Thursday, September 4, 2014

Introducing: Comobile - and a Giveaway!

I've written before about my reluctance to give Madeleine a phone with any real juice. I have a set budget in mind that I think is an OK level for a teenagers phone bill, and anything more than this she would need to cover out of her own income. When she has one.

With that in mind, I've recently been introduced to Comobile, a new Mobile Service Provider launching in Australia. Comobile specialises in plans for Students and Youth which is what initially caught my attention. Far too many of the plans on the market exploit the careless way kids sometimes use technology as they learn financial responsibility. For me, it is very clear that prepaid is the way to go through those learning years.

Comobile is the latest offering from the Co-op, Australia's largest member owner retailer of educational, professional, and learning resources. Interestingly, they are a not-for-profit company (the only not-for-profit Mobile Service Provider in Australia!) and return all their profits to students in the form of scholarships and sponsorships.

13 year old Madeleine has been given one of their best value plans to to test drive, and we've fitted her with one of our old iPhones for the trial. She's EXTREMELY keen to start using the 3G data allowance of 3GB that comes with the plan, (plus a bonus 1gb!) so we've sat down and had a talk about exactly what that means. 

Some of our key conversation points are:

-Responsible use away from home or school. Till now, Madeleine's Internet use has been restricted to supervised environments. Now she will be able to access the Internet - and social media - when she's on the go, and she will need to make sure she moderates her use. This also means not using it when she is walking to school to ensure she is aware of traffic.
-YouTube and music streaming sites will use up more of her data allowance than she can imagine. She knows, but this might be a lesson that will take some experience to really embed
-First and foremost this is a device for her to communicate with us. Having no charge or allowance to contact us is not OK - especially if it was used up recreationally.
-As with all her devices, I will be monitoring the usage, especially for the data use. I need to know the password at all times, and may ask for the phone for a review at any time.

She's been given a 6 month plan. This essentially means she has all her data and phone allowance up front, so it will be interesting to see how well she manages to make it last the period. The plan costs $189 for the 6 months, and is more than generous with unlimited texts, a significant call time allowance (approximately 550 2 minute calls each month, plus free calls in off peak times), and a data allowance that rivals all the competitors I reviewed for similar pricing packages. At just over $30 per month, this is a more than reasonable plan for a teenager. 

The primary goal is to not get a $300 phone bill one month, which is a trap more than a few of my friends have fallen into. And with the safety net of the prepaid plan, this is one problem I don't have to worry about.

The seriously fantastic news is that Comobile have given me not one, but TWO of the $189 6 month value bundles to giveaway. That means you could be enjoying the next 6 months phone bill on Mummy Hearts Money and Comobile! Two lucky winners will each receive one of these fantastic prizes.

There are two ways to enter. One prize will be given away to a blog commenter, and the other will be given away to a Facebook entrant. You are more than welcome to enter more than once, and karma points to those of you that share with your friends! Little blogs like mine need all the love they can get, and I value each and every one of your comments, likes, and shares.

Enter now, and then head over to Facebook and enter again via the pinned post at the top of the page.


  1. This is a great plan, I'd love to see how Maddy goes with it.

  2. I think the data rationing would be the hardest!!!! Make sure she always uses wifi rather then her 3g for data when she can!

  3. I've been reluctant to give my teens a phone for the same reasons as you and this is an interesting option... thanks!

  4. Oh god! How timely!
    I have had a real run-in with my Daughter and her tech last week and have just confiscated the lot from her. Every parent must monitor their kids' tech use and to not do so would put them in the bad parent category. It's been an eye-opener to say the least but since she's our first teen, we're all cutting our teeth together. This sounds great!

  5. Absolutely I did when my teenager got a mobile phone. Though I had to be sneaky back then. He would sue our phones and delete numbers called - not finding out till I got the bill.

  6. Yes! My son was a bit shocked when he went to high school and realised that the boys would spend all lunch looking at stuff on their phones that they absolutely should not have been. One boy told him that his mother made him delete the porn that was on ihis phone, he was in grade 8! I don't even know who is paying their huge phone bills!!!

  7. Of course it is ok! You are their guardians, their protectors. You have the right and as a parent should want to be aware of what they are doing.

  8. Definately Yes, you should monitor your kids mobile phone usage. As you have done, I would definately lay down guidelines that I expect to be followed. Doing this stops issues arising in the future as they know where they stand. Having a mobile phone is a priviledge not a right, and with your positive influence and regular monitoring it helps keep them on track, make wise decisions and be responsible. This Comobile package is a great idea:)

  9. What a fab idea - a non profit mobile company!!! And yes when my daughter is old enough I will be monitoring!!

  10. Most definitely. I think it's an essential to check up and monitor them.
    We are after all trying to look out for them and do the best we can whilst they are out adventuring.

  11. Yes I believe in monitoring but not helicopter parenting. These days they start so young with the gadgets that I think it's important to spend time explaining what is acceptable and what they need to be aware of. It is important to have a certain amount of trust in your own children and allow them some privacy although if I noticed behavioural/ attitude changes I would be investigating pronto!

  12. Absolutely! You need to guide your child in the right direction and putting limits on them and teaching them what is appropriate and not appropriate is the way to go. Your children will thank you for it later in life.

  13. Monitor - absolutely. The world is definitely their oyster when it comes to modern technology. Sadly hearing about phone predators is just too common a thing or grooming children by an infatuated admirer; well it just terrifies me. I think this option is a great idea. I don't believe in children needing mobiles in Primary School with internet connection and all the trimmings but this Co-Mobile plan sounds as though it has the parent and child's best interests at heart. Yes, teaching our children to be trustworthy, responsible phone users, making them accountable for their phone use choices is just another factor of life that a parent has to and must monitor. To be a responsible parent you must instill values for your child to follow.

  14. Yes, monitoring is essential. We monitor and protect our kids in the real world, so we should also be able to do this in the cyber world. Sometimes the internet is more dangerous than we think! My son is 13 and is now starting to want a mobile phone, his own Instagram account, etc. It's a fine line between giving him independence and also trying to control his environment.

  15. Yes until they are willing to pay the bills themselves, it is completely ok to monitor their usage.


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