to be planted for every month you’re with them, through their non-profit partner One Tree Planted.

3. What are the call and text inclusions?

The majority of mobile providers offer unlimited national texts and calls. If it’s prepaid, or pay-as-you-go for calls and texts, it’s important to consult the Critical Information Summary (CIS).  All telcos have to give you a copy of the CIS and publish it on their website, too. So scope them out to see how different options stack up. It’ll give you the details you need on exact rates for calls and texts. 

4. What is the data inclusion?

Unlike calls and texts, data inclusions can vary a lot between phone plans and providers. Before you get into comparisons, get a handle on how much data you currently use to know what you’re looking for.

Unlimited data plans are an option to avoid hefty excess data charges. One of the few that offer this is felix mobile, with unlimited talk, text and data at speeds up to 20Mbps for just $35/month on a no lock-in contract.

5. How long is my contract?

Again, it’s good to consult the CIS to understand the ins and outs of a contract. Whether it’s a 12-month, 24-month or a ‘no lock-in’ contract that works on a month-to-month basis, know what you’re in for, or if there are fixed or variable fees to get out of it.

It’s also a good call to check if you have any time guarantees or cooling off periods up your sleeve for if you do bungle things and need a quick, get out of jail free card. 

6. What are my add-on costs like? 

Even if you’re not travelling up a storm right now, find out how much international calls, texts and data roaming will set you back. When the time comes, you don’t want any shocks to the system.

7. Do you have coverage in locations where I need it?

Your coverage is needed most where you live and work, so you need to know what kind of coverage is available for those crucial places. Most mobile providers have interactive online coverage maps. They’re a handy guide to get an idea but it’s always worth an ask for clear coverage info. 

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8. What is my billing cycle?

If you’ve opted for a prepaid or month-to-month plan, pay attention to the number of days in your billing cycle. Once upon a time, most providers had 30-day cycles, but now more 28-day ones are popping up. Be aware of it as it can be trickier to track your renewal dates. And for when you’re comparing rates – a 28-day cycle means 13 payments for the year instead of 12.

To answer some excellent questions you may have top of mind right now, felix mobile has a 30-day billing cycle for its plan, with a no lock-in contract and unlimited calls, texts and data at speeds up to 20Mbps. You can also get Unlimited International Calls and Texts for $5/month extra or pay an extra $20 for an International Roaming pack which includes 4GB of data at speeds up to 20Mbps, 100 standard mins of calls and 100 standard texts. Both to use in over 45 countries. Find out more, here

Once you’ve done all your research and ticked every need-to-know question off the list, then you’re good to go shake things up.

Use code GIZMODO for your first month free. *Then $35/mth on a no lock-in contract. New customers only. Ends 30/06/22. T&Cs apply.