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Free Local Calls

By TravelDecember, 2006May 20th, 20242 min read

My new friend, Michael the telemarketer, called me with the latest offer from Telstra. For just $99 per month, I get service & equipment included, plus as many local and national calls I can make. And this is for my home phone service!

Poor fellow did not know who he was messing with, so I decided that I would mess with him instead (insert wicked laugh here). This was the perfect opportunity to look for all the holes in his offer, and to work out what Telstra was trying to achieve with this.

Of course the fixed to mobile calls (for 25c flag plus 22c per min) were not included in the bundle, this being the fastest growing component of anyone’s bill. International calls were full of the usual tricks: calls to US was 61c for up to 10 minutes. He was unable to tell me a per-minute rate or a flagfall, only that it was stepped.

Telstra are being their usual clever selves here: access charges are being eaten up by DSL and VOIP providers buying wholesale, or just being cannibalized by wireless and mobile substitution. So they are desperate to tie access and usage back together. This offer does more than that – it locks in some high ARPUs for something that barely costs them anything!

Michael was even game enough to tell me who he really works for. No, I won’t name the company here, but they are “the main arm of Telstra in bringing people back”. That sounds so partiotic you’d think Telstra was fully Australian owned! At least his name wasn’t Mukhtar – his company proudly have offices in every capital city, and in most cases are “next door” to Telstra.

I won’t be putting my name on the “do not call” register – this is way too much fun!

This was also posted at [Billing Bureau].

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