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Level 4: Private Eye

International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I got a sms from Telstra stating that they are going to remove international roaming from pre-paid plans on October 13 2020.

 

I live outside of Australia but have been using a long life plan so that I can still receive messages on my Australian number. The primary usecase is financial / government institutions that send SMS verification codes.

 

Currently, this setup costs be about $30 a year in paying for credit to keep the number active (6 months of long life plan, and then the number stays active for another 6 months after the credit expires).

 

With these changes - what alternative options are available that don't mean the cost will increase by 8x the cost?

Can Telstra remove features like this - do we have any consumer protections?

 

UPDATE:

Apparently Telstra's contact number isn't letting you talk to anyone, nor the website chat. The only method I can "talk" to a real person is on the Telstra app but they don't seem to know what's happening with this announcement.

 

@ashliem - you posted the article so perhaps you can help?

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28 REPLIES 28
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I have the same issue, and spent time this morning trying to actually speak with someone and got nowhere. What are the options for receiving and messages while overseas? I pay $30 per month and spend most of the year working overseas. I need to receive SMS messages for banking etc. I don't need data ... Just the capacity to receive SMS messages. Would a person from Telstra be able to help sort this out?

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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I should also mention that based on their sim only month to month plans, the cheapest option available is $55 per month. That would equate to a 2200% (!!) increase on the current cost of me being able to receive txt messages from outside Australia.

 

Not cool Telstra.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Seems a lot of people are affected by this terrible change. Telstra has really not helped anyone  overseas by bringing it on in the middle of a pandemic when the chances of getting home are small. 

For many overseas, this long life prepaid is essential to keeping things running at home in a simple way by being able to receive texts overseas and then also being able to be up and running as soon as you get home.  Even if you have paid in advance to the middle of next year it counts for nothing and you will just lose your money from October. My efforts to contact Telstra have just been frustrated by automated voices and reply chats....useless!

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

If you send a message through the My Telstra app, you can request a refund on the remainder of your current recharge.

 

You will need to sign up for a month-to-month postpaid plan rather than a Prepaid to maintain your service overseas with Telstra at the moment.

 

And yes, I agree, it's not a good situation to be put in. I'm not sure why Telstra couldn't keep the current system working until the cutover to the new system.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

The chat representative through the app just advised me to try finding another company that does provide prepaid international roaming. Just wow, I cannot believe customer service would say that to someone.

 

I have raised a formal complaint. They have the ability to offer international roaming on postpaid so that should be able to offer a reasonably priced postpaid plan for those of us that are affected by Telstra’s inability to plan a cutover.

 

i recommend that anyone else affected raises a complaint formally too. If nothing satisfactory is presented as a resolution, I’ll take it to the TIO. My view is that they are in violation of consumer rights with their actions here.

 

Failing that, does anyone know which other telcos do prepaid international roaming where you can receive a text message for no cost per message / no roaming per day charges?

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Vodafone would be your best option, especially given that they own a large number of overseas networks.

 

Telstra is definitely shooting themselves in the foot with their rollout of the new prepaid system.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 23: Superhero
Level 23: Superhero

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

@Jupiter I agree, Telstra really are shooting themselves in the foot with the multiple change's to Pre-Paid customer's plans.

 

It doesn't surprise me that Telstra Employees don't know of the change's when customer's are contacting them....lack of communication in-house.

It also doesn't surprise me that the poor customer's overseas are having trouble contacting Telstra to sort this out...it's bad enough for customer's in Australia to contact Telstra at the moment.

 

Looks like Telstra will lose a lot of Pre-Paid customer's who are currently overseas to Vodafone.

Vodafone's equivalent Pre-Paid plan to the Long Life plan is $40 for 365 day's expiry and there's no charge to receive an sms while International Roaming....a lot cheaper than $55/ month on Telstra's month to month plan they expect the Pre-Paid customer's to change to. 

