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TPG Mobile plans review: Less isn’t always more
The fastest broadband provider according to the ACCC doesn't have much to offer in mobile.
TPG Mobile: Value for money
TPG's mobile offering isn't the most feature-packed on the market, but there's no denying the fact that it's good value. TPG Mobile has just four prepaid plans on offer (you'll have to bring your own device), but they all come with decent data allowances, from 12GB up to 60GB per month. Prices range from $20 to $40 per month, but since TPG is constantly running promo deals, you could score one of their plans for half price, so it's worth keeping an eye on their website.
The cheapest TPG Mobile plan currently on offer is the $20 Small Plan, which comes with 12GB of data. That's not bad, but there are still lots of better deals to be had in the $20 or under price range.
Here's TPG's $20 Small Plan:
For comparison's sake, here are the most popular plans in that price range:
TPG Mobile coverage
TPG has long been one of Australia's most popular internet providers, and their mobile branch has been around for quite a while too, having launched back in 2008. However, the telco has gone through many changes over the last decade or so - namely, switching their mobile service from the Optus network to Vodafone's (a natural move, given TPG merged with Vodafone in 2020).
Vodafone’s underdog network has come a long way over the last decade but it's still the smallest out Australia’s three mobile networks. That won’t be a problem for most Australians but if you live in a rural area with no Vodafone coverage, you will want to see what’s on offer from a Telstra MVNO, which tend to cover more of the population. If you’re considering signing up to TPG Mobile, we strongly suggest checking if your area has sufficient coverage before signing up. The map below show’s Vodafone’s mobile network reach in Australia. Zoom in to see if your area is covered.
TPG Mobile: Features and perks
If you're after plan features like data sharing or data banking, or perks like cheap movie tickets or rewards programs, TPG isn't for you. There's no unlimited data or lack of excess data charges, and if you exceed your allotted data, you'll have to pay $10 for an extra 2GB block.
To keep prices low, TPG has had to cut all those goodies out, leaving behind just the bare essentials: Calls, texts and data. In fact, the only real feature to speak of is international calls, but even then, you only get 100 minutes per month, and it costs an extra $5/month.
Although 100 minutes isn't a great deal, it's hard to argue with TPG's destination list, which excludes just 20 countries - namely, Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Liberia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
If you'd prefer fewer destinations but unlimited minutes, check out these popular mobile plans with international calls included as standard:
TPG NBN plans review
Top marks for download speeds but account management needs a fresh lick of paint.
TPG Mobile: Customer support and satisfaction
Most Aussie telcos aren't known for fantastic customer service, and unfortunately, TPG Mobile is no different. According to user-generated reviews site Product Reviews, TPG Mobile has a measly score of 1.7 out of 5. While that doesn't sound great, it is still better than Optus and Telstra's shocking 1.4-star rating.
If you do need help, there are a few channels you can turn to. The TPG website is home to a support hub, which should answer most of the questions you have, and for those that it can't answer, you may find help in the TPG Community, which is the telco's online forum. Alternatively, you can get assistance through the app (more info on that below) or by calling one of the following numbers:
- Accounts & Billing: 1300 993 019
- Technical Support: 1300 997 273
- Plan Change: 1300 995 152
TPG Mobile: Is there an app?
Yes, there is. TPG’s app is available on iOS and Android and allows you to monitor and manage both your broadband and mobile services. You can monitor your usage, view your bills and get in touch with TPG’s customer support team. And that’s about it. You can’t do a lot of things most modern service management apps offer, such as live chat or paying your bill.
Both apps have copped a belting when it comes to customer reviews. The TPG Mobile app currently has 1.3 out 5 star rating on the Apple App Store and a 1.4 out of 5 star rating on the Google Play store. This is a fair representation of our own experience with the app and online account management system.
TPG Mobile: Frequently Asked Questions
How to check your TPG Mobile balance?
There are two ways you can view your prepaid mobile balance. Firstly, you can check via TPG’s online My Account management system. All you need is your service number and the password you nominated upon sign-up.
Secondly, there’s the aforementioned smartphone app. Again, you will need your service number and password to log in.
Once you’ve logged in to either service, navigate to the ‘View All Mobile Service Accounts’ page, then select ‘View Mobile Usage’. That’s where you can check your balance and recharge your mobile service.
If this all proves difficult, you can always TPG customer service for a helping (?) hand on 13 14 23.
TPG Mobile is owned by TPG Telecom, which is publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
While it's fair to say that the former is an Australian company, the opaque realities of stock markets mean that calling it an Australian-owned company might be a bit misleading.