In search of cheaper phone bills

Reporter: Laticia Gibson

It's the element of surprise no-one enjoys, discovering your bills have blown out. Troy Goodwin runs Minder's, a maintenance business. He said: "We were up to a point with our mobile phones where we were spending $12-$15,000 a year."

"When we get a phone bill there's times 25-30 pages of itemised calls. To sit down and go through would take me hours - hours I don't have, hours cost money." Troy's men service more than 2000 sites a week across Melbourne and need to be connected. It's an essential but expensive cost, one that has now been halved through brokers Cheap Phone Deals.

"We had 16 individual connections," Troy said. "Some were on caps, some were on individual plans." "At this stage we are going to a $599 Vodafone cap which has allowed all of the 16 connections on the one account for a combined spend." Phone broker Michelle Collins cannot understand people's apathy to their phone bills. For 10 years, she's been putting in the time and effort others won't, saving her customers up to 50 per cent off their phone bills. "They don't have time," Michelle said. "They're really busy with the kids; they don't understand the bill, they just pay it."

Individually assessing customers' call patterns, Michelle decides which plans suit the customer and negotiates the best deals, often steering clear of main dealers. You are charged nothing. That's right - it's free. The broker earns a commission from the supplier. "There's good little, small re-sellers," Michelle said. "The beauty of those is they're fantastic at customer service." explains Michelle.

Michelle has these tips to start the savings-ball rolling:

  • Work out your call patterns
  • Watch cap traps- rates are much higher once the limit is reached.
  • Consider moving up to the next cap rate.
  • Beware of bundles- they can contain hidden costs
  • And don't be conned by free line rental

"The line rental determines the rate. So if you're on a very cheap line rental guess what? Your calls are going to be very expensive" says Michelle. Michelle also recommends reevaluating your set up every year or as circumstances change, a benefit to anyone who owns a phone. "You don't have to be in crisis," Michelle said. "It's just very important to be in control and understanding your call patterns."

More information

Tel: 1300 883 913 or (02) 8212 3961