 

 

I am NOT a Telstra employee and never have been. However, I AM a customer who volunteer's my time in the hope to help someone with their question.
To show your appreciation to myself or another member, please click on the LIKE or mark as a SOLUTION for any post that you have found helpful on this forum.
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I have the exact same thing, last 4 days have to explain the exact same thing over and over. Only solution according to Telstra is moving to a $55 a month plan!

Telstra: "Like most providers, we need to do this from time to time so we can continue to meet the needs of every one of our customers"

 

So don't worry, they are doing this for us.... (Sarcasm)

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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Does anyone know if Vodafone can be activated easily to esim? Trying not to have to get a new SIM card posted internationally to me.

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

No. You have to activate the service using a physical SIM first and then you can migrate across to eSIM.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I have been investigating possibilities, and ALDImobile uses the Telstra network and has pre-paid plans from $25 per month that include international roaming, international calls and sms messages to certain countries and data rollover. Looks tempting.

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Given that ALDI is an MVNO within the Telstra network, there is a high possibility that they too will lose International Roaming access. Check it out carefully first.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Well, after what can only be described as an incredibly bizarre decision by Telstra and just atrocious customer experience, I have ported my number to Vodafone.

 

Vodafone have a 365 day plan for $40 - $3.33 a month. A better deal than even the prepaid plan I was on, and an absolute far cry from the extortionate prices that Telstra's cheapest international roaming alternative plan costs (at $55 a month).

 

Process of moving was quite simple. The only caveats are:

1. You need to get the Vodafone sim mailed to someone in Australia who can send you the activation code for the SIM card.

2. You need to be able to send an SMS from your existing number to confirm porting the number away from Telstra to Vodafone. Do this ASAP before Telstra cuts off international roaming if you're like me and not in Australian.

3. Your assistant in Australia that received the mailed physical SIM will need to plug it into a phone to receive a text message if you want to do a sim swap to an eSIM. Having a newer iPhone, this was a simple option to get the number working on my phone without any international postage required.

 

Simple as that. Just make sure you've got credit to send the outbound text and you do it before the roaming cuts out otherwise it'll be a little bit harder.

 

So to Telstra; despite being a loyal Telstra customer for over a decade, willingly paying more than my friends and colleagues for a comparable plan, and in the midst of a global pandemic where many Australians reliant upon the roaming services that their plans provided; you cut me and many others off at the knees. I hope others will follow suit and dump you like a sack of manure. You certainly deserve it after how we've been treated in this process.

 

I'm off to greener pastures with your competitor, Vodafone. I won't ever be back.

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Hubby & I are stuck UK & now looks like we’ll be away from Oz until the new year. We have had the same message from telstra. We are the older school & just don’t understand what to do to change supplier. We are desperate to keep same numbers as my husband has bussiness contacts etc. My daughter is in Oz so if she purchases the sims from vodaphone, can she then post them to us here, but how would we activate & keep same numbers while outside Oz. This is so distressing. Any help will be very gratefully received.

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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

One note to make, your phone number will still be active and with Telstra (but you cannot receive any calls or texts until “mid 2021”). So if you have no need for being contactable on your australian numbers, you can just continue pay for the plan. If you need to be contactable, you’ll need to go to another provider (or pay the crazy month to month prices)


Here’s how you could do it:

1. Get your contact in australia to purchase a sim from Vodafone store (or order online and have it shipped to them)

2. Online activation was simple, you just need the SIM card activation number.

3. As you go through the process, they ask you if you want a new number or to bring existing. Make sure you select to bring existing.

4. Provide your current mobile number that you want to port over to Vodafone.

5. You’ll have to verify you have your current number by responding to a text message from Vodafone (with a security code) from that number. This is how they verify you are the owner of the number. This will mean paying for sending a roaming sms message and must be done before October 13 when Telstra cuts you off roaming.
6. Your new Vodafone SIM cards will be functional now. Just get them mailed to you by your contact in australia. 

