• long running

Free Local, National & Mobile Calls (with 6-Hour Call Limit) and SMS with Telstra Public Payphones

3910

Australia’s 15,076 public payphones will be free to use. Both local and national phone calls with be fee-free as part of the Telstra's payphone overhaul, as well as calls to Australian mobile phone numbers, with no restrictions other than a six-hour limit on phone calls.

Consumers will still have to pay to call overseas, however.

via Courier Mail

Related Stores

Telstra
Telstra
Brand

Comments

  • +57 votes

    Because I always spend up to 6 hours in a phone box.

    (but a great new change by Telstra).

    • +24 votes

      Never been to a small village in rural NSW? In many areas, mobile coverage is patchy at best, some people can't afford or don't use mobiles, but every single train station, post office, or general store has a telstra payphone.

      Example: Nevertire NSW< population 200. Patchy on Optus, OK on Telstra, nothing on Voda.

      https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-31.8372505,147.7166866,3a,75y,97.54h,82.08t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdUOdrHsTi6bNErt_QwgaQw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

      • +8 votes

        And this is why I'm happy to pay the extra and use a telstra service. They don't just take the high profit dense cities, but actually serve country areas

        • +37 votes

          Just remember that Telstra accept and lobby for government funding to serve those country areas. I can assure you Telstra are as grubby and unscrupulous as any other telco.

        • +1 vote

          Interesting.

          I live in Junee, a town of approximately 4,500 people, 40 minutes drive north of Wagga Wagga, in NSW.

          My mobile phone is with Aldi Mobile, which uses part of the Telstra network. I have friends who are with Telstra. I have friends who are with Optus. And I have friends with Vodafone.

          Inside my house, I can barely get 2 bars of service. It's the same for my friends who come here and are with Telstra. Those who are with Optus and Vodafone get full service.

          In the front and back yards, the story is much the same. But in my garage, Aldi and Telstra service has gone completely. Optus and Vodafone are still functioning well enough to make and receive phone calls.

          At one friend's house here, who is with Telstra, he has to go to either of two rooms in his house to make phone calls. He might get service in his backyard. He gets no service in his front yard.

          Driving between Junee and Wagga Wagga on the Olympic Highway, I can usually keep phone service for the whole journey, but it isn't guaranteed. I have no hope of data service for most of the journey. I don't have any reports from people on either Optus or Vodafone. But on the alternative route, known as Byrnes Rd, Telstra/Aldi customers lose service less than 5 km from Junee and don't regain any usable service until about 10 km from Wagga Wagga. I've had friends who are with Optus in the car with me and have been carrying on both phone and text conversations for the whole journey. Friends on Vodafone keep asking me what the problem is and why I prefer not to use that road!

          And I tell my wife that when she's driving on her own, I prefer that she drives on the Olympic Highway. Even though that road isn't fully covered by Telstra, it has a lot better coverage than the alternative route.

          Finally, today I was in town, in my car when a friend rang me. I answered, using hands-free Bluetooth, of course(!), and he kept telling me that I was breaking up. In other locations, there are no problems with breaking up when using the same hands-free Bluetooth system.

      • +1 vote

        Yeah, so isn't it a reason you don't want someone hogging the phone for 6 hours?

    • +12 votes

      not sure if you are being sarcastic, but if you grow up in any remote area, this is actually great..

      • +15 votes

        Chrism isn’t saying it’s not great. Just that no one hogs a pay phone for over 6 hours.

        • +5 votes

          I think even 1 hour would be reasonable and ‘fair use’

    • -38 votes

      Great change but telstra loosing money on this. Bad for share holders.

      News article said this will cost them millions.

      Indian scamers gona be working from these booths lol. So you wont get to use them anyway.

      • +30 votes

        To be honest it probably costs more to just empty the cash.

        • +4 votes

          It does and in many cases it’s been emptied before by some desperate local, who at the same time often disables the phone for someone needy.

      • +1 vote

        Sometimes life is about more than making a profit for shareholders.

        In the embedded audio interview here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-03/telstra-has-made-its-...
        Telstra's CEO says the financial loss will be about $5M/pa, and later goes on to say that Telstra will always do things that are in the interest of their shareholders.

