Ripped Off by Isatphone Pro

I think I got sucked in.
I brought an Isatphone Pro 18 months ago – At the time the prepaid card for a 100 units was about $80 with a 24 month expiry.
Now I am quoted 100 units for $139 with a 6 months expiry.
I only use about 10 units a year that will work out at $280 a year or about $28 a minute.
Anyone got a cheaper option for airtime or prepaid with an Isat Pro?
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 20:38

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 20:38
Use it more that way you get to use your prepaid. I have one and consider the prepaid the best option for me. Expensive but works out cheaper, for me anyway, than being on a plan.

Remember if you go prepaid anybody phoning you will cop a huuuuuuuuuge bill. Something like $19/minute.
Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 23:00

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 23:00
Same here. Prepaid but we only get units when we go for a long trip. The only use the phone gets is to send GPS emails to one of the family. We have only made one phone call in two years. That way it is cheap as chips. After all it's only for emergencies not for chin wagging.

Phil
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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 22:02

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 22:02
Hi Dennis,
Try TC communication in Sydney 0297145100, 100 units for $89.00 with 6 months. And they do specials every now and then.
Andy
AnswerID: 503740

Reply By: mikehzz - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 22:04

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 22:04
I have to agree with you. They may reconsider when nobody recharges. $40 a year to $238 a year is a real hike in any language. I have a year to go.
AnswerID: 503741

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 22:13

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 22:13
As an extra, I wonder how long you have to recharge before the sim gets deactivated and they hit you for activation again if you do recharge (or get a new sim).
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 13:10

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 13:10
Hi Mike

That is one very question that I asked them, and it is indefinitely, so you could have your credit expired say for 2 years, recharge again after that time and you are back on air only for the cost of the recharge. You can even receive calls even if you have not credit.

Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 13:56

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 13:56
Thanks for that Stephen. I wonder if you have to recharge through the same agent or if you can pick and choose?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 22:00

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 22:00
Hi Mike

That is one question that to be honest, I do not know. I purchased my IsatPhone Pro from what I believe is the only SA stockist, and they use TC Communications as the service provider. I go to their web site and recharge from this page:- Recharge options

I do not know how many service providers there are in Australia, so you could give them a call.


Cheers


Stephen

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Reply By: Ross M - Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 23:02

Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 23:02
Dennis.

The PRO is the giveaway. 'P'hone 'R'ip 'O'ff
AnswerID: 503743

Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 00:28

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 00:28
Just a query boys why are they so expensive in the first place I don't own one but I have been considering it for a while now, but from what I have been reading are they worth the trouble and expense, for the few times a year that I go bush. I realy don't know to much about them. But I am open to learning more about the sat phone.
Broodie H3
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 05:58

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 05:58
Hi Broodie

It depends where you go and what you're doing.

If you're just cruising around Oz on the tar and use it for "I miss you" calls, then its a waste and expensive.

But if you're out in the desert doing isolated track or cross country work and you have a major breakdown or vehicle fire then they are a cheap and invaluable emergency tool.


cheers

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 06:36

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 06:36
The Isatphone are the cheapest sat phone at around $700 outright to buy, less with the subsidy. The Iridium phones are more like $1500. The isatphone also offered cheap pre paid plans with lengthy time frames that have now disappeared, replaced by much dearer plans with shorter time frames. It has left a sour taste.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chopperair - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 08:05

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 08:05
Have had an iridium for 10 years, mainly us when outback for minimum contact with family. Some years not used at all Use Telstra at $30 month, n includes $10 free calls.
Have thought of cancelling many times but when looking around just found it to complicated re the offered deals. Yes is expensive but consider it insurance answer travel remote places ourselves. Have had to use a few times to get use out of the bleep e.
Once helped a bike rider with a broken leg in the middle of nowhere.
I would rather be slightly poorer than stuck on a track somewhere.
Must say that compared to 15/20 years ago there are a lot more vehicles around

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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 08:19

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 08:19
We take the same view as Chopperair, try to use the $10 of calls if we are away though ;-)).
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 09:27

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 09:27
On those rates the isatphone pro is cheaper with more calls even at the new rates. The Telstra is $360 a year with $120 of calls but only $10 can be used a month. The isatphone is $278 a year (or cheaper if you shop around) but includes $200 of calls that can be used at any time...all in the same month if you like at no extra charge. I feel better now :-)
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Follow Up By: PeterInSa - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:22

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:22
I thought I could buy say $25 worth of calls and if necessary top up when that is near expiry. I only need the phone of 3 months cover a year then only for emergencies.

On initial phone purchase bought $200 worth for 2 years, 9 months has passed and used $5.

Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:28

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:28
Chopperair, why not put it on the $10 plan, the call cost is exactly the same. Also it has no contract period, so you can stop it at any time with one month's notice if you don't mind new numbers all the time. I have had mine on it for a couple of years now.
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Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 11:59

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 11:59
Thankfully my 4WD club has SATPHONES (INMARSAT) that members can borrow...and pay for calls only. For the amount of times I spend in remote areas (probably 8-10 weeks a year) this arrangement suits my needs and I don't need to own one of these things. The NextG Telstra network suits me for all other occasions and this is getting better each year.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:53

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 10:53
We still get the odd free service with Isatphone.
Anyone can send a 160 letter SMS to the satphone via their internet site at no charge. Very handy for the family keeping you informed about stuff when you're out of normal phone range.
AnswerID: 503770

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 12:43

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 12:43
You can email the phone direct from your email program as well for free. All you have to do is send a text as email to their email address and they can reply for free as often as they like. I wonder when they will start charging for that as well? :-)
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 13:27

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 13:27
Hi Dennis

I hear where you are coming from, as when I first enquired, it was a long life on the credit. Things changed about five months or so ago, but it is still the best and cheapest insurance that you can buy for your money.

