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Review of Woolworths Mobile phone plans

Woolworths is a giant of the Australian grocery sector, and now it’s also proving to be a big challenger to the status quo in the mobile phone plan and SIM Only landscape. Woolies relaunched its mobile phone business in 2015, piggybacking on the Telstra 4G Network to offer unrivalled coverage across Australia. The supermarket giant’s previous arrangement with Optus ceased in 2013 and it took a two-year hiatus from providing phone services.

Now Woolworths Mobile is back in a big way. Competing at the low-cost end of the mobile market, Woolworths Mobile now offers several competitively-priced plans to tempt you away from the bigger low-cost carriers, and indeed the original ‘Big 3’ – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. So what exactly does Woolies have to offer?

Woolworths Mobile Phone Plans

Plan Type Price Features
Prepaid Plans

(30 day billing period)

$15 $250 standard international and national calls, unlimited texts, 400MB data
$30 Unlimited calls and texts, 3GB data, $100 international calls, data rollover up to 15GB
$45 Unlimited calls and texts, 8GB data, $200 international calls, data rollover up to 15GB
Postpaid Plans

(Monthly billing period)

$35 $1000 calls, unlimited texts, 1GB data
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 3GB data
$70 Unlimited calls and texts, 8GB data

Source: Woolworths Mobile

Woolworths Mobile is one of many mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and its phone and data plans sit towards the budget end of the spectrum. But the supermarket powerhouse certainly utilises the advantages of its huge corporate empire to make life easy for its mobile customers and provide solid value, whether you’re looking for a prepaid or postpaid plan, including new handsets. Let’s get a quick rundown of what Woolies has to offer below:

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Woolworths Prepaid plans

There are three prepaid plans to choose from – each of which requires you to purchase a $2 SIM card (one of the cheapest SIM fees out there, mind you) from your local Woolies, or other Woolies-owned store. The huge number of retail outlets you can buy from is a convenience few other mobile providers can match – most competitors provide next-day SIM delivery at best. Chuck one in your trolley the next time you do the groceries, and boom – new phone plan. Of course, Woolworths Mobile also lets you buy a SIM card from their online store for an additional $2 postage fee.

  • As for the prepaid plans, there are three to choose from – an online-only $15 Recharge, a $30 Recharge or a $45 Recharge, the latter two of which can also be bought as SIM starter packs in store.
  • All three prepaid plans come with unlimited texts, meaning they would be perfect if you send lots of messages, while the $30 and $45 options also include unlimited calls.
  • All three also bring unlimited calls to other Woolworths Mobile customers – the sort of feature that is pretty common, but shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Chances are with Woolworths Mobile’s popularity your friends are on the provider’s plans as well. So, let’s just recap:

  • The entry-level $15 prepaid plan provides $250 of calls, unlimited texts and 400MB of data and it’s available for online purchase only. Calls are billed at 99c/minute plus a 40c flagfall
  • The $30 plan gives you unlimited standard calls and texts, plus a decent 3GB of data and $100 of international calls
  • The $45 plan gives you unlimited standard calls and texts, along with a hefty 8GB of data and $200 in international calls. This plan is definitely a good option for heavy data users who like to stay in touch with people, both in Australia and overseas

The $30 and $45 plans’ international inclusions are generous. Countries are broken up into six zones – Zone 1 being the cheapest and Zone 6 being the dearest. Most western and western European countries are in Zone 1. This includes Canada, USA, UK, Germany, France, Ireland, and New Zealand among many others. Here’s a Zone cost breakdown:

Zone Cost Per Minute (or part thereof)
One $1.00
Two $2.50
Three $5.00
Four $7.50
Five $12.00
Six $15.00

Source: Woolworths Mobile

These are the basics, but also keep an eye out for bonus extras. Currently Woolies offers 2GB bonus data on its $45 plan.

  • If you use your Rewards Card upon purchasing, you’ll receive a further 10 per cent off
  • If you’re wondering what the Rewards Card is, it’s orange and is probably located somewhere in your wallet
  • Keep in mind that the $15 recharge is online only, which is why it’s not listed below:

Extra Add-Ons

If you’re after more data inclusions, there are several options available from Woolworths Mobile. A $5 add-on will secure you 250MB, followed by a 500MB boost for $8.50, or a 1GB add-on for $15.00. If you desire more international calls, then $9.99 will get you $200 worth. $29.99 will get you $500 worth.

Woolworths Postpaid Plans

Woolworths Mobile offers three handset plans, each of which comes on a 24 month postpaid contract and can be paired with your choice of a top Samsung or OPPO smartphone – although the repayments for your phone will cost extra. The additional cost of a Samsung Galaxy S7 starts at $20 per month, for example.