        • +3 votes

          It is worth considering what Telstra are leaving out of their PR in this, though. I've had a conversation with a payphone technician who is being let go by Telstra at the end of this month who basically said that 95% of their job involved clearing out jammed coin mechanisms. So with this, they're letting most of the payphone technicians go, leaving a skeleton staff to deal with faults and vandalism. I'd wager that's at least $1-2 million worth of salaries they no longer have to pay for, assuming they have 40 dedicated payphone staff across the country. But I think even that may be an underestimate.

          I'm guessing the phones may have slightly more wear and tear from being actually used now rather than just sitting waiting to serve the one or two paid calls they may get per day, but from what I've observed even during the free call periods over Christmas and New Year that Telstra have been doing on a yearly basis, no one ever used the phones.

          Telstra gets paid $45 million a year by the government to maintain the payphone network, so a potential $5 million a year drop in revenue is next to nothing for them.

          I'm personally surprised Telstra didn't use an offer of free calls (or Wi-Fi) as carrot they could dangle in front of the City of Sydney and City of Melbourne in their disputes over using the phone boxes as advertising billboards.

          Glad to see them go ahead and enable free calls permanently on all payphones across the country, but I'm just surprised it's taken so long. The wholesale cost of national calls has been basically free for years now.

      • +16 votes

        They make far more money from the digital advertising they put on these phones than they do the phones themselves.

        • +7 votes

          Yeah spot on.
          They make a ton on the advertising.
          This just allows them easier permits to roll out more digital advertising 'phones'.

        •  

          It's the google business model: service is free when the users are the product :)

        •  

          But they did get a recent slap from Melbourne City Council for their advertising.

      • +1 vote

        Sometimes a social conscience is worth more than the bottom line.

        •  

          Theyre not really losing money on this. Most charity from business ends up making the company more than they lose.

      •  

        Goodwill generating revenue from other areas of Telstra's business is good for shareholders.

    •  

      It's potential you will need to one day. If you happen to experience the same events as in the Phone Booth movie.

  • +16 votes

    Telstra Payphones Advertising Televisions

  • +34 votes

    Could you imagine going to work and passing by a phonebox with a guy in there, and finishing work seeing the same guy

    • -9 votes

      more like a girl

    • +48 votes

      Lucky u. Work less then 6 hours :(

      • +9 votes

        It's not lucky so much as most new jobs you can get are not full time; they're casual or part-time with few hours.

    • +3 votes

      Damn hipsters

    • +20 votes

      The joke's on Telstra. I'm gonna hang up after 6 hours and dial again. You'll see me there for 12 hours.

    • +5 votes

      Probably running an IT support business.

      • +1 vote

        Or a call centre

  • +10 votes

    Doesn't seem like a good idea during lockdown

    • -4 votes

      kek

      •  

        lol wrong team :p

    • +2 votes

      Unless you lock yourself down in the payphone booth.

    • +12 votes

      If you have the money to make phone calls on a mobile, sure…

      For the less fortunate, this could be their lifeblood.

      • -4 votes

        Depending on how many calls you make, a mobile can be infinitely cheaper than a pay phone. 50c didn't even get you a minute from memory

        • +8 votes

          OP:

          Australia’s 15,076 public payphones will be free to use. Both local and national phone calls with be fee-free

          Jackson:

          Depending on how many calls you make, a mobile can be infinitely cheaper than a pay phone

          A mobile can be infinitely cheaper than a fee-free pay phone?

          • -8 votes

            @whitey1212: It hasn't been free since inception, but I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone who needed to make phone calls up until now already has a mobile. You can still use 3g phones that were purchased back in 2001 20 years ago. Telstra has made these free because they don't know what else to do

            • +1 vote

              @Jackson: There are literally suburbs in the Brisbane CBD area which are black spots (hills district, for example)

              If your landline goes out, and you're not meant to see people face to face, it doesnt matter what you own, the reception still needs to reach your suburb.

            • +5 votes

              @Jackson: You need to come out of your inner city ivory tower. There are some who don’t. And some who forget their mobile every now and again.

            • +3 votes

              @Jackson: I work in mental health and many of my clients do not have phones. One in particular often uses his last dollar to use a pay phone to call me and tell me he’s homeless with no way to get to the shelter in the CBD. So it’s not “safe to say” everyone who needs to make calls has a phone. There’s a huge cohort of people who don’t have phones, or if they do, don’t have credit. Just because it’s not an issue for you, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue for others.

