Vaya Plan Review & Comparison

  • All Australian Optus 3G+4G reseller
  • 'Beat any equivalent plan' marketing
  • Taken over by Amaysim
  • Customer service much improved since take-over
  • Superfast 4G Plus is also available through Vaya

Top Vaya Plans

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Which competitors should you consider?

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Common questions about Vaya

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, 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 whichever phone companies you are moving between 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,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’.

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 get through 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.

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 Review - Should you go with them?

What's good

  • 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

What's bad

  • Customer Service used to be questionable
  • Still some weird charges - e.g $30 to leave unless you port
  • 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 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.

 

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 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.

Any current Vaya review has to show the enormous reduction in complaints about the company which has occurred since Amaysim took them over.

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 GB for data on top of the data included in Vaya’s plans. It’s the way the industry deals with forecast 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.

This is why our Vaya review is now far more favorable about Vaya than it ever has been before. Amaysim, who now operate Vaya have some of the best customer satisfaction and lowest complaint levels in the industry.

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 / GB 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 :

  • They offer a price match guarantee :
    You can’t really offer a price match guarantee unless you know you’re pretty good. Unique in Australian telco, Vaya currently say openly that they will beat any like for like offer they find. We’ve tried to find plans cheaper than Vaya but we can’t. The fact they don’t include promotional pricing (i.e. if the deal you find is a special offer, they won’t match it) 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.
  • Fairer additional data :
    If you go over your data, you’ll get bumped up 1GB for $10.

Our Vaya review shows how the company covers every data usage requirement with their range of plans.

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 in to 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. Postpaid plans 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 required a renewal. 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.
  • 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 is can take 3-7 days through the standard Australia Post. Express is 1-2 days (same day in Melbourne and Sydney) and costs and additional $10.

Perhaps surprisingly, Vaya’s plan inclusions don’t have the same extras included as some of the other major postpaid plan providers. Notably missing is the ability to send International SMS from Vaya’s postpaid plan range. You will be charged extra for that.

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 a streamed audio or want to watch video 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 market for 3. Apps help you manage critical functions like 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, 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.
  • Weird plan costs :
    International SMS cost 40 cents each in Vaya’s plans. (You can read our dedicated article on Vaya International and romaing rates.

 

Why Vaya’s 12 month plan options make sense for around half of people

Why Vaya’s 12 month plan options make sense for around half of people

 

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 EPL in 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 pricing 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.

 

 

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 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. Mostl 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.

Vaya have improved the way they charge for data. It’s now much fairer, meaning the reviews you see online are outdated.

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, 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.

 

Sources :