What Is ‘Auto Renewal’ In A Prepaid Phone Plan?

Auto Renewal in a Prepaid Phone Plan

Set auto renewal to recharge your prepaid phone plans automatically

Prepaid mobile phone plans come with a convenient option known as automatic renewal. When you are about to reach your data cap or the phone plan is about to expire, the service provider sends you a text message advising that your phone plan is being renewed. Telcos deduct funds from your credit balance automatically. This means the user doesn’t have to do anything; neither do they have to visit any store for recharge.

Consumers find this to be quite convenient. There’s no need to make an effort to remember exactly how much time you have left before expiry, or how much data you have left. The fact that you don’t have to go through the usual recharge steps is also very convenient.

With the auto renewal facility, users can enjoy uninterrupted web surfing, video streaming, and social media without worrying about crossing their data limit. In this way, you can fully control your spending on phone plans.

How does auto renewal work?

You can set up auto renewal only with prepaid phone plans and mobile broadband plans. It is added on data plans to enable users enjoy discounted prices on data services that will continue without interruption. For example, where a plan requires continuous renewals in order for excess data to rollover, as a number of prepaid plans do, this function will come in very handy.

The auto renewal feature automatically renews your phone plan at the end of the plan’s expiry, thereby ensuring uninterrupted services without any actions from you. Every time a phone plan is added to a user’s account, auto renew is switched on by default. Users don’t need to manually switch auto renew off immediately after the beginning of a new renewal period, if they don’t want to renew their phone plan. This can be done at any time through their account with their service provider or a dedicated app.

Setting up auto renewal for Telstra pre-paid service

You can use auto recharge, or auto renews your Telstra prepaid plans in two ways: Scheduled monthly recharge or balance based recharge. Scheduled monthly recharge renews your plan on a particular data, while balance based recharge renews your plan based on your balance level.

What is auto renew in prepaid phone plans

Auto renew in prepaid phone plans. Source

To set auto renew for scheduled monthly recharge,

1.  Sign into your Telstra 24×7 MyAccount using your Telstra ID;

2.  Go to Recharge Settings from the box just next to the pre-paid service;

3.  Select Scheduled monthly recharge and choose a recharge payment, day and amount;

4.  Follow the prompts to complete the process.

For balance based recharge,

1.  Sign in to Telstra 24×7 MyAccount;

2.  Go to Recharge Settings and select Balance automatic recharge;

3.  Select the credit balance amount to initiate your automatic recharge and the recharge amount;

4.  Follow the prompts to complete the process.

Your phone plan will be automatically renewed on the given date.

Setting up auto renewal for Optus pre-paid service

Optus AutoRecharge service is one of the many options available on your phone’s My Optus app. It allows users to register their credit/debit card for setting up auto renewal of their prepaid phone plans.

The Recharge option is available on the My Optus app, where you can then find the AutoRecharge feaature.

My Optus app. Source

Here’s how to set it up on Optus:

  • Using the My Optus app, go to Recharge > AutoRecharge > and follow the prompts.
  • Alternatively, go to http://optus.com.au/recharge, enter your service number, choose Setup AutoRecharge, and Follow the prompts.

Depending on your prepaid offer, you can set recharges to occur automatically on a certain recurrent date, or when you reach a low credit balance.

To change your Optus AutoRecharge settings, the steps are the same — open My Optus app, tap Recharge, go to AutoRecharge and click Edit.

Stopping the auto renewal process

Service providers let their customers stop the auto renewal any time between when they buy a phone plan and when it auto renews. For example, to turn off AutoRecharge with Optus:

  • Go to My Optus app (Mobile Phone only) > tap recharge > tap AutoRecharge > and tap Cancel.

If you want to cancel the auto renewal process with Optus online, go to the cancellation link sent along the AutoRecharge setup email or text and follow the prompts. You will receive instant confirmation regarding the cancellation of your auto renewal service.

Final word – benefits and drawbacks

Auto renewal with your prepaid phone plan saves hassle and time. You neither have to worry about going to your account with the telco or tap any mobile app to recharge your plan. Moreover, you don’t have to remember the expiry date of your phone plan. Once you set up an auto renewal date or balance, the telco will automatically recharge your plan.

Many telcos even offer a discount on your payments for prepaid plans. With auto renewal, bills are paid automatically through the selected payment mode, so you don’t have to worry about losing the service.

However, auto renewal may also leave you stuck with your provider. Assuming you’re not entirely satisfied with your current provider’s service or deals, or you’ve found a better option, you just might forget auto renew is turned on. This would result in your prepaid plan being renewed even though you don’t want it anymore. This can be the case where you’re not even aware that your phone plan came with auto renew automatically turned on.

Thus, it’s wise to keep track of this feature, both for its benefits and drawbacks.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.