Understanding your landline charges | ACMA

Understanding your landline charges

It’s important to familiarise yourself with your landline charges so you can avoid unexpectedly high bills.

Rates for phone calls can vary depending on who you are calling (i.e. local, long distance or international call) and the type of number you are calling (e.g. ‘13’, ‘1300’ or ‘19’ numbers)

Calls to Australian landlines and mobile phones

Calls to Australian landline and mobile phones can vary depending on your phone plan. Some plans charge on a ‘per call’ basis, while other plans may include free calls to certain times of numbers at certain times of the day (i.e. free calls to local numbers outside of business hours).

Another example of a monthly plan is where you receive ‘call minutes’ credit instead of monetary credit. For example, you may have 300 minutes of call time to Australian numbers included every month and only pay for these calls once your 300 minute allowance is exceeded.

Calls to international landlines and mobile phones

International landline and mobile phone call costs can often be complex and expensive, with international call charges easily amounting to hundreds of dollars.

So before you make any calls—check your call charge structure with your service provider. They are required to provide you with a critical information summary that outlines their services and key pricing information.

Calls to ‘13’, ‘1300’ and ‘18’, ‘1800’ numbers

Call costs to ‘13’, ‘1300’, ‘18’ and ‘1800’ numbers can vary. Although ‘1800’ numbers are generally free from a landline, they may be included in the ‘included minutes’ portion of some call plans. Other plans may exclude calls to 13’, ‘1300’, ‘18’ and ‘1800’ numbers altogether.

Some phone plans charge calls to ‘13’ and ‘1300’ number at a similar call rate to calls to other standard landline numbers. However, you may be charged extra if you exceed your limits or if your plan doesn’t have these call included.


Pre-selection enables you to choose a different telephone provider (other than the provider that supplies your local calls) to supply other call types either on an ongoing basis or just for an individual call.

Services you can pre-select include:

  • >         national long-distance calls
  • >         international calls (0011)
  • >         fixed-to-mobile calls
  • >         certain operator-assisted services
  • >         international ring-back pricing calls.

More details are available on the ACMA’s Pre-selection for Consumers information page.

Charges for incomplete calls

Did you know that you may be charged the cost of a call even if you have just left a voicemail?

When you make a call that is answered by a ‘message bank’ or voicemail service—this is flagged as a connection and you will be charged for leaving the message.

Voicemail services are considered an ‘opt-in’ service, so to disable—you will need to ‘opt out’ by contacting your service provider.

It is also important to note that some providers may charge you for a call even if it is unsuccessful. For example, if a phone is engaged, switched off, out of range, or just goes unanswered. This functionality is applied to every call unless you chose to ‘opt out’.

Last updated: 17 September 2018