Today's (Unofficial) "in Contact" Service

So, some of our Boomers may recall
a time, when Telstra (~the only game in town) would actually install & enable an Incoming-ONLY landline (called "In Contact") service in any home, that had No paid landline service… all Cost-Free.

(Beyond 000 calls [&, maybe, 1800 #'s], the only calls you could make were to Telstra… No other telco's, if any existed…)

(Dunno if they'd run & wire-up a new phone line., eg, to a Newly Built home… but that's not my point, today).

Anyway, this provided a way to keep in touch w/ kids, who'd left the nest, seniors who didn't want to leave theirs, even squatters (I suppose), etc.

In a recent post, I asked for leads to cheap ways to "park" a mobile no. (as a Boost service was approaching the end of its 1-year "PrePay" service). Thanks for all the leads, Brain-Trust… ;~)

There's one "workaround" (ie, "In Service" like arrangement) that I'd forgotten, that seems to work, for [pre-paid] mobile services, that are past their last
charge cycle.

Like "In Service" it only provides Incom-
ing phone [+SMS] service, apparently, as
part of the "grace period" that telco's
may (FAIK) be required to give, to preclude
your last Telco from grabbing your "nice"
number, to sell to someone else.

I wouldn't advise taking it "too close" to
the end of the 6-month grace period, but
- IF COVID' has cut your income - it may
help you to use it (carefully), now+then.

To apply the workaround - at your own
risk - simply don't charge your last pre-
paid service or port out your number to
any new service.

I was advised, that you can depend on
your telco:

  1. Not to cut your Incoming Call + SMS services (dunno about MMS… Do you?) &

  2. Not to allocate your phone # to another.

Note: YMMV. Mine did:

  • Telstra "stole" my (so called) "Premium" number, after REFUSING to allow it to be used on the "Sacred" Telstra network (!), eg, on a cost-effective BOOST prepaid plan (ie, the one with Unlimited INTERNATIONAL calls + messages to 25 other lands)

  • (No one could ring us, & we had No "Message Bank" style service

You were limited to a costly (for same services) Post-Paid contract

  • Telstra's silly "logic" being: "A costly Volvo should pay more to use their toll-road, than a cheaper, used car would, for the same trip"


  • +12 votes

    A: Telstra didn’t “steal” anything, you relinquished it by not paying. They would have given you something like 3 to 6 months to top up, and you didn’t.

    B: if you are not paying for a service, why should they give you message bank? They are not a free call minding service.

    C: your silly logic is to expect something for nothing. And their toll system does work. The guy that drives the big B-Double freight truck (ie: heavy phone user) pays more than the guy in the Toyota Yaris (ie: light phone user)

    You can literally park your phone number for about $15 a year With Aldi and get all the incoming calls and messages. That’s literally 4¢/day. Or about 3 coffees less per year. And I am sure that it you looked around hard enough, you may find other telcos who have a 365 day plan even cheaper.

    • your silly logic is to expect something for nothing

      It's arguable that being able to contact 000 is an 'essential service' that should be provided free to everyone.

      • 000 is a free service. So much so, that you don’t even require a SIM card in a phone for an emergency call to work. Are you suggesting that we should supply everyone with a free phone?

        • Are you suggesting that we should supply everyone with a free phone?

          They already do that.
          Both Telstra and Optus gave free phones to people that had really old phones.
          Either centrelink or job active give free phones to ‘disadvantaged’ people that don’t have one at all.

        • -2 votes

          Since Smart-Phones hit the market,
          I'd rather have a Code to Temporarily
          Disable 000 / 112 calling by such phones,
          so we could let others give older phones
          to their kids, without risk, that False
          calls to Emerg. numbers'd be made
          by phone recipients. ;~/

      • As above, this is inbuilt in ever mobile. You can also call it from a pay phone.

    • Agreed with the above. Telstra are not a charity? Why would you expect them to allow the utilisation of their network for no cost?

      • Probably thinks that “Telecom” is still government owned and can be just propped up by the tax payers.

    • Plus, even if they did offer callers a message bank option, accessing it is an outbound call, which this mythical plan can't do.

      I have a parked sim with Amaysim. I pay $10/year, no inclusions - but if someone leaves a message (my voicemail message is literally "don't leave a message, I don't check this mailbox, send a text or email me") I can access it but for a small fee.

      So, yeah, not even $15!

  • The Aldi $5 sims are another option for a long-expiry incoming service.

    When activating, you can choose the pay-as-you-go option, and then decline when it asks you to add a payment card and recharge. (Minimum recharges are $15.)

    Your included $5 credit from the sim will now remain valid for 365 days, and presumably after it expires, you'll get the normal additional grace period before the number is switched off.

    • -1 vote

      Yeah, ZeroMobile had a "cheap" counterpart,
      but with No opportunity to say "No Thank-U"

      I think they hold $20 of our cash

      Thanks for the tip.

      PS We're 100's of Km's from the nearest ALDI,
      but we respect their business model (that earns
      more $$ / unit shop floor space, than Coles or
      Woollies or most other Auusie "competitors" ;~)

  • +3 votes

    And the IVI hits just keep on coming…..

    • +1 vote

      Hmm “Interesting” history of topics, now that you mentioned it.

      • -1 vote

        Just wait for ~2029, when Aussies see
        small, Liquid-Fuel, Molten Salt Reactors
        purring along, churning out 350 MWe,
        in Canada & elsewhere

        That'll be 'Biggest Hit of All: Home-Run!

        So, help push our Coal-Mongering PM
        to: (his choice of) Lifting the 1999 BAN
        on Smart, Safe NUCLEAR ENERGY…


        Out the Door, to be replaced by some1,
        who Sides with Science, for a change!

  • Moral of the story … if you want something, enter into a binding contract with someone for that thing, noting that you should expect to pay for that service.

  • Unlimited INTERNATIONAL calls + messages to 25 other lands

    I'm interested in this - international and "other lands"? Are these "other lands" places like Narnia and Hogwarts?

  • Anyone have issue comprehending this post? Gyess I should go back to school?