How to Switch Mobile Plans in Australia | Step-By-Step Guide

As a mobile plan user in Australia, you can easily cancel your previous mobile phone contract, but you cannot just toggle providers whenever you please.

Depending on your mobile phone plan, there are special drills for changing phone providers that can include contract termination fees that vary from one company to another.

But you probably already knew that didn’t you?

Don’t stress—we’ve got you covered. If you don't know how to change mobile phone plans then this guide will help you learn the basics of switching mobile plans in Australia and avoid the financial hazards along the way.

How to Change Mobile Phone Plan

Changing phone providers is easy and it takes only a few steps to complete it, as follows:

- Step 1: Don’t terminate the old provider contract without starting the new one because you will deactivate your phone number.

- Step 2: Buy a SIM Card from the wanted provider.

- Step 3: When you get the new contract, you will be asked to port your number.

- Step 4: Once you get your new SIM card, you have to activate it. With the activation, the old contract will end effectively.

How to Choose a Mobile Phone Plan: Top Tips for Australians

Switching phone providers is easy but the complexity can arise later if unforeseen costs get in the way.

Tips for Changing Phone Providers

Before you sign to switch your provider, make sure you are aware of the basic financial hazards that may occur with improper cancelling.

Early Termination Fees

If you're not satisfied with the current phone plan, you can always switch to a better option.

It’s important to remember that when terminating your old phone plan, you might have to pay penal fees for cancelling your contract before the expiration date

Every mobile provider has terminating contract fees, but they may differ in nature.

In other words, some penalties may be a charge for paying the per cent of the remaining contract, others have fixed charges, and some come with a full contract cost.

Before you cancel your contract, make sure not to sign anything before your provider advises you on the best way to end the contract.

Number Porting Option

When changing phone providers, you might find it tricky to keep your existing phone number.

Mobile phone providers understand this is a key issue for their customers so they usually include the possibility to retain it in their services. The procedure is also known as number porting.

In number porting, providers port your mobile phone number as per your request. However, if your old number is inactive, the new provider cannot activate it all over again.

Therefore, it's paramount not to cancel your existing mobile phone number before switching your provider.

Also, inform your new provider that you would like to keep your old number. That way, your new provider will immediately send a request to the old provider and port your new number without first cancelling your existing contract.

By signing your new provider contract, you effectively terminate the old one, and your phone number will be active and ready to use.

Contract Length

Contracts vary in length, terms, and overall service to fit each user profile. Generally, many providers offer a monthly contract like a basic plan or a 12 to 24 months long-termed contract.

The 'basic' plan, or the monthly contract, may not include all services found in long-term contracts, but this varies from provider to provider. Still, each long-term contract contains more benefits as you continue to use the services yearly. The benefits you get with the annual contract may include additional services, bonuses, or another more profitable option than a monthly contract.

A similarity between phone contracts is the critical information summary. This summary will have the minimum amount payable or the minimum total cost if you're on a postpaid plan.

The minimum amount refers to the sum you'll have to pay per contract, other payments and handset charges included. Therefore, when switching to a new contract, first read the critical information summary as it may be a determinant for a viable contract.

Mobile Phone Handsets

When it comes to getting a contract and a new mobile phone handset, mind that the device may be locked to that particular network or provider for some time. With this restriction, you cannot use the smartphone on a different network, on a new plan, or get a new SIM from a different provider.

The solution to this restriction lies in paying an unlocking fee, which varies among providers

When you speak to a Catch Connect team member, we can walk you through what other providers unlocking fees maybe, like Optus or Telstra, if you’re joining our rapidly growing community!

Address Higher Authorities If Unsatisfied

If you have a serious complaint with your current service with your mobile provider, don’t be afraid to speak to higher-ups in management.

Essentially, it's a standard procedure when making a complaint. First, you send a complaint to your provider and explicitly and clearly explain your issue and dissatisfaction.

If your provider doesn't solve your problem or doesn't address your complaint, you should contact TIO or the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

You can make a complaint either through their official site or by phone

If you recognize a scam, report it to the TIO. In 2021, Australia recorded $323 million lost to scams, and over 223,000 reports of scams, hence why it’s important to stay on your toes and only use trusted mobile phone plan providers.

Changing Phone Providers FAQs

- Can I keep my phone number if I change provider?

Yes, you can. But, you must inform your provider before cancelling your old contract. Otherwise, signing out of your old contract will make your existing phone number inactive.

- What is a mobile service number?

A mobile service number is the number allocated to your provider, in case you need their service. A mobile service number can be used in case you need assistance, further guidance, or to resolve an issue with the said service provider.