LCBox

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a few “bare bones” mobile service providers come up. Offering cost effective plans as “Sim Only” or “BYO Phone” deals, which are great if you purchase your handsets outright, or you have recently had a plan expire, and you’re happy with your handset. But what if you’re happy with being on plans so you can update your handset every two years? Easy monthly set amounts, and you get new gear. Yay!

Live Connected has recently begun offering some of the latest handsets on plans, including, the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, Nokia Lumia 920, and the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Running their service over the Optus Network, they also offer 4G data speeds (where covered by Optus). What they do focus on, is making sure that you’re not paying any extra for the handset. All of the handsets are $0 on all of the plans (starting at $50 a month).

Live Connected has hooked me up with a Samsung Galaxy S III and their Large Plan ($80 per month), to try over the next three months.

I placed the order online, simply selecting the phone and plan I wanted, filled out my contact details, and entered my credit card information. I received a phone call to confirm my phone choice, followed soon after by an email confirming my order. All of this happened in less than 90 minutes. The phones are delivered by courier, and should arrive within 24 hours, during the business week. I also received an email confirming that my phone had been picked up by courier, and another when it was signed for at my home (they do suggest having it delivered to a work address if that is where you are during the day). If you need help setting up your service and device, they also offer over the phone support, as well as a “Table” at their office in the inner city of Sydney.

I’ve ordered phones and services both online and over the phone before, but this was the most simple transaction and delivery I’ve had to date.

Some things to note. The phone comes with the battery charged, and the sim card installed. So the phone box is opened, and then re-packaged. But when you open up your package, you’re ready to go! Also in your package is a “Spare Sim”. This is just in case something happens to the sim in your phone. Having a spare sim that can be activated, means less time waiting for a replacement. 4G is available on 4G enabled phones, so unfortunately I won’t be able to test the 4G connection on the Samsung Galaxy SIII, but I will try it out in my own 4G enabled phone.

I’ll be using Live Connected for the next three months, and will be back to do another write-up about the on-going service in a few weeks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.johnson.338658 Dan Johnson

    Bit dissapointing about the way some people come across in the comments, I thought it was a good article. Nevermind these people are on every where…

  • Kungfutiger

    $80 per month for 2GB of data and $900 of talk and text, over a two year contract?

    On Optus.

    Man, that kind of sucks, whichever way you want to spin it.

    Live Connected used to be a low cost carrier, now, they are just part of the system.

  • David Watt

    I don’t get the attitude, immaturity and sheer rudeness in some of these comments. Typical keyboard warriors. We were asked to review a service, and given that it something we often do, we accepted.

    Nowhere are we forcing anyone to sign up and use the service. We aren’t even saying how good or bad it is. We’re just saying we plan to review the service and Tia will post her findings after using it for a period of time.

    Get off your high horses and chill the heck out.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.sagi.9 James Sagi

      I think a few people just really don’t like LC, maybe for a valid reason I don’t know. More alarmingly to me, the security seals on the boxes have been broken to “set up” your phone. I would never accept this. You would have no idea how many sets of hands this phone has gone through.

  • Same Same

    Very disappointed Android Central, it’s like you’ve sold out for a free GS3 and 3 months of plan.

    Please read the thread on Whirlpool about how shocking Live Connected really is, any complaint at all to them and they will disconnect your service.

    I really hope your follow up review is accurate reflection on how poor these plans/service really is.

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris (Deputy Editor)

      Well first of all, this is Ausdroid. Not Android Central.

      Secondly, why would we sell out for an SGS3? I’m pretty sure _everyone_ who’s a writer for Ausdroid has an SGS 3, or has had one, and now has a better phone. Plus, if you refer to our ethics statement, we don’t keep freebies.

      Our writers require permission of our management team before they can keep a freebie, and let me assure you, we don’t often give it. Apprehension of bias etc.

      Third, I doubt Tia needs a free mobile service for three months – she already has a mobile (a good one, a RAZR HD) on a plan (Telstra 4G, no less). She’s quite happy with it too.

      We don’t sell out for free gear. Never have, and won’t ever. Not on my watch, and not in our name. We review products and services to showcase what’s on offer — good things and bad. I’m certain that if the service is crap, Tia will say so. If it’s good, she’ll say so too.

      • James Finnigan

        Well said, Chris. I’ve found Tia’s reviews in the past to be extremely even-handed, and I’m sure this review will again address the good and bad things about the service.

        Obviously, if Live Connected want us to review their service, they won’t expect us to pay for it. And there’s no reason to turn down the opportunity just because a bunch of folks on Whirlpool are having a whinge. (In the interests of disclosure, I haven’t read the Whirlpool thread, nor do I intend to. I don’t want to tarnish my opinion of Live Connected before they’ve had the chance to show us what they’ve got.)

  • http://twitter.com/thenerdmama The Nerd Mama

    I think there is a big difference between a “Free” handset, and a $0 on a plan handset. I can’t see anywhere on the site that they state that the handset is “Free”. They are, however, $0 extra on the given plans.

  • http://twitter.com/thenerdmama The Nerd Mama

    Thanks for commenting (both positively and negatively) on this article. This was a quick write up to be a rundown on the new service that LC are offering, I will be doing a more in depth write up of the services and finer points of how LC support their customers in a few weeks, once I’ve had more dealings with them. Followed by a final write up and honest review on LC, their service and my dealings with them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianhislop Brian Hislop

    I think people are over-reacting a little. Ausdroid were offered a phone/SIM for 3 months to review their company, and that’s what they’re doing. I would alter the the title … and maybe make a note of it in the article, they’re NOT a new telco … they’ve been around a while.

    I’m also dubious of the claims of a “free” phone. I haven’t done the research to back it up, but that sounds unlikely. Unless they also charge the exact same price for SIM-only plans?? That doesn’t really make sense.

