Inmarsat just cant help themselves
Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:01
Sadly, they have done it again. Reduced the expiry times on their prepay to a point where I am going to get rid of an otherwise excellent phone. Up until recently, when you bought isatphone credit, 100 unit prepaid, it used to be valid for 6 months. Now down to 90 days. I hardly ever use the phone, so would just top it up each 6 months so it was 'there' in an emergency, but not I have do to so each 3 months, so effectively they have doubled the cost of their service. $370 per year for emergency contact was fine, but it would now be $740 per year, so the phone will be going up for sale. I just hope they realise that customers simply wont tolerate a 100% price hike without backlash
Reply By: greybeard - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:11
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:11
Whilst social media can be a powerful tool in influencing companies, have you considered advising Inmarsat directly of your concerns? They may not be reviewing posts on exploroz on a regular enough basis to pick up the intended change of ownership of your phone.
Follow Up By: firstname.lastname@example.org - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:24
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:24
Have done, and so has the distributor that I use to buy credit. No response so far, but I assure you that I will update if I hear back from them. The distributor encouraged me to contact them also as he had no luck when he complained. He of course just ends up being the meat in the sandwich
Reply By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:20
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 12:20
When did this change occur?
They just upped the costs some 5-6 months back or is the same event?
Follow Up By: email@example.com - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 14:01
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 14:01
Reply By: Member - Woteva - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 13:38
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 13:38
What a timely post ...I'm having similar thoughts....
Awhile ago I purchased one of the last 6 months expiry credits available and have just loaded it to my sat phone
(had to be done before the end of March) so I'm covered until the end of September at which time I will be looking at "other" options.
When I purchased the phone in 2012 100 units cost $99+GST with exp of 180 days, today it will cost $149+GST with exp of 90 days.. and the actual cost of calls has also gone up over that period. 1 unit per minute to 1.3 units per minute. SMS has remained at .5 unit.
Its a great service and reassuring to have however price hikes of this nature makes one reassess options.
Reply By: Shaker - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 14:02
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 14:02
I sold mine a couple months ago for this very reason. Got a Motorola Iridium now on a $10.00 per month plan, enabled for international roaming.
I know the calls can be expensive, but in an emergency, who cares?
Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 21:23
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 21:23
Hey shaker, I thought they changed the casual $10 plan to $20 in 2015. Just asking and not trying to be smart. I just got a $20 plan today for mine and was assured the $10 plan was obsolete unless you had kept it current.
Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:08
Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 at 09:08
I was told that as well, but I think that only applies in store, if you enquire online they will do a $10.00 plan, then ask for it to be enabled for international roaming & they post the SIM card to you. I deliberately made no reference to it being for a sat phone
, I told them that I travel a lot & that I like to carry a spare phone for emergencies.
Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 07:26
Friday, Apr 21, 2017 at 07:26
I copied these couple of replies...........the Telstra number to ring is there.
Reply By: Member - Andy M (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:09
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:09
I agree with your thoughts pjm. I'm in the same boat as you. I just have it for emergencies and the new prices are a bit rich. I'll also look for other options and sell my Isatphone I think.
Reply By: maurice b - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:26
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 16:26
Here is an image of the Isatphone Inmarsat Prepaid rates i received today April 2017. The reason i purchased a Thuraya a few months back with an Aust number. However will keep the isatphone as sim never expires, You can receive calls, txt and emails and call 000 without credit.
Isatphone Rates April 2017
Follow Up By: Danna - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 17:55
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 17:55
isn't that 112 number?, instead of 000?
As much as I know, 112 emergency number can be called
without credit on Iridium sat phones as well.
Follow Up By: maurice b - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 18:14
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 18:14
Thats why you were asked to update your isatphone firmware to 5.11 in 2015 so you were able to call and connect to 000 .It is and was mandatory by our government that all aust connected satphones must be able to access 000 for free You can also call 112 ,works on my Isatphone with a message that its been transfered to 000.
Reply By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 19:12
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 19:12
If Inmarsat are reading this....I'm going to sell mine too. When I bought it the expiry was 2 years. Good luck staying afloat without customers.
Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 19:39
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 19:39
Expiry was 2 years when I bought mine too! To be honest I got sick of them moving the goal posts & the frequent firmware upgrades were annoying.
Having the Motorola on the $10 plan is a lot simpler.
Follow Up By: Zippo - Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 19:46
Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 at 19:46
I was involved in early trials here in Oz for Magnavox portable Inmarsat terminals, when calls were $US12/minute. Their charter didn't cover land-based use, but they were exploring the potential. Back then there was no real alternative. But times have changed.
