My Plan Plus: Understanding Your First Bill After Changing Plans
Got your first bill after changing plans? A little confused as to why it still shows parts of your old plan, parts of your new plan and perhaps higher than expected recurring charges?
We've got you covered in this article with a step-by-step walk through to show you how it all comes together.
- Your account at a glance
- About your account & shared usage summary
- What does principal service mean?
- Service summaries & recurring charges
- Your detailed usage
- Other sections that may appear on your bill
- Mobile call and data calculations
It's a mix of the old and the new
Put simply, if you've changed plans or recontracted part way through your last billing month then the first bill you'll receive after the change will include usage and charges leftover from your old plan as well as usage and charges from the date your new plan took over.
There are no big changes here. The first page provides a summary of your account balance, previous payments, your due date and sub-total for each service billed on this account. It also lists the GST payable as a separate item.
The amounts shown on the first page begin to be broken down on the reverse side this page.
About your account & account summary
These sections start on the reverse side of the first page and are explained in more detail below.
Payments & Adjustments
In the first section of this page, you'll see we've placed a credit for the unused period of your old plan that was charged in advance on your last bill. This is so you don't end up paying for 2 plans at the same time. To help you out at tax time we also show you the GST amount that we've credited for this amount as a separate item.
Shared usage summary
The first part of this section shows the mobile phones that are adding their data to the total sharable data pool. The graphs below show the total data pool and how much each service used, including usage by any mobile broadband services. The green blocks indicate used data and the yellow blocks, unused data.
The principal service is the Mobile Phone that was activated first on My Plan Plus, this service 'owns' all the costs associated with your shared data, including any additional shared data usage.
If your principal service is cancelled, the next Mobile Phone that's been on My Plan Plus the longest will automatically become the next principal service. At least 1 Mobile Phone must be on My Plan Plus for you to share its included data with other Mobile devices.
At the top of this page, within the yellow section, there's a handy reminder of your new plan's monthly cost and inclusions. If you have more than 1 Mobile Phone number sharing its data you'll see these sections like this repeated for each service.
Your usage and charges summary
For the principal service under this heading you'll see 2 graphs showing your new plan's cost for the full month ahead of this bill. Much like your old plan, your new plan is charged 1 month in advance.
The first graph represents your plan's voice monthly charge and the other is your data monthly charge. The prices shown in the first block in each graph, when added together, total your selected plan's starting monthly cost (excl. GST).
The image below shows how a $35 My Plan Plus Mobile, without additional usage is calculated on your bill
If you've needed extra voice or data usage in your last billing month, the graphs will show this; with each additional block representing additional usage. The example below shows how a $35 My Plan Plus with extra voice and extra data usage at $10 each, increase the plan's cost by $20 to $55 (with GST)
To the right of the graphs we add everything up for a combined cost of your voice and data charges. If you haven't used any additional included usage, you'll find that the sub-total for this section equals your plan's regular monthly cost (excl. GST).
In this section you'll see a part month (pro-rata) charge for your monthly costs for the days between the start date of your new plan and the end date of this bill. This is the same date range that your old plan was credited for in the Payments & Adjustments section
Combined, these charges make up the total cost since you started on your new plan (excl. GST).
If you're purchasing a new device you'll also see your regular monthly handset repayment amount here with a handy countdown showing the number of repayments you have left. It may also include any other monthly extras that you've agreed to, like insurance.
Excluded from current plan
Below this, you'll see 2 credits labelled 'Less included discount' and 'Less included data' to cover the cost of the last of your included usage from your old plan. The total value of these credits will be a proportion (pro-rata) of your old plan's regular monthly allowances for data, call and messaging use.
If the sub-total here shows $0.00, then you haven't been charged for any of the usage shown in this section. If there is a difference leftover, then it's possible that you’ve either exceeded the allowance of your old plan or you've incurred usage not covered by either plan.
From your next bill, this section will only show charges for usage that are excluded from your new plan, if any (e.g. Premium SMS/calls, international usage or data roaming charges, etc.).
Wireless broadband number summary
If you've activated a Mobile Broadband device on a Shared Data Plan, your bill will also summarise any associated charges in this section. If you have more than 1 Mobile Broadband service sharing data, then you'll see repeated sections like this for each service.
If you've purchased a new tablet or Mobile Broadband device from us and you're repaying a bit back each month, you'll see the repayment amount here, together with a handy countdown showing the number of repayments you have left. It may also include any other optional monthly charges you've agreed to (e.g. insurance).
Other charges and credits
If you see a charge for $4.54 (which is $5.00 with GST) in this section, this is the one-off fee charged when adding a new Mobile Broadband service or tablet onto a Shared Data Plan.
Your usage in detail
This information will only appear on bills that you've downloaded via My Account. They include your itemised calls, your daily data use and your total national standard SMS/MMS. Your detailed usage is grouped by service, then by plan.
For each service your new plan's usage is first, followed by the usage billed under your old plan plus any excluded usage you may have used. Keep in mind that the charges appearing in these sections exclude GST.
Voice / Data usage included in current plan benefit
Put simply, the items listed under these sub-headings are all the calls and data that have been billed and are included under your new plan. To keep it simple, included calls are measured in minutes and your daily data totals are in megabytes (MB).
SMS / MMS not included in current plan benefit
As standard national SMS/MMS under your new plan are unlimited, the amount billed for these will total $0.00. You'll only see a difference, if you've:
- Exceeded your old plan's messaging benefit before switching to your new plan
- Used international messaging during your last billing month
Mobile Call Charges / Data charges not included in current plan benefit
These sections list calls and data usage that were:
- Used while your old plan was still active
- Not included in either your old or new plan
Stay in the know and check out your plan's Critical Information Summary.
Premium SMS messages sent / received not eligible for plan benefit
If shown, these are messages to or from third party content providers. Examples could be: TV/radio voting lines, transport updates, text and win competition entries, games, ringtones, wallpaper downloads, weather information, chat, psychic, astrology, horoscopes etc. These numbers normally start with a '19'
If the third party content provider has listed an alternate contact number, it will appear adjacent to these entries under a column with the heading 'Type S/R Helpline'. These third parties are not related to Optus and may be able to provide more information about the Premium service in question. Further information on Premium SMS is available in this article.
Content services / Content services not eligible for plan benefit
This section lists charges for content, ringtones, downloads, mobile TV channels, streaming etc. that are not included in your plan. This can include third party content subscribed via Optus Zoo.
Is the time of a call on my bill, local time?
The time of a call shown on your bill is the local time recorded at the first mobile tower or other network facility through which your call passes. In most cases this means the time will be local time.
Sometimes, there are some tricky exceptions. Say you live close to a state border and there's a time difference between these 2 states. A call that you make from your home state may first pass through a mobile base station in the neighbouring state, resulting in the time of call being listed as the time in that neighbouring state.
How do we calculate the length of a call?
Your call lengths are shown in per minute intervals on your bill. Your total included voice time is rounded to the nearest minute.
How do we calculate data charges?
We count the volume of data uploaded and downloaded to your device in 1 kilobyte increments.
Detailed information on how we calculate your charges is contained within the Standard Form of Agreement (SFOA)
Further questions that you may have…
- Where is my handset credit?
- What does 'eligible for current plan benefit' mean?
- What is this additional fee on my bill?
Please Note: The plans, prices and products shown here are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect current offers from Optus