View Full Version : Paging Mobile Phone Geeks

09-05-2010, 01:00 PM
Ok guys this is a question for the Mobile Phone Geeks out there.

Before I get to the nitty gritty Iíll give of background to the problem.

Iím in Aus at the moment and the place where I stay up the Sunshine Coast has very poor coverage by Vodafone in places. However, my brother-in-law who is on Telstra has reasonable coverage where Vodafone doesnít.

Ok, the other day one of the local shops had a special on Telstra pre-pay Mobiles for $19:99 including a Starter Pack with $10 credit. Beauty I think, this will solve my immediate needs and if the phone turns out to be a heap of junk Iíll dump it in a couple of weeks and no harm will be done.

So far so good, the deal is done and away I go.

And now the fun starts.

The Sim card needs to be activated and Telstra CHARGE to activate Sim Cards.

You need to call their service centre and the whole time youíre on hold, youíre being charged at calling rates. Needless to say your $10 credit has gone before youíve activated anything. Once the $10 has run out you canít call anyone, not even Telstra. :mad:
(you may be able to call emergency numbers but I never tried).

So off to the Telstra shop I must go.

Ahh yes Sir, you will need to top up your account, how much would you like to put on it? :eek:

Iím afraid the fuse blew and in my finest Australian/Anglo Saxon vocabulary I explained that what was required was for him to activate my phone and refund my $10.

After a short exchange, that seemed to amuse a shop full of people, he conceded it was indeed a very good idea for him activate my phone and refund my $10. ;)

But it doesnít finish there, it took 35minutes to get things sorted because even though it was a Telstra Shop, they had to use exactly the same system as us peasants to deal with faults or problems. They have no direct lines to the control centre and the activation process included 30 minutes on hold! During the course of our conversation while waiting he advised that a survey showed that the staff in the shop spent 70% of their time on Hold.

The saga doesnít end there because now their Website wonít let me set up an account in My Telstra because they claim Iím already registered and have a user name and password.


Anyway, after all this I quite like the little phone. It has an FM Radio of surprising quality, it has loudspeaker/hands free capability, 150hrs stand by, 150min talk, Internet capable etc. etc. so, I thought instead of dumping it, I might bring it home.

But here is the nitty gritty. Itís locked to the Telstra Network over here, which is fine, but how do I get on unlocking it and hooking onto a NZ network?

Iíve unlocked others with downloads and numbers Iíve found on the Internet, but I canít find anything for this model.

Itís a Motorola W173 and looking at the phones brochure the model appears to be available in NZ.

Any suggestions? :thanks

09-05-2010, 01:26 PM
I have had to activate Telstra phone's before:groan:. Last time I did it all the Telstra shop did was log into the Telstra site from there shop computer, load in my passport details and other info, what sort of plan did I want and less than 5 minutes later all done. Surprised that they did it by phone when they can access and load it over the net for you.

Shop a round once you are back in NZ, there are places that fix cellphone's, some of them may be able to unlock it for you.

09-05-2010, 03:55 PM

which is why Telstra is the most hated co in Aus, like Telecom here.

09-05-2010, 04:34 PM
which is why Telstra is the most hated co in Aus, like Telecom here.

They might not be the most liked company but they do have coverage in area's not serviced by Vodafone, Optus, etc which is the only reason I have a Telstra phone as they are the only cell provider in many of the area's that I need to be in. Same goes for there 3G internet, not the cheapest when compared to other providers but again, they are the only wireless internet service I can get in many locations.

09-05-2010, 05:51 PM
Yes I bought a $30 Pre-pay SIM pack and spent many times trying to activate the bastard. The first one ended up being stuffed, so they gave me a second pack. A few more hours to activate and get going.

Telstra is quite expensive but I find coverage is quite good for 3G data so I can surf whenever and wherever on my iPhone.

09-05-2010, 06:17 PM
Yes, Telstra are an expensive clown outfit, but as you say PinoyKiw, they have the best Mobile coverage.

A one minute call will cost you $1:08 and if youíre want data that will be $2 per Meg.

Oh, and even if youíre on a 12 Month Plan your credit will be forfeited if you donít top up at least every 2 Months.

They are nothing if not common thieves.

God bless Kinect and 2 Degrees, we donít know how lucky we are in NZ. :D

However, Iím still faced with the problem of unlocking the phone and given itís a $10 job it doesnít warrant spending money on it even though I like it. There must be a way to return it to its factory defaults, like I have in the past with other phones.

Anyway, by the time Iíve used the $10 credit my dealings with Telstra will be at an end. ;)

PS. PinoyKiwi I think the problem with the activation was that my $10 ran out with the activation only half complete which left the phone locked. They had to get a Puk Code and a Pin Number to unlock the phone before we could start again. Unfortunately, the shops only have the same Web Access as everyone else so they had to use the phone. Unbelievable! :rolleyes:

09-05-2010, 07:33 PM
Unfortunately, the shops only have the same Web Access as everyone else so they had to use the phone. Unbelievable! :rolleyes:

In my case, they did everything using there own web based system. But when I enquired at Optus about a cellphone, it was a Optus dealership, they indicated they would not avtivate the phone over the counter, I would have to take it away and do it myself. It was RetroVision that I bought my Telstra phone from, it was like yours a elcheapo model and they did it all over the counter, took less than 5 minutes. Telstra might have changed the activation process since then of course.

Peter H
10-05-2010, 04:21 PM
Try ringing Samsung - they helped me once.
0508 7267864 or might be 0800 first.

10-05-2010, 08:28 PM
Thanks Peter, but would Samsung be able to help with a Motorola? :confused:

I wasted another hour in a Telstra shop today and I'll post the details as time permits. (Being paged for tea) :)

11-05-2010, 12:50 AM
You could ask T Life store to unlock your Motorola W173 or use the phone at T Life store to make calls with Telstra. (I read about Telstra customers using T Life's phone to make calls for fault etc in Whirlpool - Australian forum).


Accounts & Payments
Connections & Disconnections
Faults & Repairs 125 8880Ļ

Things you need to know
Calls to this number from either a Telstra fixed or Telstra mobile phone will incur a flat fee of 25c.

Just found this number on Telstra's Website "contact help".

I never had a prepaid with Telstra, only on contract for 24 months - first with Hiptop for 2 years and now on Blackberry phone for another 2 years with Telstra.

Yeah Telstra is similar to Telecom for expensive prices of plans and good coverages etc, but then I never have been with Telecom NZ, only Vodafone NZ.

Peter H
11-05-2010, 12:28 PM
Sorry - misread it as Samsung have similar model number.