Mobile Cell Phone Cap Plans – Optus Business Australia

Cap plans are offered by all the major mobile phone carriers in Australia and have proven to be hugely popular. However do they give you a much value for money as you think?

The cap plans are all very similar between the major phone carriers; Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone all give you $550 worth of calling credit on a $79 cap.

It almost sounds too good to be true, and in some cases it is! The companies make their money by hiking up the call charges and connection costs. In some cases the true cost of making a call is three or four times as much as it would be on a non cap plan! An example of good value would be plan that gave me, say $89 of calling credit for the price of $79 but the call charges remain the same. That would be worth to me $10, instead I am almost tricked into thinking I am getting $471 for free when it could in fact cost me more, a lot more.

On the Optus Business Smart $79 cap the call charges are 30c per 30 seconds with a flagfall (connection charge) of 35c, so to make a one minute call it will cost you 95c. The same call on the Optus Yes Business Smart Plan would cost just 40c (Smart Rate.)

The pitfalls of a cap plan come into play if you are a high user or might use your mobile unpredictably, i.e. if you have a quiet month and your mobile usage is low, then the next month you are very busy and it’s almost glued to your ear. If you are on a Cap plan after your $550 of calling credit has run out you will continue to be billed at the rates above (95c for a 60 second call.) This could lead to a bill in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars!

However there is a market where Caps work, and work well. Caps can be great if you are on a budget; you can opt for a prepaid cap that you need to recharge every month after your calling credit of $550 has been reached, ensuring that you never receive a huge bill. Prepaid Caps are great for your teenage kids, you decide what cap they have $29, $39, $49 etc and when they use up all the calling credit then that’s it until next month (unless you are a soft touch dad like me!)

Other people that benefit from Caps, either Cap plans or Prepaid Caps are those that can guarantee they will not exceed the calling credit amount. They are receiving more talk time for their money and know they will not exceed the limit.

With the Optus Business Smart Cap there are other benefits such as: Free unlimited voicemail, and a choice between SMART FLEET – Free calls, SMS, and MMS 24/7 to other mobile on your business account or BUSINESS TIME – free five minute calls to three number 24/7, either standard fixed line or Optus mobile numbers. You can also receive the first two months free if you sign a 24 month agreement and bring your own phone with you.

Whatever carrier you decide to use, ensure that the sales person gives you ALL the options available to you. There are numerous plans out there and usually one to fit the needs of everyone. Sometimes sales people can be guilty of pushing Caps on to consumers as they are perceived to be easier to sell because the customer thinks they are getting a massive amount of calling credit for free! Ensure that you find out the true cost of making a call and that the salesperson for fills YOUR needs and not their own.

Scott MacLean: A published author, Telecommunications Professional, Sale Trainer, and Public Speaker.

Scott MacLean’s background is with Telewest Broadband (UK) and as a company owner, after moving to Melbourne with his family in 2007 Scott was approached by a company representing, the second largest telecommunication company in Australia and offered a position to provide expert advice to business customers, implement sales training programs and to represent the company at association events.

Mobile Cell Phones Are About to Be Disabled

Well, good news is on its way in the war against cell phone addicted drivers who make driving hazardous due to their inattention. No this isn’t a new law enforcement gig, or a radar-tracking device to detect cell phone signals while the driver is piloting over 2,000 pounds of steel.

It’s not even a new law brought into being by a state legislature. California and New York have the right idea with a ban on cell phones while driving without a headset. Sure that gives the driver two hands, but it doesn’t give them their attention span when they’re talking to someone.

We’ve all been there and done that. You get into a heated conversation with someone and your attention is on “him or her,” not on your driving. This split attention trick is OK if you happen to be at home, but while driving it can mean the difference between getting to your destination unharmed or having a nasty smash up.

What’s so new that we could get excited about in the war against cell phones being used while behind the wheel of a car? Thanks to some tech savvy Canadian entrepreneurs, there is a new device on the market that actually disables cell phones for real-time talking. And not just that – it shuts them down so they can’t text or receive messages either.

