When the SIM arrives, how do I activate my new Vaya service?
It’s dead simple. It’s also almost exactly the same process, whoever 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 the pink button in the top right of the screen : It says “Activate”. Then, the connection of your new number or Vaya number will be initiated.
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 whoever you go to. There is a centralised porting database to which all the phone companies have access. 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 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’.
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 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 get through a lot of data.
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.
Vaya also offer payment options through Bpay for a $1 fee. Paying over the phone with your credit card or through the, it’s free.
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.
- 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 can be slow and has a bad rep
- Still some weird charges - e.g $30 to leave unless you port
- Careful on inclusions e.g. International SMS cost 40c
Vaya offer some of the best value in the Australian market. Unfortunately, the company suffers from a reputation for poor historic service levels. They do make sense for some, as we cover in this article. And if anyone can turn them around, it’s Amaysim – who took them over earlier this year.
Vaya Mobile Review – Updated – Should you go with them ?
- Vaya are an MVNO – or smaller phone company – which have been around for a while now.
- They focus on low spend plans and have options as low as $18 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 funky fees. That’s given them a bad rep online as far as reviews are concerned.
- However, Vaya were acquired by Amaysim in January 2016 so we expect rapid improvement.
- Choose Vaya if you want a good deal, you’re spending less than $25, the Optus network is OK in your region and if you never have to call your phone company for help.
Vaya Mobile Review – Version 3
We don’t often do that – call out the version of the review we’re doing for our Vaya review. This time, the version number is significant. They used to be the company we recommended most frequently. However, unfortunately, Vaya stumbled and then fell. Comments about their customer service turned in to some of the worst in the industry. They developed a reputation for unfair fees and for customer service staff being rude if you had the temerity to call them and complain about them. We had to stop recommending them.
Amaysim took them over at the start of 2016. In the months that followed, the Brisbane based telco has added an Unlimited range, no doubt informed by insights from the Amaysim side of the market. Now, instead of insane out of bundle data charging, ( which was also a problem ) you will get charged $10 for going over which is all but the industry norm. They’ve moved from MB to per Kb charging, another, fairer improvement. 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 see the details of their plans.
What we love about Vaya’s Plans
- They have Some of the best pricing around :
You can’t really offer a price match guarantee unless you know you’re pretty good.
- Fairer additional data :
If you go over your data, you’ll get bunped up 1GB for $10.
- They have a price match guarantee :
Unique in Australian telco, Vaya currently offer a price match guarantee. Find a better deal on any network and they will not only match it but give you a free month. We’ve tried to find plans cheaper than Vaya but we can’t. The fact they don’t include promotional pricing in their consideration set does devalue the offer they make. You will have to make sure that when you buy or renew your service you are comparing all the promotional deals in market yourself. But, to be fair to them, when you’re comparing headline rates ( without promotional periods included ), Vaya come out on top.
- Vaya use 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 much, much less than you’d pay if you went to Optus direct. Vaya are an MVNO – that’s a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. They resell Optus’ network services.
- Vaya’s service includes 4G data :
Not all MVNOs sell 4G data services. Some are 3G. And remember with smaller phone companies lie Vaya which resell the Optus 4G network, you get the entire Optus 4G network. Optus’ 4G network currently covers 96.1% of the Australian population .
- Vaya’s plans are SIM Only plans :
SIM Only is not just a significant and increasing proportion of Australian sales, it I 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 a 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 in to a contract and obliged to pay the higher service fees for its duration.
- Vaya is an Australian company :
As usual, customer service will be delivered from overseas but when you buy with Vaya, you’re buying Australian.
- On site chat :
We always try to anticipate and answer any questions you might have in our articles. However, Vaya’s online chat facility is a great way to get any piece of information which is specific to you, answered.
- You can keep your number :
As always, whatever phone company you go to, you will be able to keep your existing phone number. to Transfers can be almost immediate or take up to 3 days in our experience.
