When the SIM arrives, how do I activate my new Vaya service?
It’s extremely simple to activate your SIM when it arrives from Vaya. It’s also almost exactly the same process with whichever phone company you pick, and you’re best to do it online. Once you receive your SIM pack, go to Vaya’s website and simply click on “Activate” in the top right of the screen and follow the steps.
How long does it take to port my phone number from the phone company I’m with now, to Vaya?
Again, this is almost the same answer with whichever phone company you are moving to.
All the phone companies have access to a centralised porting database. They share it. When porting from another provider to Vaya, it may take as long as 3 business days to transfer the number. Most numbers are ported in far less time.
Vaya may need to get a hold of you to request further information if the port is rejected by your current mobile provider.
Typically, when I move, I expect less than 24 hours if I’m doing it on a working day. Although, as you would expect, no one can promise you that. The 3 business days is kind of a ‘worst case’ scenario.
How can I check my voice and data usage as I work through the month?
You can either contact Vaya at 1300 008 292 or access your online account. If you decide to do it online, just login and go to Vaya’s My Account facility. Obviously, you’ll need to know your account number and password.
Can I keep my current number if I move to Vaya?
Yes. Vaya can port (keep) your existing number from your current provider. You don’t have to do anything, either; just order the SIM and tell them you want to bring your number with you as part of the online purchase process. Vaya will take care of the porting bit for you. Once your service with Vaya is activated, you are automatically terminated from your previous provider.
Can I tether using Vaya?
Yes. All plans can use tethering, granted you have a compatible handset. If you’re tethering, you might like to consider extra data for your plan. Laptops and tablets use a lot of data.
What are Vaya’s International Rates like?
If you’re looking for a phone plan with good International Calling rates (i.e. affordable ways to call overseas from Australia) then check out our dedicated page for phone plans with International Calls, or our article on Vaya’s International Rates.
We also have a related article which compares international rates from key Vaya competitors.
Can I get a handset with my plan?
Not from Vaya. Vaya only offer SIM Only plans. There are an increasing range of places to get a handset and we’re sure you know what they are. The major phone companies, eBay, family member hand-me-down, or overseas from Kogan, for example.
How will my data usage be billed?
Your data usage is calculated in kilobyte (KB) packets on all of Vaya’s Plans. Check the data rates for the plan you want by going to the Vaya website.
How can I pay my bill?
All of Vaya’s plans are direct debit mandatory. They can arrange your monthly payment to be paid through your bank of choice or a credit card, if you prefer, automatically. If you want to pay your bill in person, you can do that as well through Australia Post for a $2.75 fee. Paper billings incur an additional $2.50.
Vaya also offer payment options through Bpay for a $1 fee. Paying over the phone with your credit card or is free. There’s a $15 late payment fee in all instances.
Am I able to change my plan once I’ve connected?
You can change up or down plans in any month.
Can I manage my service features on my own online?
Yes. You are able to enable and disable voicemail, outgoing calls, roaming, SMS and, importantly, you can keep an eye on your usage.
However, while these can be performed online, there’s no self-service app.
- Much improved customer service
- Vaya are an Optus network reseler
- They've got a broad range of SIM Only plans
- They're an Australian company
- You can keep your number if you go with them
- Customer Service used to be questionable
- Careful on inclusions e.g. International SMS cost 40c
Vaya Mobile Review – Updated – Should you go with them ?
Vaya are an MVNO – or smaller phone company – which has been around for a while now. Their focus is on value-based plans and lower spend levels. They have options as low as $16 in their range.
Vaya use the Optus 3G + 4G network ( all of it, including ‘Optus Plus’ – explained below ).
They’ve had some questionable policies in the past – especially when it comes to charging customers unexpected fees. That’s given them a bad reputation online as far as reviews are concerned. However, Vaya were acquired by Amaysim in January of 2016, and under their guidance, their customer service and support have improved a great deal. Since this may be the key issue on your mind – the question to resolve before you sign up to Vaya – let’s start with how the way they treat their customers has improved since Amaysim took over.
This Month’s Hot Offers
The key point, Complaints about Vaya have reduced enormously
The TIO is the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. It’s the bottom line for complaints about phone companies. Things have to be pretty bad before a customer takes it to the regulator. A few years ago, Vaya had one of the highest complaint rates in the industry. After the major phone companies – Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone – Vaya, with its much lower customer numbers, had the highest number of complaints.
