Which phone provider has the best customer service?

Whether you’re signing up to a new phone plan, or you’re an existing customer needing technical support, having access to great customer service from your telco can make all the difference.

In times where things might be going wrong — whether there is a problem with your device, or maybe a billing error or lost order — if customer service is bad, it might be enough to send you to a new provider. If that’s the case, and you’re fed up with poor customer support, you might want to know which phone providers have a reputation for great customer service.

When it comes to phone plans, there are a lot of things to consider. Are you going prepaid or postpaid? SIM-only or a plan bundled with a new phone? Not only that but data allowances, inclusions and cost can be major choices to factor into your decision. However, choosing a telco based only on the price, or perhaps a name you’re more familiar with, could mean you’re missing out on a better customer service experience when you’re in need of support.

Why is it important to have good customer service from your telco?

For some, customer service can make or break an experience with a telco — good customer support can ensure you remain a customer, while bad support can have you looking for a plan elsewhere.

Having access to good, and especially helpful, customer service can ease a lot of pressure if you’re experiencing issues with your plan or service. You may already be stressed from whatever the issue is, such as being unable to make calls, and a negative customer support experience can exacerbate this problem.

A report released in 2021 (and conducted during the 2020-2021 financial year) by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) found that out of the 39,094 complaints the TIO received about mobile phone services, 16,034 of these complaints were in relation to delayed or no reaction from a service provider. What this means is that a lack of response from a telco regarding an issue accounted for 41% of complaints about mobile phone service.

If you’re looking to avoid becoming one of those statistics, and you’re searching for a new phone plan, you might want to look into which providers have a reputation for good customer service — as rated by the customers themselves. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone will have the same experience with a telco. Just because one person had a good experience, doesn’t mean the next person will — and vice versa — as there are lots of variables that contribute to what makes a customer service experience. But, it still doesn’t hurt to look at telcos that have a more positive reputation as rated by customers.

Best prepaid phone plan provider for customer service

Prepaid phone plans are a popular no-hassle phone plan option, with some SIM cards even available to purchase in supermarkets and stores. Setup is usually easy — and because you have a set amount of inclusions to use within an expiry period, they make great phone plans for kids.

However, if you’re wanting to find a prepaid plan with a reputation for good customer service, the 2021 ratings for Most Satisfied Customers Prepaid Mobile SIM-Only plans found only one telco was rated five stars for customer service, and it wasn’t the overall award winner.

Amaysim was rated five stars for customer service, but — with four stars for overall satisfaction — it came in third place in the ratings. The winner for overall satisfaction, ALDI Mobile, scored four stars for customer service, as did second place winner Woolworths Mobile.

Other prepaid providers to score four stars for customer service included Boost Mobile, Lebara, Optus, TPG and Vodafone. The last few providers included in these ratings, Catch Connect, Kogan and Telstra, received three stars.

Amaysim has been in the prepaid game for a while and is one of the most popular prepaid providers out there (and is now owned by Optus). There are several customer support options available — you can call (with available hours listed on the website), use the live chat on site, send an email, or reach out via Facebook or Twitter.

Customer service options for ALDI Mobile include the option to call or lodge a support ticket via your account on the website. If you’re not an existing customer, you can reach out via email. Woolworths Mobile offers support via calls, a virtual AI assistant or online chat, while you can manage your account through the app.

If you need to get in touch with Boost Mobile, you can call or use the online chat feature, while Lebara offers options to get in touch through calling, live chat, email or Facebook. To get in touch with Optus, you can call or message via live chat (on the website or in the My Optus App). TPG has an extensive selection of numbers to call, with specific numbers for mobile plan support. Vodafone has a number you can call, in addition to live chat on the website and through the Vodafone app.

The following table shows a selection of prepaid plans from some of the above mentioned providers from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Best postpaid phone plan provider for customer service

If you prefer the sound of a postpaid phone plan rather than prepaid, there are plenty of providers to choose from, offering a range of SIM-only postpaid plans. Most postpaid plans are available as month-to-month plans where you pay that one monthly bill (and if you go over your month’s inclusions, you might be charged fees), although some providers also offer contracts such as 12-month plans.

When comparing postpaid plans, if you’re after a provider with a reputation for good customer service, our 2021 ratings for Most Satisfied Customers Postpaid Mobile SIM-Only plans had only one provider score five stars for customer service — and it happened to also be the overall winner.