  • +17 votes

    Wow handy to know, for emergencies + no phone battery… will have have start memorising more numbers though..

    • +10 votes

      will have have start memorising more numbers though..

      Just carry this around with you

      • +3 votes

        I doubt they were ever that expensive when they were actually in fashion!

    • +2 votes

      No 'emergency contact' card in your wallet?

      Sounds like time to fix that :)

      Also means people have a number to call if you lose your wallet.

      • +2 votes

        I can't even remember the last time I carried a wallet with me. Everything is tied to my phone.

        • +5 votes

          Someone is not prepared for the Zombie apocalypse.

          • +7 votes

            @tomsco: I've already been vaccinated, so I'll be one of the first to turn. No need to be prepared! haha

    • +4 votes

      I don't know anybody important's phone numbers but I'll be able to call Pizza Hut and Lube Mobile until the day I die.

  • +3 votes

    Nice gesture, however I don't believe anything in the Courier Mail.

    • +12 votes
      • +18 votes

        Nice gesture, however I don't believe anything in the ABC.

    • -1 vote

      Hard to believe anyone'd think it's a good idea to encourage people to use public receivers in a pandemic too

      • +3 votes

        Id advise not licking it, and sanitize your hands like when touching any public item, like a door handle or hand rail.

        Really not too tricky.

        • +1 vote

          Not suggesting it should be avoided, only that it's a strange time for a shift to promotion

          • +3 votes

            @0jay: I disagree. For people who cant afford a phone, and would usually pop down the block to see the other person, or walk down to the job agency/centrelink; its the exact time its needed.

            Making all government phone numbers free would be wiser; because i agree, "everyone" can find a $20 junk phone from a friend, but even now they're still the cost of a local call.

            So you need credit to call them.

            Its unfair to so many.

            • -1 vote

              @MasterScythe: I've zero issue with with the initiative, the timing however is about as sh1tty as it can possibly be.

              • +5 votes

                @0jay: I just explained why its not though.

                Just because there's a lockdown, centrelink, policewatch, job agencies etc. Still require you to "check in".

                For the many who can normally only do this in person, now there's an alternative.

                Its a great time to offer free calls to people with no tech advantage.

                •  

                  @MasterScythe: Public health measures err on the side of caution, it's the default setting for situations of this nature. Telstra's flying in the face of this tenet.

                  You can argue there's negligible risk, that accepted measures we've all come to perform without thought will protect anyone wanting to use a public phone. The point is that more people using public facilities (particularly equipment that's held so close to the face) heightens the risk of transmission.

                  Whether or not there's a particular need/benefit in this particular moment is pretty contentious, it's arguably more a matter of convenience than need for anyone in Aus 2021.

                  • +4 votes

                    @0jay:

                    Public health measures err on the side of caution, it's the default setting for situations of this nature. Telstra's flying in the face of this tenet.

                    Providing free facilities to stop the under privileged from needing to go places in-person; you consider flying in the face of this tenet? Eg. social distancing?

                    I dont understand your argument at all.

                    Less peoples going to centrelink (or police check in, etc) in person, and being able to phone instead, is a good thing.

                    Encouraging distanced communication is a good thing.

                    • -2 votes

                      @MasterScythe: You're assuming (among other things) that people don't have access to a phone under normal circumstances. I'd argue that's naive in the extreme.

                      Free calls from public phones is not encouraging anything but sharing equipment that's necessarily held inches from an orifice that's the primary vector of transmission.

                      • +4 votes

                        @0jay:

                        You're assuming (among other things) that people don't have access to a phone under normal circumstances. I'd argue that's naive in the extreme.

                        Can I ask your background, to have this info?

                        Speaking as someone who works with new immigrants, asylum seekers, and the police, I know there are literally thousands who dont, in my city alone. (And as a Brisbane resident, its a 'small' city).

                        What makes you think my knowledge is naive?

                        In all seriousness;
                        How do your local homeless book a bed and shower? Ours need a phone call (or to visit in person).

                        Im really curious what your states solution is to that.

                        How about someone who just got off the boat and is waiting on legal papers? Have you tried to help with getting a birth certificate lately? Its super delayed! And even prepaid needs ID these days.

                        You call me naive, but I honestly think you're just used to working with people who are 'in luck' in life.

