Switching mobile services

You don’t necessarily have to switch your provider to get the best deal. If you’ve been with the same provider for a while you may also get a better deal just by switching to a new plan.

Early termination fees

If you're thinking of switching plans, remember, you may need to sign a new contract so check for any charges for ending or leaving your current contract early.

Mobile phone providers may have different early termination fees, some being a percentage of the remaining contract, or others the full cost of the contract or just the phone handset.

Before you switch or cancel your contract, check the critical information summary or ask your provider if you will be charged an early termination fee.

Contract length

Mobile phone providers offer a range of contract options to suit different needs and preferences.

Most providers offer a month-to-month casual plan or a long term (12 to 24 month) contract. Depending on the provider, there may be a charge for a casual plan compared to a long term contract, or a difference in the plan inclusions.

Each mobile phone plan has a critical information summary which should set out the ‘minimum amount payable’ or ‘minimum total cost’ for different post-paid plans. This is the minimum amount, including any payments you make, such as a handset charge, which you will be required to pay under a contract.

Mobile phone handsets

When you obtain a new mobile phone handset, the phone may be locked to a particular network or provider for a fixed length of time. This means that the handset cannot be used on a different network even if you change to a new plan and obtain a new SIM card from a different provider.

If you wish to use a different network or provider, you may need to pay an unlocking fee.

If you have leased or bought a mobile phone handset as part of your plan, you should also check what options you have with your provider before switching.

Keeping your mobile number

When you switch to a different mobile phone service provider it is possible to keep your existing phone number. This is called number porting.

Service providers are required to port your mobile phone number if you request it. Only an active number can be ported to another provider, so it’s important that you do not cancel your existing service.

If you would like to keep your number, you should inform your new provider as soon as possible. This allows the new provider to request the porting of your number from the old provider quickly. Your existing service will be cancelled automatically once the new service is activated. 

Make a consumer complaint

If you cannot resolve the problem with your provider, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman on 1800 062 058.

More information

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