Not only did Moose Mobile come out on top with five stars for overall satisfaction, but it also scored five stars in every category. Moose Mobile might not be the biggest name provider around, but it does carry a reputation for simple postpaid phone plans with great value for money — and a solid reputation for good customer service. If you need to get in touch with Moose, you have the option to call, live chat, email or use the website’s contact form.

While Moose was the only provider to score five stars, several others scored four stars for their customer service: Vaya, Southern Phone, Dodo and Vodafone. The remaining providers — Woolworths Mobile, Belong, Circles.Life, Optus and Telstra — scored three stars for customer service.

Vaya has a focus on its online service with its live chat being the best way to get in touch, however you can also use the contact form, or call them. Southern Phone has the option to use the live chat function on the website, or call them for support.

While Dodo does list a number for certain services (such as sales and support for electricity and gas services), if you need help with your mobile phone service, Dodo recommends you lodge a support request using your My Dodo account. If you’re unable to access your My Dodo service, there is also an online contact form you can use. Vodafone’s customer support includes the options to call or live chat either online or through the Vodafone app.

The following table shows a selection of postpaid plans from some of the above mentioned providers from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Best mobile phone-on-a-plan provider for customer service

Apart from SIM-only plans, some telcos offer the option to bundle a new mobile phone onto a plan. These phone-on-a-plan options are postpaid services, where your monthly bill includes the cost of the phone, along with the cost of the postpaid plan bundled with your service. Only a small number of telcos offer this service and the devices on offer will vary between the telcos.

Southern Phone not only won the 2021 ratings for Most Satisfied Customers Mobile Phone + Plan, but also scored five stars for customer service. Vodafone also scored five stars for customer service, while Woolworths Mobile and Optus both scored four stars. The only remaining telco, Telstra, scored three stars for customer service.

Getting in touch with Southern Phone is simple with a live chat function on the website, or a number to call for customer support. Vodafone offers the options to call or use the live chat service via the website or Vodafone app.

Woolworths Mobile offers the options to call, chat with a virtual AI assistant or online chat and to manage your service through the app. Optus offers the option to call, along with live chat on the website or through the Optus app.

Should I choose my phone plan based on a telco’s customer service?

Choosing a phone plan based on a provider’s reputation for good customer service isn’t a bad idea, however it shouldn’t be the only metric you use for choosing a plan.

Basing your decision solely on customer service could leave you disappointed with a provider and a plan. As we’ve already mentioned in this guide, just because one person has had a good experience with a telco, doesn’t mean that the next customer will have the same experience.

There are so many variables when it comes to what constitutes ‘good’ customer service. The issue you have, whether it is simple or complicated, can impact on what the experience is like. As too can the customer themselves — a more savvy customer who understands their plan and can clearly describe what the issue is, is more likely going to contribute to a smoother experience than someone who is confused, frustrated or doesn’t know what the issue is or struggles to articulate the problem. After all, a customer service representative can only help you if they know or understand what the problem is.

As further proof that some customers will have different experiences with a provider, some telcos offering multiple plan types, may have rated higher for customer service across one type of plan than they did for another. While using these ratings, and other feedback you might read online or from family, friends and even colleagues, can be helpful to determine which providers have a good customer service reputation, you might want to use it as a metric to help you choose between providers.

When choosing a phone plan, the most important thing to do is to choose a plan based on what you need and what your budget is. There are a few things you should consider, first and foremost, when choosing a phone plan:

  • Inclusions — how much data do you need?
  • Cost — what is your budget and can you get plans with enough data at this price?
  • Coverage — does this network have coverage in areas you live/work/frequently visit?
  • Plan type — do you need a new phone or SIM only? Prepaid or postpaid?

Once you’ve made decisions on the above, and compared a range of plans, if you have your choices narrowed down to a few providers you might then want to look into which of those telcos has a better reputation for customer service, as a means of making that final decision. Keep in mind that many telcos offer plans as month-to-month plans, which means you can cancel your plan typically without any exit fees, so if you’re unhappy with your choice, switching to another provider should be simple — but be sure to read the plan’s details before signing up to be aware of any charges or fees.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. While looking into telcos with quality customer service isn’t a bad thing, doing your research, and comparing plans from a range of providers, can really help you to find a plan best suited for your needs. Shop around and even ask friends and family what they think about their provider, to also help you make an informed decision when signing up to a new phone plan.

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