Everything you need to know in 60 seconds
- Vodafone are an international telco brand with a strong retail and online presence in Australia.
- Vodafone Australia has been associated with, perhaps even famous for, prepaid services for some time.
- Launched in May 2016, Vodafone’s current range of prepaid plans is called ‘MyMix’
- Vodafone ‘MyMix’ is a totally configurable range of prepaid plan options.
- MyMix allows you to pick the plan validity period ( e.g. 7 days, 28 days ) amount of data, the number of voice minutes and the number of SMS which are right for you.
- You can opt in to / out of international minutes if they don’t suit your needs.
- In theory, Vodafone’s range offers the chance to cut your phone bill by eliminating from it the elements of other prepaid plans that you don’t use.
- In practice, Vodafone’s MyMix range adds complexity without usefulness.
- Not only can you get better value elsewhere ( we show you exactly where, below ), we believe that the struggle of working through the process of configuring a plan is not worth the effort.
Vodafone MyMix is a rehash of an age old telco idea
In May 2016, Vodafone introduced a range of prepaid phone plans designed to give the appearance of infinite flexibility. To build a ‘MyMix’ plan, a user ( that’s someone like me or you ) buys a $1 SIM and picks from a number of options to configure their own prepaid plan. Those options include :
- Validity period :
With ‘MyMix’, the user gets to decide the number of days they want their prepaid plan to be valid for ? Options include 7 days, 28 days, 90 days
- Data? :
Options include data allowances of up to 12 GB per month.
- Unlimited SMS :
The value of SMS has declined so markedly since Whatsapp took over that element of communication. Vodafone are giving them away. Every MyMix plan comes with unlimited SMS.
- Talk time do you want :
MyMix offers two voice options. Either 120 minutes ( which allows the users to make approximately 2 x standard 2 minute calls per day. ) The other option is Unlimited.
We know not everyone understands the terms phone companies use and that’s OK. Read our dedicated articles on the difference between prepaid, postpaid and month to month plans.
The problem with MyMix( and solution ) in a nutshell :
- MyMixoffers normal users too much choice :
You’re never worse off having one more option, right ? Wrong. The ‘Paradox of choice’ describes the debilitating number of decisions we have to make every day and how having too many reduces the number we make and how happy we are about having made them.
- It is not innovative :Yatango / Yomojo do the same thing :
MyMix’s ability to completely configure plans is not an innovative idea. There are cheaper ways out there to achieve the same thing. We outline them below. By the way, I have spoken to friends in the team at Vodafone and the truth is that these plans are not nearly as configurable as you think. Vodafone just built every permutation of the 72 options users can create with the web interface options they have been provided. Behind the scenes, these plans are simple plans the likes of which are available from any phone company.
- You can’t actually configure these plans in the way you think you can :
The only option you can choose not to take is international minutes with Vodafone MyMix. PAYG plans offer the option to minimize the spend you undertake on voice calls and data if you are an extremely low user of either.
- Prepaid is actually a range :
Finding a single suite of plans to cover Long Expiry plans, 90 day plans, PAYG plans, $ value plans and cap plans is difficult. Check out Optus’ prepaid page – they needed 4 tabs to start to explain prepaid to their visitors. As we have said many times, prepaid is a range, not a plan. Vodafone have encumbered users with too much choice but actually eliminated the option for many of these prepaid plan variants, presumably because putting them in place was ‘too hard’.
- People don’t know what they use :
Most people have no idea how much data they need in a phone plan, let alone how many minutes or GB of data they should add in themselves.
What’s good about Vodafone’s MyMixplans ?
In theory, there are a number of advantages to taking Vodafone’s My Mix plans. In practice, as we have seen, these benefits are more often than not reduced by the plan features which work against them. Here’s what MyMix was supposed to ofer.
- No wastage :
In principal, by piecing together your plan from MyMix bricks you can eliminate the elements you don’t want. In practice, the only thing you can remove from your plan is international calls and most prepaid plans only allow them as add ons anyway.
- World class web experience :
Vodafone are a huge global company and they can pay their own bills. Hats off to their web-team. The execution of the MyMix configuration tool and MyAccount app is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise pointless endeavor.
- Much improved network :
If you get a MyMix plan, you will get access to a 4G network which, many independent reports now say, is at least as good as Telstra / Optus in Australia’s main cities.
- Will suit long tail needs better than other plans :
To be fair to Vodafone, their range of 72 permutations means that, if you have a very unusual ‘Long Tail’ need, you are more likely to find it with Big Red than any other phone company.
What’s not so good about Vodafone’s MyMixplans ?
