Australian customers of BOOST Mobile have received an SMS yesterday saying that “from 13 October, international roaming will no longer be available”.
The entire SMS says:
[Customer Name], we’re always working to give our customers simple and great value products. We are making some changes behind the scenes, which means from 13 October, international roaming will no longer be available. But don’t worry, it will be back in the future. Find out more and your options at bst.st/ircl
Clicking through to the explanation link on the BOOST website reveals more details including that global roaming will be disabled until an unspecified date in mid 2021 when they say it will be re-enabled.
Only a few months ago BOOST Mobile announced new improved global roaming options so it seems quite odd that they would disable global roaming altogether at short notice and it wont return for maybe 9 months or more.
Just speculating, this change may have been forced by Telstra which is BOOST Mobile’s Australian wholesaler provider. Another possible reason could be that BOOST Mobile is paying Telstra a fee per month/quarter to offer global roaming to their customers and isn’t earning much from it since most Australians can’t leave the country anytime soon.
Another potential reason could be that BOOST is planning to leave Telstra and switch it’s customers to Optus or the new stronger Vodafone/TPG network by mid next year.
BOOST Mobile has done this before when they switched from Optus to Telstra as their wholesale provider in early 2013. This could explain their cryptic explanation “we are making some changes behind the scenes and will soon be moving to a new platform“.
If you’ve bought a BOOST Add-On for international roaming calls & texts, you will still be able to use it for roaming until midnight 12 October. From 13 October, the $5 and $15 Add-On’s will no longer have international roaming inclusions.
If your recharge is no longer suitable without international roaming, you can request a partial refund by 20th October and it will be sent via cheque.
This cheque will be hard to cash in if you have an internet bank account like 86400 or many other banks that don’t have branches and don’t let you use AusPOST banking. It’s a hassle but if you’re in that situation just open an account with one of the banks that offer a fee-free account with AusPOST banking like ME BANK and deposit the cheque that way.
If you’re stuck overseas because of Coronavirus and using a BOOST SIM, from 13 October 2020 you won’t be able to receive calls and messages unless you buy a local SIM or use Wi-Fi to access messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype or WeChat to send messages or make calls.
What do you think of this change?