- Postpaid plans :
As the market moves increasingly to a standard recharge window / validity period of 28 days, postpaid plans have one clear advantage. Postpaid plans renew on the same day of each calendar month. That means for your fee ( Vaya’s start at $18 per month ) you’ll get 30 or 31 days. For an equivalent spend in prepaid, you’d get 28 days. Being a postpaid provider does mean you also need a credit check to be able to get the service – which can be difficult if you’re under 18. Prepaid plans offer more manageability when it comes to containing your cost. At a principal level, the most the phone company can charge you is the amount you recharged. That’s not the case with postpaid. In some ways, selling postpaid services is at odds with the super high value proposition Vaya have in market. Not clear on the difference between prepaid and postpaid ? Read our article on prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month.
- Free delivery :
With an option to pay more for express delivery is a nice touch other telcos should follow. Standard delivery is offered at 3-7 days through the standard Australia Post. Express is 1-2 days and costs and additional $10. Providing this choice is great and a feature other operators should offer.
- Pretty good online buying experience :
Their checkout and flow is perfectly adequate and on a par with competitors. They asked me how I’d heard about them in the middle of the checkout which is a bizarre question to distract with but it’s their choice. The site was a bit slow to load but they don’t own the internet s we can’t put all of that at their door. The pricing and charges were exceptionally clearly laid out and Vaya deserve credit for that given the criticism they’ve had for similar issues in the past.
Features we’re not so mad about in Vaya’s plans / service
- Their service is still not up to scratch :
We always go ahead and order a SIM from the companies we’re reviewing. You never have to go far on the internet to find a Troll. However the range of criticism that we’ve heard about service suggests there is something to it. I always order a SIM, trial it and test it from start to finish when I am reviewing a service from a phone company. I did that with Vaya. I called their call center to discuss the costs that would be associated with me ending the service. I found the staff polite and helpful. But we can’t ignore the level of feedback we’ve seen from people.
- 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. Bad versions have been around 5 years or more. Good apps have been in market for 3. Apps help you manage critical functions like how much data you are using.
- Alerts can be up to 48 hours late :
It’s a regulatory requirement and not restricted to Vaya but this is a stupid feature that does not. In this context, we mention it because Vaya don’t have an app which makes it harder to manage your data usage – meaning these alerts are even more important for you.
- 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 :
Unusually for a company which has received so much criticism over it’s charging methodologies, Vaya sill have a few costs which jump out at me as strange. They’ll charge you a $10 dishonor fee if your payment to them bounces. There’s another $10 if you pay them late. It’s $30 to disconnect your service from them – you can avoid this if you port the number to another telco but it’s still extremely unusual. I am not aware of a single other phone company which does it.
- Some unusual plan charges :
International SMS cost 40 cents each in Vaya’s plans. There are plans out there, including those from CMobile which include unlimited international SMS in their unlimited plans.
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 ? Go OVO / Optus :
If content like V8 supercars or Australian Gymnastics is important to you then consider OVO Mobile. Even the mothership, Optus has made some very public investments EPL in content.
- Unusual plan requirements ? Yomojo :
If you have unusual requirements – like a plan with 100 minutes of voice but lots of data then chose Yomojo.
- Vaya and Amaysim are two brands run by the same company :
Focus on Vaya for the lower end spends and Amaysim for more expensive plans with bigger data bundles.
- We also recommend that you consider Boost Mobile :
For access to the Telstra Mobile Network, now with 4G. Boost have a simple range of plans with the largest data allowances – they cleverly include extra data on the weekend.
Reviewing Vaya – summing up
Vaya is a credible phone company. They’ve been around for some time. 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. )
What’s happened in the meantime – since the bad old days of Vaya and the Amaysim take over – is that the market has changed. A number of independent market research companies have suggested that the Vodafone network has overtaken Optus’ for footprint and coverage on 4G. Vodafone’s 4G network now covers 95.3% of the population. Compare that to Optus’ 4G network which covers 96.1% of the Australian population .
The starting point for an analysis of Vaya’s plans is therefore a bit harder. Right off the bat, they have more 4G competitors on their own network and a stronger rival with more competitive price points in Vodafone.
