Can I keep my existing phone number if I move over to Woolworths ?
Yes you can. This comes up a lot so we’ve written an article about it.
The process is simple (it’s called porting and usually only takes a few hours.) There’s nothing for you to do. Just go ahead and buy the SIM. When you’re filling out the form online, they’ll ask you if you want to bring your number with you. If you say yes, they’ll transfer it for you.
What is the ‘1000GB Data Bank’?
A data bank is, in our view, the fairest way to treat data in a phone plan. With a data bank, whatever data you get in your phone plan stays with you for good. It doesn’t expire at the end of the month, as most of us are used to.
If you have a plan from Woolworths and you get 25GB to use that month, but you use only 15GB of it during the period, the remaining 10 GB is ‘banked’ and rolled over to the next month as long as you recharge before expiry. It’s added to your starting data balance at the beginning of the new month, up to 100GB of data.
Banking data is a new feature that not many phone companies offer. It’s a great feature and a good reason to get a plan from Woolworths.
What is a CIS and why should I read it.
The CIS is something that all phone companies, including Woolworths, have to deal with. It’s effectively a simple version of your contract with your phone company (in this case Woolies.)
It is WELL WORTH reading the CIS for your plan. It will take you about as long as it takes you to read a menu in a restaurant and it will tell you everything about your plan – for example, it answers the ‘how is data charged’ question above.
How is data charged for on the Woolworths 12 month plans?
Any data ‘session’ ( that’s any single or multiple sets of data transfer ) will be measured in 1 kB increments on your Woolworths postpaid SIM Only plan.
The market (including Woolworths) has moved to charging in the minimum possible 1kB increments, which is as fair as you’ll get. In the past, some plans, especially those with substantial data inclusions, charged per MB. Anecdotally, we’ve found that the data inclusions in those sorts of plans seem to disappear more quickly than others who charge per kB.
Which competitors should I consider when I am looking at Woolworths offers ?
If you’re after coverage, Boost Mobile are the only phone company which resell the whole, entire Telstra network. Belong Mobile offers a fair chunk of the Telstra network – with a coverage footprint much like Woolworths.
You can see all of our partners and all of their SIM plans on all 3 networks on our SIM Only page.
What’s the difference between prepaid and postpaid phone plans ? (Woolies offer both.)
The distinction is actually pretty subtle in many ways. You can find out in our article which one suits you best.
The difference between these plans boils down to when you have to pay for them. With prepaid plans, you pay before you use – like a cinema ticket. With a postpaid plan, you’ll get a bill at the end of the month and you become liable to pay it at that time. Prepaid plans are generally a bit easier to get because, unlike postpaid plans, customers don’t have to pass a credit check to get one.
Woolworths sells both prepaid and postpaid SIMs. We have covered the postpaid plans in their range, below.
- Strong brand presence and recall
- Use part of the Telstra Mobile Netowrk
- Now with better data management features
- Unusual, inflexible 12 month plans
- Woolworths don't use the full Telstra network
- Boost and Belong offer better value
- Boost Mobile use the full Telstra network
Woolworths is a household name. It’s trusted by families all over Australia and has an enormous distribution footprint in the country. They have operated a phone company for several years now, under their umbrella Woolworths brand. Originally, Woolworths resold access to the Optus network. Later, they changed their affiliation from offering Optus network access to buddying up with Telstra and reselling part of their 3G + 4G network.
- Woolworths offer Prepaid SIMs for purchase through their high street stores / online portal.
- Woolworths also have a limited device (phone) range which they offer under 24 or 36 month contracts to customers.
- If you take one of those, you can go with a month-to-month plan with a minimum term of 1 month.
- If you want to use your own phone, you’ll need to take a SIM Only plan.
- Woolworth’s most popular plans are their 12 month SIM Only plans
- Those 12 month SIM Only plans are what we cover in this article.
This Month’s Hot Offers
- Do you need strong rural Australian coverage ?
Woolworths prepaid mobile recharge uses parts of the Telstra 3G + 4G network which offers strong coverage in and outside of city areas. Woolworths claim more than 23m Australians fall under their coverage footprint, which gives them a square Km footprint of about the same size as Optus. One alternative to consider if you want access to the full Telstra network, but don’t want to pay Telstra prices, is Boost Mobile.
