I took advantage of the latest Telstra Encore offer on prepaid mobile where for $40 you get $550 worth of calls, but it ran out in the first day – very strange… how could I use $550 worth of calls in one day?


They dramatically increase the call costs if you switch to the Encore Plan… it’s a marketing lie…

So checking the special call rates for if you happen to take this wonderful telstra offer…

For example… calls to Vanuatu go up to $5.99 per minute compared to $1.45 on any other pre-paid plan.

USA rates go up to 99c compared to 15c on the simplicity plan.

The worst is calls to New Zealand are a massive $3.49 per minute compared to 20c per minute on the Simplicity plan!

So your $550 worth of ‘free’ calls on the Encore plan are actually worth as little as $31 depending on where you call – less than what you paid for them.

Thanks Telstra

Normal Telstra call rates for pre-paid mobile


Call rates are inflated when you go on Telstra Encore cap plan

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15 Comments on Beware the telstra pre-paid cap encore offer!

  1. Ahmad says:

    That is because the Cap Encore uses a multiplier on your credit, whereas the other plans do not.

    So assuming you recharge with the $50 voucher on a Cap Encore, you get $1000 of Cap credit, and that’s where the $6 per minute goes out of.

    Effectively, the IDD rate on a cap is (Recharge/Cap Value)*(per min rate). So $6/min is actually 30c/min from your recharge.

    So using that Vanuatu call rate as an example, Simplicity gives you only face value of the voucher, so $1.45/min from that will be 30ish minutes…whereas a $50 recharge on the Cap Encore gets you 150 or so minutes.

    • Wayne says:

      So the so called $1000 credit you get is like monopoly money, it’s not really worth $1000. So they shouldn’t call it $1000 credit!

      It’s like saying we’re selling $100 petrol vouchers for $20, but after you purchase one they charge you $10 per litre for the petrol.

  2. Ahmad says:

    It’s true that this is a bit fuzzy, but the actual underlying call rates for most “caps” are quite nominal. Voda has stopped calling them “Caps” now (they just call them “plans)..

    The inherent advantage for carriers, esp on post-paid plans is that when you go over the included value, you are charged the full “monopoly money” call rates in real dollars…

  3. Randy says:

    Another thing, message bank comes out of your main credit at a minimum of $1.65 per call, so you can chew through your $50 very quickly. Message bank use doesn’t come from the bonus calls you get.

  4. sdhklgvmi says:

    I’m sorry of I cone off a bit rude, but did you read the encore plan properly? The cap is for only Australian cap standard calls and text.

  5. goldghost says:

    Wayne, I am with you 100%. I need a Telstra phone unfortunately because I work in a remote area. The old Cap plans where a superior product and better value for the customer. I queried Telstra about replacing a product with a new, inferior one – they got really ratty. But imagine if any other business eg Toyota, brought out a product such as a Corolla that was clearly inferior yet more expensive. It would be game over. The Australian Govt needs to take this monopoly in hand like the UK govt did with BT.

  6. Chhay says:

    so out of the three network: Telstra, Vodafone and Optus which has the best value for money?

  7. matt says:

    This is exactly what’s been driving me crazy since the beginning! If the Cap Encore is indeed better value for money, why sell it like this? I feel like I’m buying Smoke and Mirrors! The ploy is clearly to sell as much confusion as they can to put customers off their guard, so when they frivolously and unknowingly spend their “massive” credit they step on a landmine! I get most of the tricks now, but its so confusing that even the Telstra accounts team didn’t know what the hell I was being charged for a 60 sec phone call to UK. Finally the lady quoted me a figure of $1250 and didn’t bat an eyelid until I asked her… “Doesn’t that seem a little ridiculous, seeing as I only topped up $30 (even with the $220 bonus)” – to which she replied oh erm that’s the Cap Encore Dollar account units… – “Riiight, that’s greeat, now could I have that in a real terms”… – Oh, of course sir… (tap tap tap)… That would be $210 for the 60 sec phone call – “Okay, so you telling me I have spent $210 out of $250 on a 60 sec call” – Erm… No no only $2.90 has been charged from you $250 bonus… (“Finally an hour after I placed the call and three incredibly different figures I got a realistic answer! They won’t let you keep track of you credit charge history yourself (only the duration in order to work out yourself). “If you wish to inquire how much a specific call cost you you have to ring us and we will look it up for you!” – yeah I’m not putting myself through that trauma again!!! P.S Make sure all you Telstra Customers take advantage if Telstra Thanks (eg $10 movie tickets etc). Enjoy the Telstra Ride people! 😉

  8. Graeme says:

    My wife’s long life credit expired without making a call or using data. We find out that the phone was using data to update apps etc and this was charged at huge rates. In other words she couldn’t use data but updates were using the credit – if this makes sense.

  9. Randy says:

    Another catch is that if you go over the data cap, it’s $2.00/Mb which doesn’t sound that bad, but actually equates to $2,000/Gb.

  10. Kelly says:

    I have 2 teenage daughters on the cap encore, & it is good for teaching them to be mindful of how they are using their phones. No 2 finds she has credit left that is quite often rolled over, but has just recently found out the hard way that the cap does not, and data is dear!

  11. Dale says:

    Just got caught by this too, $230 in data charges in a few hours.

  12. DaveAM says:

    Good post Wayne, I’ve been complaining about Helstra for years and these call cap plans are crazy! How is anyone supposed to compare plans if the cost of calls between the plans change? I call these dollar rates, Telstra dollars, because they don’t equate to real life dollars. And don’t get me started on Telstra Months (how the plans are now all 28 days, when most months have 31!) :/

  13. DaveAM says:

    sorry for the re-post, but I wanted to subscribe to comments of this thread and not necessarily all new posts. hopefully posting this will fix that 🙂

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