If you’re in Australia and you haven’t heard of Amaysim yet, you’re most likely living under a rock. If you’re living under a rock, I’m really curious as to how you’re getting Internet access in the first place, so if you could please hit me up on Twtiter or something that’d be cool. If you aren’t living under a rock however, I suggest you get with the times and start discovering the most awesome and disruptive (boom, buzzword) mobile telco out there at the moment, Amaysim! I’ve been using Amaysim since about December last year, so there’s no better way to introduce yourself to the company than reading my Amaysim review!
Finding a SIM
Amaysim seems to have deals with a number of retailers at the moment, including the one that I work at! As per usual, the SIM card costs $2 and it comes with absolutely no credit. Unlike other mobile providers, the retailer doesn’t have to do an ID check at the POS, which means you can zip in and out of a retailer without having to pull out your drivers licence or whatever.
Their SIM cards are very cool as they double as a micro-SIM as well. So if you have an iPhone 4/4S or an iPad, you can easily use your iDevice with Amaysim.
The Signup Process
You can either sign up online of over the phone. I opted for the online option for reasons I’ll discuss later. Their online signup process is very easy to complete; with the whole number porting thing built-in to the signup process. All you have to do is type in your existing phone number, and Amaysim will handle transferring the number over to their network.
If you’re porting your number from a different carrier it’ll take a few days for the number to transfer across. Your old number will still be active up until the transfer process begins, and you should experience no more than 4 hours downtime. This process is the same between carriers, so there’s no way that Amaysim is different in this regard.
I personally had issues when porting my number to Amaysim, whereby it took almost a week for the number to port. Given that iiNet’s Mobile service has been buggy at the worst of times, I can’t tell if it was iiNet’s fault or Amaysim’s fault. I’ll give Amaysim the benefit of the doubt given iiNet’s track record with my account.
Amaysim requires your bank account or credit card information upon signup, this is for a couple of reasons. The first of the two reasons is so they can comply with the Australian Federal Government’s laws regarding mobile phone services. The second reason is that — if you choose — Amaysim can deduct money automatically from your bank/credit balance.
A negative is that Amaysim will only enable your service when your ID check clears. If you choose the bank account option, it’ll take a few days for Amaysim to verify if the bank account is indeed your own. If you choose the credit card options, it’ll — of course — be instant.
Amaysim has two plans, an ‘all you can eat’ $40/month plan (branded UNLIMITED), which provides you unlimited calling and texting nation-wide, as well as 4GB data and unlimited access to the usual range of social networks. Amaysim also has a ‘light’ PAYG plan which involves purchasing pre-paid credit as you need it, they have very competitive call/text rates as well. Of course, both of these options are BYOD (bring your own device).
The UNLIMITED plan can either be used on a pre-paid or post-paid basis, both of which have no lock-in contract. You can easily switch between pre-paid and post-paid billing options, but post-paid billing requires you to agree to a credit check, as per usual. Amaysim seems to be more lenient towards credit history compared to other telcos, as well.
Amaysim begins to look very unprofessional when it comes to support, or almost any communication between the company and the customer-base. Keep in mind that — before signing up with Amaysim — I was happily sitting on iiNet’s Mobile service, so I may have been slightly spoilt when it comes to customer service. The lack of a call-back service on their support line was quite annoying as I hate being on hold, and boy was I on hold for a while. Just to activate my service I was sitting on the phone for about half ahour before I just gave up and did it online…first impressions count.
Amaysim’s call centre seems to be in Australia, and conversing somebody that can understand you is always nice to come across when it comes to telephone-based customer service.
Amaysim has a very active and prominent social networking presence, which actually says a lot when a company as big as Telstra is only just coming into the social media game with their Telstra 24/7 effort, and the second-best Optus doesn’t make a very big deal out of their social media presence, preferring the Indian call centre approach to the situation.
First of all, Amaysim runs on the Optus network so you get the usual 97% coverage that you see with all the small mobile carriers now. If you’ve never been with an Optus-powered carrier before I suggest looking at the Optus/Amaysim coverage maps to see how the service is in your area, as I can only speak for metro Perth.
If you live in metro Perth the easiest way to describe Optus is ‘not as good as Telstra, but it actually works, unlike Vodafone’. You don’t get the ‘Businessperson Problem’ that you do with the Telstra network, where 3G data connections might as well be dialup during the hours of 9 to 5 on weekdays, and screeching to a halt from 12:00PM to 1:00PM when everybody is updating their Facebook statuses between bites of their Whoppers during their lunch breaks.
You’ll get 2G (a regular phone connection with dialup-esque data speeds) pretty much anywhere that doesn’t involve driving along 4WD-only gravel road to access, but the 3G reception is definitely spotty compared to Telstra’s, but it’s rock solid in a lot of heavily populated areas like Perth City. Unlike Telstra — getting 3G reception on Optus actually means you can get a data connection, the only place where I’ve found an exception to this rule is at Centro Galleria in Morley…which just happens to be where I work, so how about that luck?
Other Network Services
Amaysim hasn’t really done well in this regard, in my case anyway. Sometimes I get notification text messages at least three times, and I got a ‘Welcome to Amaysim’ a few months after I opened my account, so I don’t know what’s up with that. One time I even got an email telling me to change my APN, and I doubt that 99.9% of the Australian population knows that that even means. Not entirely sure why I had to change my APN and it could potentially be Optus’ fault anyway, but my friends who are on Optus-powered carriers didn’t have to lift a finger. Go figure.
Anyway that’s my Amaysim review. It’s a small company, so expect hiccups. Overall they’re providing a mostly good service at a very good price, so I’m happy. Hard to know how they’re actually making profit out of it, unless the entire mobile industry in Australia is just ripping us off. Hmm.