Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Optus experience – Part 2: Signing up

So, after studying the prices and conditions of the services I'm likely to use most, and after comparing my mobile usage of the past 12 months between my existing plan and this Optus Prepaid Daily plan, I decide to give said Optus plan a go.

There's of course a convenient Buy Now button on the website; but I decide to go old school and do it at the physical shop. That way, I get my SIM straight away, as opposed to sometime between now and the next Melbourne Cup; someone in the store might even be able to clarify the stuff I couldn't find any information about, like the finer points of roaming etc; and the Optus staff can probably do the transfer of my existing phone number from Telstra, too.

So, off to the Optus store in Parramatta, where a sales chick is actually able to clarify some questions regarding roaming (sending MMS from overseas is $ 1.00 per message; roaming can't be disabled, mobile data roaming can't be disabled (must disable mobile data in phone)). However, I later find out that not all her very convincingly presented information is correct; once you have an active account, you actually can disable roaming via the web in the Settings section.

In any case, the actual sign-up process is quick and painless. The friendly shop assistant sets up my account, transfers my number from Telstra in the process, takes my money, and hands me the SIM. Then, she cheerfully informs me that my shiny new Optus SIM will be activated "within 4 hours". Since the old account (in my case Telstra) goes dead pretty much the moment the number is being transferred, this potentially leaves you with a communications black hole for a couple of hours. Definitely something to consider when planning the move from one carrier to another.

In my case, my phone gets an Optus signal after approximately 2 hours. My next post will outline how things go from there.

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