Telco prepaid deals have become more and more complex over time, and trying to compare value between an Optus Turbo Cap and the Telstra Talk 'n' Text plans, for example, is a minefield of dissimilar options and value add-ons. The new Optus Dollar Days are something refreshingly different, offering unlimited services for either AU$1, AU$2 or AU$3 per day or no charge at all on days you don't use your phone.
So how does it work?
Like all prepaid plans, you choose your Dollar Day level from the outset and recharge your account with a voucher ranging from AU$10 to AU$100. The recharge structure remains exactly the same as it has been, with the same expiry periods associated with the different recharge levels.
If you choose the AU$1 deal your account is debited AU$1 when you make your first call or send a message each day. If you begin using a service outside of your rate plan, ie, calling a non-Optus mobile on an AU$1 plan, you are automatically debited an extra dollar and sent an SMS confirmation of this transaction.
At midnight each day all plans reset and you revert back to your original plan, either AU$1, AU$2 or AU$3.
Optus tells us that customers will be free to switch between the Dollar Day plans to suit their needs. Customers who choose the AU$3 per day plan and who use their phone everyday between Monday and Friday will get free unlimited access to calls and data for both Saturday and Sunday.
What do you get for $1?
The three-tier pricing is pretty straight forward. AU$1 gets you unlimited calls to all Aussie landlines and Optus mobile numbers until midnight the next day, plus unlimited use of Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Foursquare, MySpace and LinkedIn.
If you want to call a non-Optus mobile, you pay an extra dollar and add unlimited calls to all mobiles to your service for the rest of the day. If you want to browse the web outside of the sites listed above, you add another dollar and get unlimited web browsing until the day is over.
Are you charged to receive a call or message?
No, unless you use your phone to make a call, send a message or browse the web, you don't pay anything that day. Even if someone calls and leaves you voicemail, you can retrieve that message without a charge debiting your account.
What if you make a call at 11pm?
If your first call of the day occurs at 11pm then expect to pay your AU$1 or AU$2 for that call (depending on whose number you dial). All Dollar Days occur between 12am and 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time (that's Sydney time, not your crazy Western Australian time).