  • The Small plan starts at $35 per month and includes $1,000 of standard calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of data
  • Starting from $50 per month, the Medium plan provides unlimited calls and texts, with 4GB of data.
  • Finally, the $70 per month Large plan provides unlimited calls and texts and 8GB of data

You’ll also find various international call inclusions on the above plans. But remember, these are just the prices of the plans – your new handset will increase what you pay every month.

Woolworths promises you absolutely zero bill shock, meaning that if you reach your credit limit, the provider will restrict your service rather than overcharge you.

Postpaid Add-Ons

As for bonuses, there are some fresh prices for data and additional value – they are:

  • $10 for 1GB, $25 for 3GB, $35 for 5GB
  • $10 for 300 minutes and $15 for unlimited calls to 10 countries, as well as 300 minutes to selected international countries
  • $10 for $200 additional value for standard national calls

 

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How does Woolworths Mobile compare to other providers?

Woolworths is in quite a unique position in that it can sell the full range of its plans right out of the Woolies empire of ‘bricks and mortar’ stores, which makes for easy accessibility. In fact, you can even buy their SIM starter packs online when you order groceries. Chances are there’s a Woolies near you, or you shop there already so it’s easy if you’re in the market for a new phone plan. Let’s see how the Fresh Food People’s plans stack up.

Woolies Prepaid Plans Compared

Woolworths Mobile has three prepaid plans, each staged at different points in the market.

$15 Plan Compared:

It’s a little hard to judge, seeing as this plan is ordered online only, but it’s priced towards the cheaper end of the market, and competes primarily with the two other grocery giants – Coles and ALDI – as well as Kogan Mobile and Yomojo. Woolies sits pretty well here, and it looks to slightly edge both Coles and ALDI, as the Woolies plan has more value added than ALDI’s plan, and the Coles plan is only on a 10 day expiry. Kogan, however, offers supreme value for only $1.90 more.

$30 Plan Compared:

This is the first Woolies plan that you can buy in store, so the convenience factor is really present here. This plan competes with Yomojo, Lebara and Kogan for your dollars. These are some of the cheapest providers to offer 3GB data with unlimited calls and texts. Woolworths holds its own, but you can’t go past Yomojo, which offers 6GB for 10c less. While Woolies is a strong contender, the fact it doesn’t offer at least 5GB is a little bit of a letdown, but the convenience of being able to buy in store and receive a 10 per cent discount using your Rewards Card are big deals.

$45 Plan Compared:

This is where you start to see some players offering serious data inclusions. Here Woolworths Mobile competes again with Coles and Amaysim – that offer an impressive 7GB – and OVO Mobile that offers a whopping 12GB data. This is where Woolworths seems to feel a bit lacklustre – 5GB of data tends to lag at this price point. However, one thing to note is that Coles and Amaysim are on a 28 day billing period, which means you are effectively charged 13 times a year instead of 12.

Woolies Postpaid Plans Compared

As we move into the business-end of town, the thought of bundling a great new phone with your plan becomes appealing. Aside from that, how do the Woolies plans stack up?

$35 Plan Compared:

Woolworths might offer some great value in its grocery stores, and the same can be said for its bundled postpaid phone plans. Here it competes primarily with some big providers – namely Optus and Virgin Mobile. Keep in mind the costs you see below are for a bundled plan with a Samsung Galaxy S7. While some plans are more expensive, the monthly phone costs are cheaper and vice versa – most plans work out to be a similar sort of price with similar data inclusions.

$50 Plan Compared:

As we move up into the more high-end plans, it’s evident that Woolworths falls behind the major players. Keep in mind that Virgin and Optus at this stage often include a mobile phone for no extra monthly payment, while Woolworths still does so. Also keep an eye out for Woolworths discounts that can periodically make a plan seem like it’s better value. Here Virgin seems to offer an enticing plan with 10GB with a similar overall cost to what Woolies offers with its plan + phone combo.

$70 Plan Compared:

By far the most high-value plan in the Woolworths postpaid line-up, Woolworths competes with the gargantuan Telstra, along with familiar faces Virgin and Optus. Woolworths again falls behind Virgin and Optus, while Telstra – perhaps unsurprisingly – offers a data-anaemic plan, however having the backing of ‘Australia’s most reliable network’ may be of benefit, especially if you’re living rurally.

Should I put a Woolworths Mobile plan in my basket?

Woolworths Mobile has a concise array of both prepaid and postpaid mobile plans. We suspect you’ll be pleased with the value offered on prepaid terms, but Woolies’ contract options might leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed. Other providers – even Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – frequently offer more data for the same price or less when you’re looking for a new handset plan.

However, Woolworths Mobile is at its best in the prepaid segment, with three strong offers across price categories that will meet most people’s needs. The $30 and $45 offers are amongst the cheapest you’ll find, with the now customary unlimited calls and texts, plus strong data allowances. Woolies also has a habit of promotional data offers that will boost the value proposition even further if you get your timing right.

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