Coles Prepaid Mobile Plan
Review and Comparison

  • Well known, reliable brand = safe
  • Easy to recharge when visiting store
  • Best value in market at $20 (for 2GB)
  • Coles use the Optus 3G & 4G Plus networks
  • Also consider OVO and Amaysim for Optus 4G

Top Coles Prepaid Plans

Which competitors should you consider?

What's good

  • Unique $10 for 10 day plan
  • Better value than ALDImobile at key prices
  • Well known brand - reliable
  • Recharging is easy - tie in with weekly shop
  • Great coverage with the Optus 4G PLUS network

What's bad

  • There are lots of Optus resellers
  • No entertainment options
  • Unused data does not rollover
  • No self service app
  • Customer service based in the Philippines

Independent Coles Prepaid Plan Review – Should You Go With Them ?

We recommend Coles for $20 monthly spend levels and $10, 10 day recharges, especially if you are a Coles shopper who visits the store regularly, students, females aged 30-59, Tourists and mums / kids.

 

Coles – Another Supermarket Phone Company – Great for $20 Monthly spends

 

Introducing Coles – 60 second summary

Coles the supermarket has joined Woolworths and ALDImobile in providing mobile phone services. Here’s what we think in a nutshell.

  • We recommend Coles for $20 monthly spend levels and $10, 10 day recharges, especially if you are a Coles shopper who visits the store regularly. Additionally, Coles will fit for students, females aged 30-59, Tourists and mums / kids.
  • Coles $20 is about the best data inclusion you’ll get in any prepaid price plan for that monthly spend. We recommend a 2GB data allocation for average users at the moment.
  • As you will see from our infographics below, Coles outperforms the competition on the key price points they have in market.
  • Coles uses the Optus 4G Network. ALDImobile and Woolworths use a proportion of the Telstra Mobile network. In actual population coverage terms, there is very little difference between the networks that Coles, ALDImobile and Woolworths sell.
  • In fact, it’s hard to overstate how close to Optus’ prepaid service Coles’ is : Essentially, Coles’ entire prepaid offering is just Optus’ prepaid network and customer service painted red.

 

Getting the basics right about Coles’ Mobile offer

Coles Prepaid has actually been around for a while now. The plans they have in market are their second iteration. As a phone company, Coles don’t own the network, they resell the Optus 3G and 4G network and their intention is quite clear. Coles have a huge number of value conscious shoppers come through their doors each week. Understandably, they want to use those visitors and their loyalty to secure more of what’s in their wallet. As a result and following a president set by some supermarkets in the UK, notably, Tesco, Coles have joined Australia’s two other major grocers in selling prepaid phone plans. That could be a smart move since we think that 2017 will be the year of prepaid.

 

Coles Prepaid Plans

 

Unlike other grocery prepaid phone plan, however, Coles is doing things a little differently. The primary unique selling point for Coles’ plans is the recharging frequency on their low end plan and the data inclusion on their mid tier plan.

There are a number of ways you can go about being a phone company. Coles have chosen the easiest. Coles prepaid is essentially just Optus painted a different colour. Everything from the packaging on the SIM, to the customer support you’ll get it exactly the same as Optus. To be clear on what this means – we bought and tested a service when reviewing Coles as we do for all of our plans and partners. Coles support is based in the Philippines. When you call Coles’ Customer Service, you are put through to an Optus customer service representative !

 

Great stuff about Coles Mobile Plans

Coles is a brand you can trust which is important buying any product. It’s especially important when you’re buying a SIM and you don’t want to risk losing service. All of Coles plans come with Unlimited Talk and Text. We also think Coles plans are good because :

  • They have a 10 day plan :
    Coles’ entry level 10 day expiry plan is unique in Australia at the moment. A 10 day renewal period ties in with the visits many families to the supermarket.
  • 2GB of data @ $20 for a 28 day plan :
    Average usage is in the region of 2GB of 4G data. That should provides sufficient data for an average user over the period.
  • Retail presence :
    A lot of having a prepaid service revolved around the convenience of recharging. Postpaid services (effectively) ‘recharge themselves.’ If you’re using a prepaid service, you need to be able to recharge easily or you’ll be without service for a while and no one likes that. You’re never far from a Coles.
  • $5 for more data :
    One of our concerns about being charged $10 for an extra GB of data when you run out ( the current industry standard ) is that you can have the extra added just before the end of the month and waste a lot of it. Coles charge you $5 for 500 MB, a different way of expressing the industry standard of $10 which is less likely to sting you in this way. It’s fairer.
  • Options on International Minutes :
    Only Coles’ $40 plan has International Minutes included. On lower end plans you can add them if and when you need them. This is likely to lead to less wastage.
  • Great 4G network :
    As you’ll see from the infographic below. Coles are using a network which is equivalent to the other grocer alternatives.
  • It’s basically Optus :
    You’re getting the best of both Coles and Optus, in many ways. You can recharge conveniently ( even receiving FlyBuys 1 point per $ spent ) if you do. But you get the Optus coverage and experienced customer support if you contact them remotely.