Like anything prepaid, if you do not recharge before the expired date and you still have credit, you will loose what balance is left. I always keep mine topped up and always have a 50 unit voucher in my backpack.

Depending how often you head away and you say you only use around 10 units a year, your best option would be to get a 25 unit voucher for $29.92 and lasts for 30 days. In that way, you will have more credit than you need and not outlaying bigger expenses.

If you were not going away for 6 months, let or use all your credit up and only recharge before you go away and in that way you are not paying for something that you may not use.

My phone is always in the backpack, as you never know when you may need it. I had to make a phone call only last weekend down the bottom end of the Yorke Peninsula, and there was no normal phone coverage, so I had peace of mind knowing I could make a call from on top of the cliffs with no problems at all.

If me it is cheap insurance and I never know when you need to use it.





Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 21:45

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 21:45
"If me it is cheap insurance and I never know when you need to use it."

Yeap agree 100%....... about 4 years ago we were at the dig tree out of Innamincka and our sat phone rang....... a close family member had taken ill, we kept in contact over the next few days..... they ended up passing away and the funeral was 2.1/2 days away so we high tailed it home and made it to the funeral with about 2 hrs to spare.

If we missed the funeral it would of been a big blow as the person took sick and passed away unexpectedly very quickly.

No sat phone and we would of missed it...... and probably still regretted it to this day.

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Reply By: Dennis Ellery - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 16:43

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 16:43
Thanks everyone all for the replys.
I still have a need for the phone, it still good insurance when in the outback, but it’s not going to as cheap as in the past.
AnswerID: 503795

Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 at 13:07

Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 at 13:07
Hi Dennis

I do not know if you saw the post here on the forum last week, but it is critical that you upgrade your firmware to the latest version, which is 5.2.0

With out this update you will not be able to use your phone after the end of June this year.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 at 13:14

Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 at 13:14
Thanks for the thought Stephen.
Yep have done the upgrade.
My providers service leaves a lot to be desired.
I will be giving the chop when I need the next prepaid card.
They were in regular contact when I was purchasing the phone - but no after sales service - it wouldn't have caused them much drama to do a bulk email both to the Sat Phone and the email addresses. (all of which they have on file)
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:28

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:28
Note that due to the charging bugs found in v. 5.1.0 and 5.2.0, the time to upgrade the firmware to 5.3 has been extended to the end of 2013.

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Follow Up By: Dennis Ellery - Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:49

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:49
Thanks for that Sigmund - I am in the process on doing 5.3
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Reply By: Murray M2 - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 21:33

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 21:33
I went bush with 2yrs ago with a sat phone dealer and he took his best set with him , surprise surprise it didnt get a signal , . Recently there was a tv programme showing what the Police do on the Nullabor at a an accident and guess what ! their Sat phones didnt get a signal.

Anyway I travel with a Telstra W35 Modem in my vehicle, (must be set up as a business phone ??) This gives me not only VOIP connection(if setup) but internet etc (you need to watch your use) I recently travelled from Brisbane to Perth with my Daughter and when I was driving she was on the net most of the time and reverse when she was driving. Phone was available most of the time, yes did have drop outs etc, worst place was soon as we hit the WA border, but that could be because of the elevation at the time .Came back on further down the track once we went up the escarpment.Was surprised where I could be and get a signal, is better than mobile phone as it had external antenna..
I dont say it will solve all your problems but damn good.
Bye the way I also have HF?VH/UHF and the best of all get a Spot Tracker with the insurance pack. Not expensive if you totally break down in the bush.
muzza
AnswerID: 503821

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 21:49

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 at 21:49
Globalstar was never any good.......

With our Optus Mobile Sat and Iridium phones we have never not been able to make or receive a call anywhere in Australia.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 at 08:09

Saturday, Feb 02, 2013 at 08:09
Hi muzza

You have not said what brand of Sat phone the Police were using?

When we were out again on the Nullarbor last August, I used my IsatPhone in a good number of locations including south of Nullarbor Roadhouse and north of Cook with no problems what so ever, with the phone picking up satellites very quick and at no stage did any phone call ever drop out, with some calls in excess of 5 minutes in duration.

Your set up is good, but only when you have Telstra phone coverage. I also have had for decades a Codan HF radio which is fantastic, but the moment that I leave the vehicle and head off on foot to scout the bush, then my sat phone is my only real communication with the outside world in the even that I need to speak with someone in person.

With the cost of the IsatPhone, it now makes them the cheapest form of voice communication in remote locations and with my Government subsidy, it was even cheaper than my GPS enabled PLB that is also carried in my backpack.

Like any safety equipment that we carry, we have them for our own safety net and hope that we never have to use any of what I use and carry, but is very reassuring and gives you peace of mind that we hopefully have all bases covered.




Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:56

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:56
If you google IsatPhone Pro and limit the search to Aus. sites you'll find a range of pre-paid SIM deals; some with expiry at end of '14.

...

A while ago a number of retailers offered a good deal on prepaid airtime as an incentive if bought at time of purchase.

I'm not aware of any Aus. sellers who still do.
AnswerID: 504463

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:58

Sunday, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:58
PS: to your Google search add 'airtime' or 'prepaid' to narrow the results.
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