There was an article on the front page of news.com.au today where the title said it all: “Mobile phone users hit for ‘free’ calls in 1800 sting”. The fact that 1800 numbers are not free to call from a mobile is well known by most mobile users and has always been the case in the Australian mobile industry. This is hardly big news.
It does remind me of the survey I read about many years ago where many people did not know how much they were charged to dial a “free call 1800 number”. That was in the days before mobile phones, but suggests that some people are suspicious of anything called a ‘free call’ – or simply have no idea about call rates at all.
The author really demonstrates a lack of understanding about the topic with this sentence:
Some phone companies are even double charging for 1800 numbers – billing both the business which received the call and the mobile customer.
This is not double charging – this is just how 1800 numbers work. The business receiving the call always pays a fee whether the incoming call is from a landline or mobile.
A quick check of some mobile phone companies showed the latest Vodafone iPhone plans to have calls to 1800 numbers included in the Capped amount. 3 Mobile iPhone Plans also include 1800 calls in the Capped amount. As the article points out they are expensive calls at 90 cents per minute, but that is exactly the same rate as a standard call rate on a 3 Capped plan!
This all seems like a storm in a teacup. Like we always recommend, make sure you read the fine print, know your inclusions and exclusions and know how you use a mobile. If you can check those boxes then you aren’t likely to have many problems with your mobile phone deal!