 

Stuff that’s not so great about Coles Mobile Plans

  • Crowded Optus resellers :
    There are a lot of companies selling Optus’ network with their own price plans already. Coles need something special to stand out.
  • Won’t get entertainment :
    Entertainment options are now a part of many phone plans. If these or other value added services are important to you, Coles is not the provider you need.

 

Comparing Coles’ Network Coverage with the alternatives

The biggest question most people will have when comparing Coles and the alternatives from high street retailers is around network coverage. As we’ve said, Coles use the Optus 3G and 4G network. ALDImobile and Woolworths both use the Telstra Mobile Network, now with 4G. If that was all you needed to know, it would probably be quite clear. But that’s not all you need to know.

The Australian Optus 4G network offers great coverage and connections to 95.9% of the Australian population at last count. From a landmass perspective, the Optus network provides coverage over a surface area of more than 1.2 million kilometers of land.

The key thing you need to understand when comparing these plans is that ALDImobile and Woolworths do not use the entire Telstra network. They use a portion of it. The coverage footprint is similar to the more than 1 million square Kilometers that Optus have.

You can see from the population coverage chart here that there are only 2-3% of people who will benefit from coverage under the ALDImobile plan. Unless you live in the most remote 2-3 % of the population, then, the chances are, Coles is just as good.

 

3G Network Population4G network population

 

Comparing Coles and ALDImobile

ALDImobile are one of the biggest small phone companies ( if that makes sense ) in Australia and have shown real growth over the last couple of years. And, on their bottom 2 price points, Coles beat them hands down.

ALDImobile M $15
vs Coles Prepaid $10

30 days vs 10 days credit expiry

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month

    $15.00

  • Voice

    $25 of credit for calls and unlimited standard SMS in Oz

  • Data

    500 MB

Coles Prepaid use the Optus network!

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month

    $15.00

  • Voice

    $25 of credit for calls and unlimited standard SMS in Oz

  • Data

    500 MB

Coles Prepaid use the Optus network!

 

ALDImobile M $20
vs Coles Prepaid $20

Prepaid month to month

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month

    $20.00

  • Voice

    750 minutes of calls

  • Data

    1.5 GB data

Coles Prepaid use the Optus network!

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month

    $20.00

  • Voice

    750 minutes of calls

  • Data

    1.5 GB data

Coles Prepaid use the Optus network!

 

Coles Customer Service

Coles prepaid services do not come with an app ( yet? ) That’s a negative in today’s day and age. You can still check your balance using SMS codes. For example, texting 9999 will return you a menu and you can interact with it to establish how much data you’ve used. This is the way phone companies have been servicing prepaid customers for 20 years. You can also call them.

Activation messages for your service come from Optus. The Customer Information Statement, (which is a summary of all the call charges you’ll get with your plan and a legal requirement for your phone company to provide ), is housed on an Optus web page. Coles’ customer service really is a thin veneer over Optus’ existing infrastructure.

That said, the customer service we received from a Filipino team was perfectly good. There were no communication problems, the staff were friendly, efficient, and, importantly, knew they were dealing with a ‘Coles customer.’

 

In Conclusion – Coles add real value and alternatives in a complex market

Once you’re In the world of smaller phone companies, things become extremely competitive very quickly. There are already a lot of phone companies which resell the Optus 3G and 4G network. Amaysim, Vaya, Bendigo Bank, OVO Mobile and so on.

Coles Mobile prepaid plans, adds noise, a bit of heat and a small amount of incremental choice to the current deals on the market. But they do offer a couple of unique elements. A 10 day recharge will suit shopping mums. A $20 plan with unlimited voice and SMS and enough data for an average user is market leading. These inclusions are all the more impressive when you consider the quality of the offering. By essentially repainting the Optus facilities they want, Coles offers customers a doubly whammy. They blend the convenience of a retail recharge using the high street branding we know and trust of Coles – and get the experienced telco customer service and coverage of Optus. It’s a clever combination and it ties in well with Coles’ reputation for affordability.

Naturally Coles Mobile have chosen to address the niche they know most about : Retail shoppers. They’ve also addressed the elephant in the room and taken themselves head to head with ALDImobile. Overall, the plans are worthwhile. If you meet the specification of the recommended buyer, get stuck in.