Regrettably, and no pun intended, terrestrial users of Inmarsat are a drop in the ocean. They make their money out of maritime users (and to a lesser extent aviation), for whom the usage cost is inconsequential.
Pre-paid minutes purchased "in case we need them" by travellers is not far short of a scam. Pre-paid portables on land is just a small albeit profitable sideline, so if they all abandoned Inmarsat I'm quite sure Inmarsat wouldn't shed a tear.
Follow Up By: terryt - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 06:53
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 06:53
Am I missing something. If you would only use your sat phone
in an emergency and you don't need credits for emergency calls where is the problem.
Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 07:05
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 07:05
I think you are missing the fact that neither me, Shaker or Zippo said we didn't need to make normal calls and texts. Some people actually need to use their phone so that's the problem.
Follow Up By: terryt - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 08:10
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 08:10
Well I'm sorry. The op stated he only had the phone for emergencies. Didn't use it but was happy to top up when expiry was 6 months but not 3. I was responding to that sentiment. I guess if you use your phone for other calls you wouldn't give a rats how long the expiry period was.
Follow Up By: Zippo - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:13
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:13
Terry, if you've ever used the 112/000 service, you are greeted with "which service do you require - Police, Fire, or Ambulance?" although I have also had "what is your life-threatening emergency?" (*)
What may constitute an "emergency" for me at least isn't necessarily limited to those. There are situations where calling any of those ESO's would be an abuse of the service. Maybe the term "extremely urgent non-life-threatening" situation better describes the type of use most of us cover with the purchase of a satphone
(*) I carried out all the 000 Y2K compliance testing for a WA ESO, which was an @r$e-covering exercise not taken lightly.
Follow Up By: firstname.lastname@example.org - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:46
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:46
Give us a break Terry. Not sure how much remote travel you do, but not every emergency requires 000 or equivalent. Usual deal when crossing a remote area is to identify the contacts at each end, local services
etc, and to be able to call them if required. I also use the phone at sea when in remote diving locations in South China Sea, Java Sea etc. Not much point calling 000 from there. I, like most others, do 'give a rats' about the cost.
Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 18:33
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 18:33
I didn't expect that me selling my Isatphone Pro would have any effect on Inmarsat, however it made me feel better by getting rid of it.
Reply By: maurice b - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 07:36
Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:32
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:32
You must not use your phone very much, that's all I can say.
It has been talked about here on the forum
a number of times and the reduced longer life credit went out over 12 months ago.
I carry a voucher for the " just in case Situation " which I hope never happens and for me it is cheap insurance.
It's better to be safe than sorry.
Yes I have the Isatphone, so know where I stand in terms of credit life.
Follow Up By: email@example.com - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:37
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 14:37
Stephen, correct, as you say, and as I said in the original post, I only use it in emergencies.
I buy my credit from Timeplus in Melbourne
. Recent email from Shahid stated
' Inmarsat has changed the validity periods from 1st April'17.'
Frankly, I couldn't care less what the date is. Rather than nitpicking over when it happened, I suspect the focus should be on the policy of change, but then you focus on whatever you wish.
If you really only want a signal in an emergency to call emergency services
, just carry an EPIRB
Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 18:33
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 18:33
Hi Stephen, as I understand it you need phone service to be able to activate a prepaid voucher so don't you have to activate your voucher before heading to a remote area if you want phone access other than 000?
Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 19:13
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 19:13
Totally agree that a PLB is the cheapest form of emergency equipment that should be carried by every vehicle that ventures out into the bush.
Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 19:29
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 19:29
Unfortunately you have been given very wrong and missleading information, sorry.
With Inmarsat, there is no time frame to have credit to keep your pre paid SIM active, unlike say Telstra which is only 6 months and you will lose your number.
As long as you have a valid voucher, which has a life of 12 months from the date of purchase, you can activate the voucher in the middle of Whop Whop even if you have not used your phone for years, and do not need " phone service " as you have just stated. Even with no phone credit, you can still turn your phone as many times as you like to test it....for free.
I hope this clears the matter up for you.
Follow Up By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 20:24
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 20:24
In the welter of changes to prepaid plans I seem to recall that Inmarsat announced that prepaid SIMs would now have a two year validity or maybe they would expire two years after the last credit expired. New SIM means a new number regrettably.
Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 21:17
Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 at 21:17
An Inmarsat phone with no credit is still very useful:
#1 You can still make emergency calls
#2 You can still receive at zero cost, SMS and email messages from family and friends
#3 And if Maurice is correct, you can also receive calls.
All this costs zero!
Not sure whether the shelf life of a voucher has changed. Only know this from my suppliers website: "Vouchers have a shelf life of up to 12 months, the exact date is advised on issue."
The validity period does not start until the voucher is activated.