                        • -3 votes

                          @MasterScythe: You reckon Telstra are aiming this initiative at the homeless? Seriously? Some homeless may benefit though surprising numbers of people without permanent accomodation have their own phone. One overall observation to make is that this is a promotional exercise by Telstra and any homeless or refugees who might benefit are collateral beneficiaries.

                          As for myself, I'm not so invested in this conversation that I have any intention of revealing personal history but I can tell you that I am intimately familiar with the minutiae of homelessness and I dare say (in spite of your spontaneously submitted resume) substantially more familiar than you.

                          •  

                            @0jay: I don't claim them to be aiming it at anyone.
                            I only claimed the benefits now it's in place.

                            You claimed everyone already had access to a phone without telstras help.
                            I disagreed.

                            You may indeed have spent more time on the streets than I, but it doesn't take long to understand what you need to do, to get by.
                            Doesn't mean you know anything about how to help the disadvantaged now.

                            • -3 votes

                              @MasterScythe:

                              it doesn't take long to understand what you need to do, to get by

                              Cringe, so fckin cringe.

                              • +2 votes

                                @0jay: What does that mean? Homelessness can make you cringe all you wish, it's a fact of life for many.
                                The need to use payphones and public beds\showers can make you cringe also; but you need to, to get by.
                                Harden up.

                                •  

                                  @MasterScythe: Some social worker claiming to know what it's like to be in need of social support is cringeworthy. It's a cliche (such a fckin cliche) apart from anything else.

                                  Any time I've considered (been a long time now) getting into social work I just have to consider people with privilege and narrow life experience and I'm quickly disabused of the idea.

                                  •  

                                    @0jay: Who's the social worker, claiming that?
                                    Is there a social worker here?

                                    Even if it was\is a cliche, why does that invalidate it?
                                    It shouldn't make you cringe, it should make you proud of humanity.

                                    You said you were

                                    substantially more familiar than you.

                                    with homelessness; and I didnt want to pry with how long you'd been on the streets, so I let you have that claim, without argument.
                                    You shouldn't need to reveal what hardship you faced for us to trust that you're familiar with it.

                                    •  

                                      @MasterScythe: You may or may not be employed under that title, could be you're a volunteer. I'm not trying to invalidate anything but if you had a little bit of imagination you'd be in a position to appreciate why it's problematic.

                                      You got almighty righteous and that has led us here. Dog knows it doesn't get much more tedious than this but above and beyond that I have work to do.

                                      You have a lovely evening.

                                      •  

                                        @0jay: I didn't get righteous at all, I simply claimed it was a good time to encourage distance communication, and it's an advantage for those less well off.
                                        You claimed I was naive for thinking that not everyone already had access to a phone.

                                        I'm sorry, I wasn't the one who was claiming to have 'more homeless knwledge than thou' now, was i?

                                        How hard is it to say "Gee, thats a good use case I hadn't considered the homeless" or "the assylum seekers" and leave it at that?
                                        I even spelled out how it affects them for you.

                                        It's OK, I've made my point also. Enjoy.

                                        •  

                                          @MasterScythe:

                                          I didn't get righteous at all

                                          What was the resume for?

                                          I wasn't the one who was claiming

                                          I was countering your assertion of expertise

                                          How hard is it to say "Gee, thats a good use case I hadn't considered the homeless" or "the assylum seekers" and leave it at that?

                                          You're advising how to respond to your painfully pedestrian 'insights'?

                                          Mate you wound the clock, don't complain about the tick

                                          •  

                                            @0jay:

                                            What was the resume for?

                                            You didn't get one. Simply a quick overview, to counter your accusation of naivety.

                                            I was countering your assertion of expertise

                                            By refusing to provide evidience.

                                            You're advising how to respond to your painfully pedestrian 'insights'?

                                            Yes, because you seem to be struggling, still.
                                            The fact you consider them pedestrian, yet needed to have them pointed out, should be an eye opener.

                                            •  

                                              @MasterScythe: You asked for my background, then you call it a 'claim', now you tell me I've refused to provide 'evidence'

                                              Damn. Yes, I'm struggling.

                                              •  

                                                @0jay: Sorry to hear that. Case closed.

                                                •  

                                                  @MasterScythe:

                                                  Sorry to hear that

                                                  Could be instead of volunteering to patronise the 'under privileged' you should do a refresher in basic comprehension, seems a bit like you've got the wrong end of the stick.