The problems people were facing related mostly to unusual charges – for data that they used outside their plan and funny SIM fees. Our review at the time called those out.
Source : WhatPhone analysis / TIO
Complaints to the TIO – The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman – have decreased enormously since Amaysim took Vaya over. Older, bad reviews you’ll find online about customer service are no longer wholly relevant.
As you can see, since Amaysim took Vaya over a couple of years ago, they’ve fixed many of the issues which caused the problems. The major improvement is a charge of $10 per 1 GB of data in addition to the data already included in Vaya’s plans. It’s the way the industry deals with forecasted data needs Things are liable to keep getting better. We’ve included (below) a table which shows complaint measures from the same source (the TIO) relating to Amaysim, who now own and run Vaya.
Source : WhatPhone analysis / TIO
Under Amaysim’s stewardship, Vaya’s customer satisfaction has improved enormously.
In short, when you read online reviews of Vaya, bear this in mind: The complaints they received in the past do not reflect their current performance.
Reviewing Vaya on other components of their plans and service
Vaya used to be the company we recommended most frequently for phone plan buyers. However, unfortunately, Vaya stumbled and then fell. As we’ve covered, they suffered a lot of complaints and we had to stop saying they were a good bet.
Amaysim took them over at the start of 2016. In the months that followed, Vaya (a Brisbane based telco) added an Unlimited range, no doubt informed by insights from the Amaysim side of the office. As well as their $10 / 1GB charging, Vaya have also moved from MB to per Kb charging – another fairer improvement. Finally, they no longer charge for basic SIM delivery – although you can pay more to get it delivered quickly, which is actually a nice feature others should emulate.
Now, with Amaysim’s help, Vaya are a postpaid SIM only provider with a reputation for value. Let’s take a look at the details of their plans.
What we love about Vaya’s Plans
They have Some of the best data pricing around :
- Fairer additional data :
If you go over your data, you’ll get bumped up 1GB for $10.
Source : WhatPhone analysis and a recent survey on Australian Data usage
Our Vaya review shows that, whatever your data requirement, Vaya’s price match guarantee means you’ll get it cheapest for them. Remember to consider their contract options, too. ( See below.)
- Vaya use the Optus 3G and 4G network :
The Optus network covers 98.50% of the Australian population with their network. That’s nearly 1.2 . If you choose Vaya, you’ll be getting the benefit of all that network for less than you’d pay if you went to Optus direct. Optus do offer some value add content, however, so this is not a like-for-like comparison.
- Vaya’s plans are SIM Only plans :
SIM Only is not just a significant and increasing proportion of Australian sales, it is often the most sensible way to go about getting your phone. If you already have a phone you love, keeping it and moving to a SIM Only arrangement gets you fantastic rates for the calls you make.
- No contracts :
With Vaya, you get flexibility. Agreements on the plans we’ve shown on this page are month-to-month. That means that if you see a better deal with another phone company, you can quickly take it up. You are not tied into a contract and obliged to pay the higher service fees for its duration.
- You can keep your number :
As always, whatever phone company you go to, you will be able to keep your existing phone number.
- Postpaid plans offer slightly better value than prepaid from a term point of view :
Not clear on the difference between prepaid and postpaid ? Read our article on prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month. As the market moves increasingly to a standard recharge window / validity period of 28 days, postpaid plans have one clear advantage – they renew on the same day of each calendar month. That means for your fee your plan will be valid for 30 or 31 days. For an equivalent spend in prepaid, you’d get (with most providers) 28 days before the service requires a renewal. Being with a postpaid provider does mean you also need a credit check to be able to get the service, however – which can be difficult if you’re under 18.
- Free delivery :
Vaya offer a same-day delivery service. Providing their customers the chance to pay more for express delivery is a nice touch other telcos should follow. Standard delivery can take 3-7 days through the standard Australia Post. Express is 1-2 days (same day in Melbourne and Sydney) and costs an additional $10.
Source : WhatPhone analysis
Vaya’s postpaid plan range does not include International SMS and MMS. Other postpaid options do.
Notes on the above chart :
Belong Mobile offer a $5 national bolt-on for voice services. Plan details shown include that addition to make this a fair comparison.
Features we’re not so mad about in Vaya’s plans / service
- No content :
Optus, Telstra and OVO Mobile all offer content as part of their plans. Vaya don’t. For most people, content is a nice to have additional feature. However, if you have streamed audio or want to watch videos on your phone, you might like to consider a plan from one of those companies.