    Anyways, Tia, I look forward to your review after the 3 months with them.

    • liqn7

      RE: the free phone.

      They’re offering the phone “free” for $50/month. But the same plan BYO costs $19/month. So free = $31/month. To make matters worse, the $19/month plan used to cost $11.99 with more inclusions. Vaya offer the same plan with an additional $500 calls to people on the same carrier and +1GB data for $11/month. This is no contract as well. None of this locked in for 24 months BS.

      Their support is better than LC’s as well, with an actual call centre based in Brisbane, email, FB, twitter and a very active Whirlpool rep. My small problems have all been resolved within 24 hours. Compared with LC…I submitted a ticket 10 days ago to claim back my prorata porting out monthly fee..still no response.

    • liqn7

      Seriously there is no reason whatsoever to go with LC. They’re providing websites like ausdroid with free phones and service for review as a PR exercise. But you could put as much lipstick as you want on a filthy pig and its still a pig. Fact of the matter is there are much better alternatives out there.

      1) Vaya if you’re a low to medium user and dont mind the Optus Network
      http://www.vaya.net.au/?option=Mobile

      Or

      2) Kogan if you want unlimited. $25/month for unlimited + 6GB of data using the Telstra 3G network (no 4G or dual channel 3G), but still fast enough for most people.

      This isn’t even mentioning they’re terrible attitude to customer service- I quote “google someone else if you’re not happy with us” and their creation on a 2 tier support system based on how much you pay (quote on FB about how people on grandfathered plans have their support tickets designated as lowest priority).

      LC is seriously yesterday’s news…

  • Brandon

    I’m sorry to have to say this, but this is written terribly.

  • Doongy

    So if you are on an older plan, can you get the 4G data? Or is it only if you connect to the new plans? I’m on an older plan with live connected and was wanting to make use of the LTE network.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nick.bellios Nick Bellios

      Do yourself a favour and sign up to a far more superior network like telstra.

  • liqn7

    By the way- the title “New Telco” is a bit misleading. They’ve been around for 2+ years. The only thing new are their updated cruddy value plans…Their poor customer service is still the same. They just charge you more for it now and give you “free” cough cough phones.

    • http://twitter.com/thenerdmama The Nerd Mama

      If you read the title, it acutally says, “New Telco service”, the Telco “LC” is offering a new service.

  • http://fashionfaves.tumblr.com/ Charles Kane

    I,ve been with LC for about 9 months. I brought my own phone. I am on one of their grandfathered plans. since there is no lock in contract they had no obligation to grandfather my plan. But they did. So for $16/mth I get the equivalent (approx) of an Optus $45/mth plan plus extra data. The original set-up was so seamless and quick that I had to pinch myself.
    The rudeness of the naysayers indicates the quality of their comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.sagi.9 James Sagi

    You really shouldn’t say that the Optus Network offers 4g without any more specific information in regards to the handsets. Whilst that is true, of all the handsets LiveConnected have, only the Lumia 920 is 4g enabled. For the other 3 handsets, which IMHO more people would be interested in, 4g is not an option thus is misleading.

    I think since LC is on optus everyone is fairly clued in on network quality, speeds etc. What I’d really like to know for your more in depth review is in regards to support:
    1) are there physical stores
    2) where is the phone support based? What are the call centre hours? Are they actually helpful
    3) How is billing done?

    I think these are the big questions. A lot of people are put off by MVNOs because they are afraid that without a bricks and mortar store, their customer service opportunities are limited if something were to go wrong.

    • http://twitter.com/thenerdmama The Nerd Mama

      Like a lot of MVNO’s, there is not a physical store, which is one way they help keep the cost down. The phone support is based in Sydney, and I’m not sure as to the hours. I’ve yet to need to call them, but will be having a conversation with them in the near future. Billing, as far as I read on their website, is direct debited from your nominated Credit Card.

      There will be future articles on the LC customer service.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nick.bellios Nick Bellios

    Meh, Telstra’s plans are better and they’re on a superior network.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=545082300 Sean McColley Ⓥ

    You could have mentioned that they only ship to Sydney at the moment!!

    • http://twitter.com/thenerdmama The Nerd Mama

      I was not aware of this, and if this is the case, then it will be noted in my follow up article.

  • Liqn7

    Really? Lc has sunk to new lows by paying ausdroid to advertise their cruddy overpriced service instead of maintaining their previous value plans.

    Combined with false advertising about getting “free phones” on their plans (check out the actual plan price without the phone).

    Check out vaya as an alternative. Superior service and cheaper than Lc in every way.

    Lc has gone to the dogs. No amount of advertising can fix that.

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris (Deputy Editor)

      In the interests of transparency, I can confirm that Ausdroid is receiving no payment from Live Connected to conduct this review. They asked us if we were interested, and we took them up on the offer.

      While the handset and plan for three months are being offered to Ausdroid at no cost, this is no different to any other review device — most review devices are provided at no cost for the purposes of the review.

      Ausdroid does not, and will not, accept paid reviews.

    • forgot69

      > Combined with false advertising about getting “free phones” on their plans (check out the actual plan price without the phone).

      Indeed. Exactly *how* are these phones $0? I had to do digging before I could find the actual total 24 month cost. I thought that was a legal requirement to have it displayed with the plan pricing? On the Virgin Mobile website it’s hard to escape the total costs as it’s listed nearly everywhere and they have much more complicated plans than LC. Tisk Tisk!Leave a message…

      • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris (Deputy Editor)

        Which part of their website are you looking at? I found this information very quickly — it’s at the bottom of every plan summary, and it’s fairly prominent.

      • http://twitter.com/thenerdmama The Nerd Mama

        Thanks Chris :D