                                                  •  

                                                    @0jay: I comprehend things just fine.
                                                    I'm sorry to hear you're struggling, but had nothing else to add.

                                                  •  

                                                    @0jay: Struggling with the notion you can flip around like a fish without seeing any contradiction in your own contrary assertions.

                                                    • +2 votes

                                                      @0jay: I'm sorry to hear that. Take care.

                                                      •  

                                                        @MasterScythe: Don't be sorry, show some basic respect to you interlocutors and construct your arguments with care

                                                        •  

                                                          @0jay: I did.
                                                          And in light of being shown their errors, they decided to try and belittle the conversation by calling the points pedestrian (despite having needed them pointed out), claimed to have knowledge of homelessness beyond another without citing any evidience, and then was 'struggling' with the end of the conversation.

                                                          I'm quite happy with the points I raised in this discussion, and you're now neglecting the 'job you have to do' by continuing to debate.

                                                          Thanks for your time, but I made my points, so unless you wish to present some new information as to why certain groups won't benefit from free payphones, my point is made.

                                                          All I did beyond that, is suggest more eloquent ways to address a point well made in a discussion, rather than with dismissal.
                                                          You're welcome to not use them.

                                                          •  

                                                            @MasterScythe:

                                                            belittle the conversation by calling the points pedestrian

                                                            Pedestrian means unremarkable, what in the clear blue sky leads you to assume I needed it pointed out? I dare say it may well be the first thing that'd pop into the average person's head for free public phone calls

                                                            without citing any evidience

                                                            Exactly what evidence would suffice, pray tell (this coming from someone who just a few posts back asserted a person 'shouldn't need to reveal' personal information)?

                                                            I am neglecting my work, though that's none of your business.

                                                            •  

                                                              @0jay:

                                                              what in the clear blue sky leads you to assume I needed it pointed out?

                                                              Because you claimed, in error, that it was naive to assume that some people needed access to a payphone, and would benefit from it being free; which was clearly incorrect.
                                                              I pointed out, that In times of pandemic, remote communication is prefferred.
                                                              I proceeded to present a few examples of several thousand people who don't fit the world view you presented.

                                                              Exactly what evidence would suffice

                                                              Hmmm… well, of course it would be anecdotal, but some actual detail of your homeless experience would be a step in the right direction.

                                                              this coming from someone who just a few posts back asserted a person 'shouldn't need to reveal' personal information.

                                                              You shouldn't need to.
                                                              Though when making claims like being 'substantially more familiar than you' with something; for that claim to be given credibility, the onus of proof lies with the speaker.

                                                              Surely, you understand that sentences that translate to 'I know more than you, I won't tell you how!' is just screaming to be interrogated.
                                                              It's the adult form of "I know a secret you don't!" from playground days.

                                                              I am neglecting my work, though that's none of your business.

                                                              Why take that attitude? Thats uncalled for.
                                                              You shared earlier that you had work to do, and are now sharing an example of your negligence.
                                                              If it's 'none of my business', fine, but you can't be mad at me for knowing it, once you've shared it.

                                                              •  

                                                                @MasterScythe: This guy is so pressed he private messaged me to tell me I was a hypocrite for not reading all his comments. I can’t even imagine being so insightless tbh. Ya doing a dope job mate.

                                  •  

                                    @0jay:

                                    Any time I've considered (been a long time now) getting into social work I just have to consider people with privilege and narrow life experience and I'm quickly disabused of the idea.

                                    That cliched social worker is still contributing more than you…

                          •  

                            @0jay:

                            As for myself, I'm not so invested in this conversation that I have any intention of revealing personal history but I can tell you that I am intimately familiar with the minutiae of homelessness and I dare say (in spite of your spontaneously submitted resume) substantially more familiar than you.

                            So TLDR: I had a friend of a friend who was homeless once so I know all there is to know

                            • -3 votes

                              @jackary:

                              I had a friend of a friend

                              Buddy, working with vulnerable people does not make you an expert and it sure as sh1t does not make you clairvoyant

                              •  

                                @0jay: Buddy, I didn’t profess to be. Some would say you’re assuming. ;)

                                •  

                                  @jackary:

                                  Didn’t profess to be

                                  You've professed to know a whole constellation of data above and beyond (and contrary to) a statement made by a stranger.