Amaysim, Australia’s fourth biggest mobile phone carrier, recently completed a $70 million takeover of fellow service provider, Vaya. Both companies are mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), utilising the Optus network to deliver their services – and use online business models to provide cheap, value-packed phone plans. So, who offers the best deals?
Since its launch in 2010, Amaysim has quickly become the biggest ‘little telco’ in Australia, leading the wave of competition against the big three service providers – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. In addition to providing unlimited monthly plans with lots of data, Amaysim has built a strong reputation for leading Australian-based customer service.
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Vaya was launched just a few months after Amaysim, with a firm focus on providing cheap and cheerful mobile plans. In the intervening years, however, the two brands have been met with a rather different reception by Aussie mobile users.
Amaysim has consistently performed well in Canstar Blue’s customer satisfaction ratings for phone plan providers. In fact, it is the most successful brand in the history of these awards. Vaya, by contrast, received only a three-star overall rating last time out, with its value-packed plans let down by poor customer service and overall satisfaction. A year earlier Vaya received just two stars. Now, however, its acquisition by Amaysim has resulted in a marked decrease in the number of customer complaints.
Amaysim reportedly plans to keep the Vaya brand separate from its own operation and said it would be “business as usual” for the two companies. So what are the differences between them? Amaysim and Vaya may both sell monthly plans on the Optus 4G Plus network, but there are big differences between their plans. Check out just what Amaysim and Vaya have to offer.
Vaya’s phone plans
Vaya’s core business is its dirt-cheap entry level mobile plans, with the majority of its customers said to be on the basic $18 per month Power Plan – for this modest fee, you get $650 worth of calls and unlimited SMS, and 1.5GB of data.
The remainder of Vaya’s phone plans all include unlimited calls and SMS, an inclusion which is reflected in its Unlimited name. The plans come in S, M, L and XL varieties, with increasing data allowances on the larger plans. Despite this, even the most expensive Unlimited XL plan costs just $36 per month, reflecting Vaya’s firm focus on the low cost mobile market. The cheapest plan costs just $16 per month, bringing those unlimited features and a very tidy 1GB of data.
The $16 plan currently holds the honour of being Australia’s cheapest unlimited phone plan. It’s hard to imagine finding one cheaper. In fact, Vaya is challenging customers to do exactly that with a ‘price beat guarantee’ on its unlimited plans.
Amaysim’s phone plans
Amaysim has managed to strike a winning balance between plan value and customer service, with a glowing reputation on both counts. It’s probably fair to call Amaysim something of a game-changer in the mobile market, given its status as one of the first companies to introduce cheap, no-contract plans that genuinely offer great value.
The key mantra in all of Amaysim’s phone plans is ‘unlimited’, with all of the company’s cheap phone plans coming with as much call time and SMS as you need. The difference between its plans is simply the amount of mobile data, and any international text and call requirements you have. The cheapest offer on the table comes in at $24.90 per 28 days, which brings 1.5GB of data. Prices then rise steadily until you get to the $49.90 plan, which brings 9GB of data.
Keep in mind that these plans are for a 28 day period, rather than one month – a move that didn’t go down too well with Amaysim customers when it was announced. It means you’ll effectively pay for 13 months rather than 12 over the course of a year.
Amaysim and Vaya’s services are very similar – both offer month-to-month, SIM-only plans on the same network, and both provide exceptional value which only seems to be improving.
The key difference between the two, illustrated below, is their target markets. Vaya’s products target the cheapest end of the spectrum, making it ideal for entry-level or cost-conscious customers, while Amaysim’s cover the mid-range market where the bulk of Aussies shop, and its top plans are now touching on expensive territory, given the current climate.
It seems that Amaysim’s purchase of Vaya is a clear attempt at dominating the increasingly popular world of cheap plans. Check out just how their plans compare on the price scale:
So is Amaysim buying Vaya a good thing? It certainly seems like a good idea for the company. They may both be ‘low-cost’ service providers, but Amaysim and Vaya are competing for different customers. The flagship Amaysim brand will continue to chip away at the big three telcos, while the cut-price Vaya proposition will compete at the cheapest end of the market, against emerging players such as Kogan Mobile and the supermarkets.
It seems to be particularly good news for Vaya customers as Amaysim’s focus on customer service has already resulted in Vaya significantly improving its service. The latter’s new and more streamlined plan range, six months on from the sale, also reflects a better understanding of what customers are looking for.
If both Amaysim and Vaya can effectively combine their quality customer service and great value plans, then Aussie customers really should be onto a winner. And the likes of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have plenty to worry about.