Hope this helps.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I am in the same situation and am considering setting up Wi-Fi SMS and Wi-Fi calling on a compatible phone - has anyone considered doing this instead of porting their number to Vodafone?

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/telstravowifi

https://www.telstra.com.au/support/mobiles-devices/telstra-wifi-calling

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/telstravolte

 

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Thanks for that, sure we’ll muddle through.😬 

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

It may or may not work. We will try to get it clarified.

 

@ashliem In the FAQs about WiFi calling & SMS, the main text says it will work overseas, but in the troubleshooting it says that it is only available within Australia. Also, can you confirm that WiFi calling and SMS is available to Prepaid Plans and is not subject to the International Roaming availability requirements, so that people on PrePaid can maintain their connectivity whilst overseas after the 13th October 2020? I'm sure that we will have a flood of queries when the change happens.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

So far, I'm able to enable wifi call on my iPhone XS Max with my longllife prepaid SIM while I'm in roaming(Japan). Hope this wifi call continue working after 13th Oct.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Thanks for confirming - does that mean you can receive text messages (like banking verification codes) via the wi-fi calling/sms?  I am waiting for the delivery of an Iphone SE 2nd generation to test it out . . . yes, I hope this can continue working after 13 October, and hopefully @Jupiter can get clarification of that from @ashliem at Telstra.  Thanks!!

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

I am wondering if WiFi calling & SMS is not an option (I realise we are waiting for clarification on whether that will be available for international roaming on prepaid) - is another option to change to an XS (extra small) Telstra Data Plan (https://www.telstra.com.au/help/critical-information-summaries/personal/mobile-broadband/mobile-broa...) at $15.00 per month, which still has international roaming (but has PAYG rates for calls/SMS/MMS)? "Calls/SMS/MMS will be charged at international roaming rates (refer to telstra.com/overseas) and mobile data at $3 per MB (charged per KB or part) if you:

  • use your service outside of Eligible Roaming Destinations 
  • choose to opt out of your International Day Pass"

I know it is not as inexpensive as the Vodafone plan of $40 for 365 days, but it may enable those who are overseas to stay with Telstra and not have the hassle of porting a number over while they are out of the country . . . just a thought.  

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Hello

 

I managed to set up Telstra Wi-Fi calling on an Iphone SE second edition; just involved contacting Telstra through the My Telstra app and ask them to refresh the data connection for my cell number. 

 

Roaming outside of Australia with a prepaid SIM and with the phone in airplane mode, and connected to Wi-Fi, my carrier name changed to "Telstra Wi-Fi Call".

 

Is there any way to obtain confirmation from Telstra that Wi-Fi Calling/Wi-Fi SMS will continue to function in this manner after international roaming is inactive after 13 October 2020, as you asked in your original message?

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

According to the documents that have been posted, VoWiFi and SMSoWiFI will continue to work overseas.

 

I suspect that the troubleshooting section of the FAQ on those technologies was overlooked when it was updated.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

What is the degree of certainty that Telstra Wi-Fi Call ('VoWiFi Calling' or 'VoWiFi') will still be available outside of Australia for Pre-Paid after 13 OCT?

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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

It should be available. If it doesn't work, then it would be classified as a fault.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Thanks for the detailed guidance eSIM_As_123

 

I am coming to this a little late which will make this a little harder...

 

Will the international roaming end on 13 October or after 13 October (i.e. is there still time to have the Australian helper purchase the Vodafone SIM today (13 October) and get everything done in one day?)

 

Otherwise, what is the best option - send the Telstra SIM back to Australia and the porting can be done by the Australian helper set up the transfer there, or shift to a post-paid for one month to maintain the international roaming capacity to do the porting as you have suggested?

 

Thanks.

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Level 2: Rookie

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

Solution: Telstra Wi-Fi Call 

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: International Roaming for Pre-Paid After October 13, 2020

It's November 6 and I still have International Roaming working in the USA. Anyone know what's going on here?

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