If you send a lot of text messages and make a lot of calls to your buddies around Australia, then you definitely want a mobile phone plan with unlimited SMS and national calling. You don't have to spend much money at all to make that happen, though -- Vaya says it can do exactly that, plus a little bit of 4G data too, for just $16 a month.
Importantly, this isn't for mobile data -- that's the holy grail of 4G telco, and we'd pay a bunch more than $16 to make that happen. No, this is an unlimited calls and messages plan, and includes 1GB of data for some light-duty web browsing and email over the course of each (calendar) month.
For that $16 per month, you get Vaya's re-jigged Unlimited S plan, with 1GB of Optus 4G-powered data and unlimited national calls and texts, with a $10 excess charge per extra gigabyte of data. This same plan was previously $20 per month, and included 1.5GB of data. The S-M-L-XL plan setup now runs $16, $22, $26 and $36 per month, with identical offerings apart from the 1GB, 2GB, 3GB and 7GB of data allocated to each.
That's a full 95 cents cheaper than Vaya's closest competitor, Kogan, which has a 1GB data and unlimited calls powered by the Vodafone 4G network for $16.95 per month. But Vaya can make its plans less expensive again. If you're prepared to make a 12-month commitment to this cheapest-ever Vaya plan, too, you can drop that monthly price down to a miniscule $14.50 per month, at a total upfront cost of $174.
The same 12-month setup is available across all Vaya plans, dropping the aforementioned monthly prices back to $20, $24 and $33 per month. Data is billed per kilobyte, too, so there's no hidden extra usage like some competitors include by billing per megabyte of usage, even if a data session doesn't round itself out to a full megabyte each time. Vaya's data-only plans remain the same at $10, $25 or $45 per month for 1.5GB, 5GB or 15GB of data.
To make it even more tempting, Vaya has spent the last six months -- since it was acquired by Australia's other main budget market player, Amaysim -- doubling down on saving as much money as possible by refining its processes and cutting out unnecessary procedures. There's no setup charge for your initial SIM, for example (a saving of $10). Competitor plans are assessed on a daily basis to make sure Vaya is the cheapest option within its segment.
The other part of the equation is Vaya's price beat guarantee, which it offers to new customers and existing customers alike. The concept is simple -- Vaya wants to keep its customers happy, and it wants to retain them. Any customer that shows them a (non-promotional) superior plan will have their own plan's price cut to equal that, and will get a month free to boot. And it works -- complaints to the TIO, it says, are down 90 per cent on the same period last year.