There is no doubt, Vaya service a niche. They’re a postpaid SIM Only provider with some of the best low end pricing in market. The truth is the Optus MVNO range is not as confusing as it first appears. Remove the content led offers out of market, pick Yomojo if you’ve got an unusual requirement : You’re left with Vaya and Amaysim – and Amaysim own Vaya so their pricing is deliberately aligned.
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 it’s plans having MVNOs which provide the basics of what people really want from their phone companies – voice, SMS and data – becomes more important.
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, 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. We will keep an eye on the customer service aspects of this company and keep the article updated. We hope we see an improvement.
Vaya Australia – What you need to know
What's better than Vaya if you make one call a day ?
For each usage type, below, we offer you details of the Vaya plan, the plan which, in our opinion, is better value and our reasoning for the statements we’ve made. If you :
Make one call per day :
Remember, with this plan, you can still receive as many calls per day as you like, for free. For those who make around one standard 2 minute call per month and don’t use much data, we recommend Amaysim’s PAYG plan. One ( standard 2 minute ) call per day will add up to $7.20 per month.
Why is this better value than Vaya ?
Vaya’s cheapest plan starts at $16 per month.
What's better than Vaya if you ( want to ) spend about $20 per month
We recommend Amaysim’s $19.90 plan. You’ll be able to make 3 or 4 calls per day – which is approximately average usage. You will also get 500 MB of 3G data to use each month. Amaysim’s SIMs are delivered free of charge. If you live in certain Australian metro areas, they’ll have your new SIM to you within If you decide you want to change plans, you can move up or down without charge.
Why is this better value than Vaya ?
Vaya typically charge $20 for delivery of the SIM ( with Amaysim it’s free. ) Vaya also charge $11 to move up or down plans. Finally, Vaya will NOT get you your SIM within 3 hours of your request !
What's better than Vaya if you want a 4G plan ?
Need a 4G plan:
For those who have one of the latest 4G phones such as an iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5, we would recommend Bendigo over Vaya. Bendigo use the Optus 4G network which is just the same as Vaya.
Why is this better value than Vaya ?
Vaya charge per MB for their data inclusion, have some odd charges around delivery ( $20 ) and moving plans ( $11 each time. ) Their customer service can also be slow. We have more details on the pros and cons of Vaya, below with some alternatives for you to consider.
One in six Aussies choose smaller phone companies like Vaya, Amaysim or Bendigo
2014 research by Canstar shows that around one in 6 Australians are choosing mobile virtual mobile operators like Amaysim. Vaya or Bendigo for their price plan needs. The typical customer choosing this sort of smaller phone company is highly engaged with their phone, uses a modern ‘smartphone’ and wants the best deal without being tied in to contracts with one of the major phone companies.
Mobile virtual mobile operators are wireless companies that don’t own their own network, but rent it from Telstra, Optus, or Vodafone. In other words, they are resellers. What this means to you is that you get better value plans at a reduced price and still get to use the main networks. In the case of Vaya, Amaysim and Bendigo they all use the Optus network.
There are a number of places to get a SIM Only deal
SIM Only is now the fastest growing element of the Australian market for phone services. In the last year alone the proportion of people taking out SIM Only plans has doubled. For some phone companies, SIM Only now represents 40% of their sales.
If you’re in the market for a SIM Only service and you have usage which is anywhere near the Australian norm, and considering Vaya, be aware that the Vaya service has ( in our opinion ) a number of good and a number of bad points. We’ve included a list of the good things about below and a couple of negative aspects of the plans to look out for. This way, you know what you’re getting in to and can form a reasonable view of whether this is the right plan for you.
What’s not so good about Vaya
- They charge for delivery :
Delivery of a SIM is essentially free to phone companies. Most SIMs are dispatched in an envelope and sent through the Australian Post. Vaya often charge $20 per SIM for delivery which can make their plans far less appealing than they might seem on the surface.