That’s the other dangerous thing that a lot of younger drivers are doing these days, texting while steering a car. Hello? The consequences of this have the potential to kill.

This new device, created by Aegis Mobility, is called DriveAssistT and here is how it works. It’s simple, yet beautifully complex and innovative! The cell phone shuts down while it is moving at a speed associated with a vehicle. This takes the decision to use the cell phone right out of the driver’s hands and puts safety back behind the wheel – along with some common sense.

Compare this new gadget to a Breathalyzer installed in a car that keeps drunk drivers from starting their engines. DriveAssistT keeps yakjacks from doing anything with their cell phones while they’re on the road. Law enforcement will love this invention.

Inside this device is a motion detector that figures out if the phone is moving. If it is, it will send a signal to the cell phone carrier to hold ALL messages until the driver is done.

The DriveAssistT is due out sometime in 2009 and may cost about $10 to $20 a month when rented from your cell phone service provider. This is chump change when you consider over 42 thousand people die in car crashes every year, and 7% of those accidents are as a result of people talking on cell phones while driving.

Top Tips for Getting a Mobile Cell Phone

The primary factors to consider are:

a) The functions you want in a phone.

The features you want in a service plan.

The carrier with the best reception.

The total lowest cost solution.

b) Consider the network technology;When selecting a phone and service plan, it is helpful to know there are two competing technologies: CDMA and GSM. The carrier selects a technology for its network and the phone you purchase must be compatible.If your carrier is Verizon or Sprint (who both use CDMA), choosing a phone goes hand in hand with the process of signing up for service. The phone is tied to your contract.

However, if your service is with Cingular or T-Mobile (who both use GSM), it is much easier to switch phones. This is because GSM phones contain thumbnail-sized SIM cards, which connect your phone to a specific telephone number and calling plan. Thus, if you want to use a new phone, you need only take the SIM card out of your old phone and insert it in the new one.

c) Look at the service providers;Once you hone in on a specific type of phone, the next place to focus is on which phone company to use. There are four national carriers who provide service in most U.S. metropolitan areas: Cingular, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel and T-Mobile.

d) Whenever possible, test before you buy;Generally speaking, cell phone reception has more to do with the quality of the network than the particular phone.Ask around among your friends to see who has what service. If you can, talk a friend into loaning you a phone for a day to try out the reception in all the places that are important to you.

f) Save big by signing up for new service;You always score the best deal on a cell phone by signing up for new service. If you are at the end of an existing contract, either switch service providers or cancel with your current provider and then sign back up as a new customer. When you switch from one carrier to another, you can take your number with you. However, there is no practical way to sign up as new with your current provider while still keeping your old number. Therefore, if you like your current carrier and want to sign up for another term, you will have to choose between getting the best price or keeping your number.

g) Buy through a third-party merchant;The cell carriers never offer the best deals directly. We have found that Amazon and Buy.com offer the best deals on most new cell phones. This is because the carriers pay them money to send new customers. The merchants use some of that referral money to create additional purchase incentives for you.

h) Consider canceling an existing plan to upgrade;If you are ready to upgrade your phone but have more time left on an old service commitment you are not necessarily locked in. Often times, with a free after rebate deal, it is still cheaper to cancel your old contract, incur the penalty fee and then initiate a new service deal than it is to upgrade your phone through your existing carrier. The pricing difference can be that significant. However, be sure to run the numbers before you make a move because every situation is different.

i) What type of return policy is available;When you are researching your options and signing up for your phone, make note of the return policy. Most plans specify a short window during which you can cancel the service, return the phone and get full money back. If possible, time your purchase so that as soon as you receive your phone you can test it heavily during that period. If you are not happy, return it immediately.

There is no need to pay hundreds of dollars to upgrade to a cool new phone. Employing the strategies outlined above should help you find the best phone and service plan for your needs at minimal cost.