- They don’t have an app :
It’s one thing to have a reputation for customer service which is not up to scratch. It’s quite another not to have the facilities customers need to be able to service themselves. Having a customer service app is table stakes these days for phone companies. Bad versions of self-service apps have been around 5 years or more. Good apps have been in the market for 3. Apps help you manage critical functions such as how much data you are using. Vaya do have a self-service online portal, as all the phone companies now do. They should also release an app.
- They only do postpaid :
Vaya only offer postpaid plans. Their big brother company, Amaysim, provide both prepaid and postpaid options for each of their plans. Having the choice is clearly preferable, especially since, as we’ve seen, some data overage charges still apply – which is easier to manage on a prepaid service.
- Vaya still have some unusual fees :
Phone companies sometimes lack transparency over their pricing. Unusually for Vaya, a company which has received so much criticism over it’s charging methodologies, they still have a few costs which jump out at me as strange. They’ll charge you a $15 dishonor fee if your payment to them bounces. There’s another $15 if you pay them late. An additional $5 is charged for changing plans. These are unusual charges.
- Weird plan costs :
International SMS cost 25 cents each in Vaya’s plans. ( You can read our dedicated article on Vaya International and romaing rates. )
Which rivals / competitors to Vaya should you consider
Looking at it, there is an almost overwhelming range of Optus MVNOs / network resellers. At a high level, we usually focus on ( what are, in our view, the best ) 4 and segment them like this.
- Like content / entertainment ? Go OVO / Optus / Telstra :
If content like Drag Racing or Australian Gymnastics is important to you, then consider OVO Mobile. Even the mothership, Optus, has made some very public investments in EPL (the English Premier League) content. Telstra, too, offer a suite of sports content free to their users. Content in phone plans isn’t for everyone, but if you want to watch video on your phone or stream music, Vaya might not be right for you.
- Options on the Telstra Mobile Network :
We also recommend that you consider Boost Mobile for prepaid plans on the Telstra network and Belong Mobile for postpaid plans on the same network.
- Options on the Vodafone network :
Kogan Mobile offer prices almost as good as Vaya and use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network. Lebara also use the Vodafone network and have the best pricing we’ve found for international calls.
Vaya’s data only plans
Vaya, like many phone companies, now offer substantial data bundles for use as mobile broadband services. (link to mobile data survey.) With the problems associated with the NBN (long waits for install, slow speeds), Vaya provide a burgeoning alternative to a fixed connection.
Vaya’s data only plans start with smaller bundles designed to be used in tablets, and rise to bundles more than 70GB of data which have a host of uses from keeping the kids entertained in the car to acting as an alternative to a fixed NBN connection.
This Month’s Hot Offers
Reviewing Vaya – summing up
They’ve been around for some time and the market has changed since they were established. It’s of little relevance to today’s shopper, but Vaya had 4G data services long before their rivals. Vaya was reselling Optus’ 4G network before Amaysim, the company which is now their big brother ( and, apparently, trusted adviser ).
To a degree, this level of range among Optus resellers is useful. As Optus move to more value adds like the English Premier League EPL in its plans, having MVNOs which provide the basics of what people really want from their phone companies – voice, SMS, and data – becomes more important. Most importantly for you, Vaya can now be trusted not to overcharge you. Amaysim have steered them in the right direction. Vaya are now offering fairer plans and that’s’ definitely something people want.
Our survey shows that the way Vaya have improved their plans is just right. People want and expect their data pricing to be fair.
Postpaid plans are not right for everyone – but they’re all Vaya sells. With such a range of options just on the Optus network ( of both prepaid and postpaid ) and quality alternatives like Boost, Lebara, and CMobile on other networks, Vaya have their work cut out for them. Add in such a troubled brand and the strength, recognition, and recall in the Amaysim brand and the question might be: Why keep the Vaya brand at all ?
With all that said, Vaya’s plans are the cheapest. And if anyone can turn the Vaya brand around, Amaysim can. You can already see the benefits of Amaysims involvement in what Vaya sell. The unusual fees and service aspects that typical customers experienced as a ‘rip off’ have been largely removed ( although some weird ones still exist ). We will keep an eye on the customer service aspects of this company and keep the article updated. We hope we see an improvement.
- TIO statistics were taken from their quarterly complaint report.
- Some facts from Vaya’s CIS.
- Full details on the whatphone survey referenced in this article are available here.