- Per MB charging :
Newer phone companies are aware of the benefits of offering good data rates to their customers. Vaya charge per MB. If all you do is open a 5 kB email on your phone, Vaya will knock 1MB ( 200 times the documents’ size ) from your allowance. In practical use this can have a reasonably substantial effect. We’ve had comments from visitors to the whatphone site that their data usage was double with Vaya what it had been elsewhere.
- Delivery can take up to 3 days :
These days, next day delivery for SIM Only services is standard in the industry. Some companies can get you your SIM to any metro area in 3 hours. This is a small irritation, not a giant black mark but we still believe Vaya can do better.
- Unusual fees for normal stuff :
Vaya have some unusual cost structures. It’ll costs you $11 to move plan, $10 to cover a late payment fee, $20 for replacement SIM provision – they also have relatively high international rates on the core plans. You’ll probably be used, as we are, to not paying fees this high for other phone companies. As always, we advise people to read the CIS – the Critical Information Summary which comes with Vaya’s plans so you’re sufficiently well informed and can.
- Customer Service can be slow :
We keep a Vaya SIM to ensure we’re aware of the quality of the service they offer. We much prefer to interact with Vaya online, through their online portal which has a lot of useful and relevant support information. Unfortunately, when we have called them, it’s occasionally been slow to get a response and there have been some language difficulties.
Got a 3G phone and want access to the Optus network ?
For people who talk a lot, we recommend Amaysim’s $44.90 plan.
The key advantage over the equivalent Vaya plan is data inclusion. For an approximately $45.00 spend, with Amaysim, you’ll get 5 GB of data. With Vaya, you’ll get only 3GB. And remember, Vaya charge by the MB which means you could use twice as much as if you choose a plan with per kB charging.
For people who rarely call others:
We recommend Amaysim’s PAYG plan. If you only make 1 call per day, you’ll get incredible value. This plan costs only $7.20 a month with one call per day.Vayas entry level plan is more than twice this much.
If you have an average usage level:
We recommend Amaysim’s $19.90 plan. You’ll be able to make 3 or 4 calls per day and you’ll get 500 MB of 3G data on the Optus network.
Extra Resources – Articles of use to Prepaid Users
- Prepaid plans now have streamed audio included in them :
You may not be aware of one of the biggest improvements to prepaid plans since they were originally devised. 2016 saw the release of prepaid plans which have streamed audio included in them. If you already have a Spotify, iTunes Music, Google Music or IHeartRadio account, then you might like to find out more about streamed audio in phone plans.
- Entertainment options are becoming common :
You may also have started hearing about the increasing inclusion of entertainment options in prepaid and SIM Only phone plans. We also examine Optus’ mobile phone plan Entertainment options, Telstra’s mobile phone plan Entertainment options and compare the two.
- Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month :
We’ve given a short explanation on this page but if you want more detail on the types of phone plans in Australia, this is it. In Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month, we explain and the best value alternatives you have and when it makes sense to use each type.
- Prepaid vs Postpaid –the simple trick to getting the best value :
The tier 1 telcos ( Optus Telstra and Vodafone ) all have both prepaid and postpaid plans. Sometimes they have both types of plan at the same price point.
- Does it make sense to buy a Phone myself and add a SIM ? :
It’s often even cheaper to buy your own phone and add a SIM ( including a prepaid SIM ) to it. We explain how to go Buying a phone outright and adding a SIM.
- Data Rollovers :
Considering a plan with data rollover in it ? We explain why they’re not the real solution to the real problem with prepaid plans.
And, remember, before you buy, read the CIS (that’s the Critical Information Summary–a clearly written definition of what is and is not included in the plans from these phone companies) before you buy. You need to be confident in the plan you choose yourself. You’ll find the CIS on the Vodafone website.
Compare all of our prepaid plans
If you need another network, you might like to check our Best Prepaid Plans Page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. ) A list of best value plans using the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.COMPARE THE BEST PREPAID PLANS
See all SIM Only plans
If you need another network, for example you’re after an unlimited plan with Telstra coverage, or you live in a city and you’re happy with Vodafone, you might like to check our SIM Only Comparison page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. )COMPARE ALL SIM ONLY PLANS