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Some long expiry pre-paid and pay as you go mobile plans charge for 13 number calls by the minute. These plans may not be good value if you often call 13 numbers and you may find your credit gets used up quickly.

Here are some plans that charge for 13 number calls by duration (note: there may be other plans on the market that charge for these calls as well):

The tips below will help you avoid using your credit quickly on 13 number calls.

Check to see how 13 number calls are charged on your plan

Most mobile plans now offer unlimited calls including calls to 13 numbers. There are plenty of pre-paid and post-paid options, some costing as low as $10 per month. If your credit gets used up quickly by calling 13 numbers, shop around for a new plan that offers unlimited calls. If you’ve been on a plan for a long time, you should also review it to see if there’s one that’s better suited to your needs.

If you do not have unlimited calls included in your plan, you will be charged for each minute of a call to a 13 number. This could use up your credit faster if you call 13 numbers a lot. Most providers will not charge you for calling their own 13 numbers, for example, your mobile provider’s helplines.

Track your usage

With spend management tools and SMS usage alerts from your provider, your spending is now much easier to track. Once you have used your included value on a pre-paid plan you will not be able to make calls or send text messages. If you find that your credit is used up on calls to 13 numbers, shop around for a plan that offers unlimited calls.

Use an alternative contact method

If you are calling a 1300 number from outside of Australia, check if the company has a local number that you can call to avoid additional charges. Most mobile providers have free dedicated phone numbers for their customers calling from overseas – check your mobile providers’ website for more information.

A number of important services offer call-backs or online facilities, so check online before making a potentially lengthy 13 number call. Government departments may also have alternative contact methods such as self-managed online services, mobile phone apps and telephones located in their service centres.

If the service you need also has an 1800 number, try calling that instead. Most providers no longer charge for these, but some still do. Check our tip sheet for more information.

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