If we get a bundle of 30Gb internet for $29 and line rental for $29, how do we get charged for phone calls (currently all phone charges with Telstra)?
How do you determine if we get coverage in Maffra Vic, What are the basic requirements we need to have here before this works (any hidden costs)? We already have a modem and wireless router - will this be compatible, and how easy is it to change over? What support do companies like DODO and Internode provide? Does changing internet provider mean a new internet address? Tanya
Changing internet providers is not as complicated as it might seem, and any provider will answer all these questions when you are signing up to a plan.
It sounds like you are interested in Internode – we can answer any questions over the phone and sign you up if you call on 1300 106 571. You can also contact Dodo on 1300 136 793.
I'll also go through your questions with you here so you have a reference.
First of all, if you choose a bundle plan and switch telephone providers, you no longer pay anything to Telstra. Your new broadband and phone provider will include the monthly line rental and broadband cost in one bill. Charges for phone calls will be included in this bill.
Billing processes vary between providers. For example, Internode sends you a bill including all your charges to your email address. There are several payment methods available, including automatic payments.
TPG, however, has a different billing process for call charges on its bundle plans. TPG takes out a $20 deposit and all charges are taken from this deposit. If the deposit runs low, TPG takes another $20 and if no calls are ever made, TPG returns the deposit once the customer leaves.
You can check with the provider about the specifics of billing by giving customer service a quick call.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use your exact address or your phone number to check if the plan you would like is available. If the initial check is successful, you can decide if you want to sign up. In some cases, the application fails because of an infrastructure problem. In these situations, your ISP will not charge you anything and may offer an alternative.
Maffra, Victoria, is considered a regional area and therefore many providers will only offer you an ADSL plan. You will need to call a few providers to get some quotes for your address.
We don't like hidden costs at Compare Broadband, so we provide a breakdown of all the costs of our plans so you can easily compare providers. Click on More Details on any plan to find out the set-up cost, monthly cost, and overall cost over the length of the contract.
Of course, there are always fees for breaking the contract early or moving address. If you intend to move address soon, it's best just to opt for a month-to-month or a six-month contract.
Your modem should be fine, provided it is an ADSL modem and not a cable modem. You will need to enter in your new username and password to enable it to work with the ISP. However, this is a fairly simple process and the instructions that come with the modem will show you what to do.
Customer support varies between providers. Internode support, for example, is all based entirely in Australia, while Dodo support is based overseas. However, an overseas call centre does not necessarily mean bad service. In a recent poll of customer satisfaction, Internode came top with 93% of customers describing themselves as "fairly" or "very" satisfied.
Dodo came lower at 70% but is on the way up; this is a 12% improvement on last year, which suggests customer service is improving.
Technical support times vary, so we have compiled a list of the different opening times here.
When you leave an ISP you usually have to give up your email address. This is why we recommend customers use a free external service such as Gmail. It's not difficult to migrate your contacts and emails to a Gmail account, and we have more information on this here.
Hope this answers your questions - please get in touch if you have any more.