- Do you shop at Woolworths ? :
A major component of the Woolworths proposition is the convenience they offer when it comes to purchasing a recharge. If you already go into a Woolworths store once or twice a week, picking up a voucher recharge might be so simple that it’s worth paying slightly more with Woolworths, even for the $45 recharge. Woolworths also offer Double Rewards points to customers with a card, who take a Woolworths phone plan.
- Do you wish you could keep your data?
Our own WhatPhone survey results show just how important it is to Australians to feel that their phone company is treating them fairly. Woolworths now offer a Data Bank facility which we think is the fairest way a phone company can offer data to their customers. The only 2 other phone companies you’ll get this facility from are Telstra and Belong Mobile.
Woolworths are using the standard MVNO phraseology as their network description. Woolworths use ‘part of Telstra’s 4G and 3G mobile network’ for their mobile customers. This Telstra network covers 99% of the Australian population. That’s 2.5m square Km . The 4G network you get access to is designed to mimic the 4G coverage Optus and Vodafone have in place. To give you some idea of the comparison, Woolworths/Telstra 4G access covers 94% of the Australian population. Compare that to Optus’ 4G coverage at 98.5% of the Australian population . Following their substantial network improvements, Vodafone’s national 4G network now covers 96% of the population.
You can check Woolworths coverage out on their site.
And if you’d like more information on Australian network coverage, you can read our article.
Before we get into it, here are some of the basic questions and answers visitors have concerning Woolworths phone service. These are standard service elements and not unique to Woolworths.
- Regular promotions :
Woolworths undertake regular promotions. Watch out for them. Without them, Woolworths’ plans, frankly, struggle to stand out in such a cluttered Australian telco market. With a good bonus data offer sometimes, Woolworths’ plans can be a good buy.
- Zero bill shock feature:
We’ve already commented on the ‘fairness’ of Woolworths’ ‘Data Bank’ facility. Woolies also offer a ‘zero bill shock’ feature – the ability to set a ‘hard stop’ at your data limit. Postpaid plans like this are convenient, but users also need to be aware that many charges can be applied to their account for non-core service fees. Examples include International Calls and extra data. Woolworths offers you the chance to have your data service stop when it gets to your plan inclusion limit. (So, for example, if your plan have 5GB of data built in, your mobile data stops when you get to that 5GB limit. This means you can avoid the $10/GB fees that 28% of Australians pay.)
- Standard SIM Only inclusions :
Woolworths prepaid mobile recharge include unlimited voice and SMS.
- Cover all types of SIM card :
Whether you need a Nano or a standard SIM for your phone, just pick one up for $2 in stores or online through their portal for prepaid, or purchase a SIM plan pack with the SIM card included.
Lack of included International Minutes:
International minutes are now a core offering from most phone companies in their entire range of SIM Only plans. With data inclusions naturally sky-rocketing and domestic minutes / SMS already provided free of charge in unlimited quantities in the vast majority of plans, International minutes are the only way to add value and avoid reducing the price of the plan. Woolworth’s plans don’t include International minutes at any price point which is an omission worth mentioning. Instead, they are offered as add-ons starting from $10 for 300 minutes to 47 countries. If you know you make international calls, Woolie’s 12 month plans are not right for you.
Summing up - Woolworths is a funny one
Woolworths’ relaunch of their mobile products on the Telstra network appears to be a story about familiarity and reliability. Woolworths marries the convenience of shopping in-store every week with a cutthroat value of network reseller pricing, with coverage that reaches 23 million Australians. They’ve added some real value in their plans with the ‘data bank’ feature. It’s the fairest way to treat data – you keep what you purchased forever.
Woolie’s plans will suit those who know themselves well enough to know that taking a SIM and moving phone companies is something they will rarely do. Some people prefer to operate on month-to-month SIM Only agreements without contractual ties to a handset, and Woolies don’t offer those just at the moment. The alternative to such postpaid month-to-month plans would be Woolworths’ prepaid plans.
It can take a lot of time to establish what is and is not included in your phone plan. We’ve developed this simple table to make that as easy as possible.
This Month’s Hot Offers