Beyond the practical failure of this proposition, there are some other standard phone plan features you should at least be aware of.
- 28 day expiry :
Vodafones ‘MyMix’ plans have a prepaid 28 day recharge window. This is an industry standard OVO Mobile are the only exception we know, they still have a 30 day expiry on their plans.
- No content / entertainment inclusions :
Optus and Telstra have made huge investments in Entertainment options for their plans. Both have in place a free ‘music streaming’ service available for use on their prepaid services. If you use Spotify etc ( and many now do ) to stream audio then Optus / Telstra is almost certainly a better bet for your prepaid spend.
Better value Alternatives to Vodafone’s My Mix Plans
Whichever way you cut it, you can do better. You can compare cheap phone plans ( that’s plans with a spend under $30 ) or get a better network and better value than Vodafone’s by considering YoMoJo a competitor which has configurable plans and which uses the Optus network.
Better value alternatives to MyMix for those who are prepared to take the Vodafone network
We all know Vodafone have had network problems over the years. Their brand ( in Australia at least ) is not what it once was. This disadvantages them against their own competition. Vodafone’s ‘unique’ market position, for example, means people are more readily prepared to compare them with smaller phone companies. And when you do that, you quickly find Kogan Mobile.
Kogan’s plans use the full, entire, Vodafone 3G + 4G network. They are prepaid. They offer better value at every spend level and, behind the scenes, Vodafone do their customer service, too.
Better value alternatives to MyMix for those who want an alternative to the Vodafone network
But Vodafone’s MyMix range is not just beaten hands down by Kogan Mobile. You can do better at any price point, in our view.
- 7 day options :
Vodafone’s start at $10 for 7 days and a 500MB allowance and infinite national calls and SMS. Compare that to Optus $2 Days plan which, as you might expect, costs $2 a day, offers the same voice and SMS inclusions and provides over the dame 7 day period, 3.5Gb of data on the Optus network !
- $10 spend :
Considered from a spend rather than recharge validity window / period, OVO Mobile, an Optus network reseller offer what we think is the best value $9.95 plan on the prepaid market. It comes with twice as much data, is linked to a better network and, while voice inclusions are not unlimited, they are plenty.
- $30 spend :
Optus has more data than Vodafone at the $30 on their $30 MyPrepaid plans.
- $40 spend :
YoMoJo’s plans can be bought prepaid or postpaid and offer more data at this price point.
You should also consider PAYG plans. PAYG plans service the essence of the need here
Kicking ‘MyMix’ to the curb – in summary
Vodafone have had these plans in market since May 2016. It looks like it’s time for a change already.
When we set this website up, we did a lot of research in to the plans people bought and the way they made their decision. Of course we did. We are a SIM and prepaid phone plan comparison site. Originally, we showed only the top 7 phone plans and phones because 92% of people bought them. We ended up changing what we showed people because, despite the fact they were going to buy one of the most popular plans, they wanted to see the full range.
This presents both the pitfall and failure of the MyMix proposition. Vodafone offer users a confusing range of plans but don’t actually change their behavior. People always go for the most standard $30 / $40 configurations. Compare then and you will immediately find better value from the competitors we’ve shown.
The idea of infinite configurabiliuty comes up here and there in telco periodically. I can see why it got signed off by a weak willed middle manager at Vodafone who doesn’t understand or care about prepaid in a rushed meeting. It sounds new, exciting and like it serves the customer better. It appears to address the needs of the unicorn of business in 2017 – The Millenial !
But configurability has been tried and failed in Australian SIM plans more than once. Vodafone’s range adds bewilderment to an already confusing to the point of overwhelming Australian market. Not only do the 72 plans confuse but when you add in layered and overlapping special offers, it becomes impenetrable – I run a phone plans comparison website ad I can’t understand them.
Vodafone have missed the mark, plumbing for a suite of plans ( however they appear, these are just a suite of plans ) which confuse and, importantly, offer less value than competitors’ direct comparisons. On top of that, Vodafone do this at a time when the bigger phone companies are turning to entertainment to differentiate themselves. Vodafone is not even in that fight !
It’s an interesting time to be launching such nonsense to the Australian prepaid market. We think the whole market is turning prepaid. When Vodafone should be asserting itself as the home of prepaid, it’s hiding behind personalization facades and funky interfaces which look good but ignore the real customer needs. These plans also completely miss the mark. People expect everything else to be thrown in. They want data and competitors provide more. They want the Vodafone network and there are cheaper, better options from Kogan Mobile.
Shame on you Vodafone. Start again.