Remember how much more difficult it was to top up phone credit in the 00s?

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I’m about to look like a very old person, but let me tell you, if you weren’t a 2000s teenager having to run to the convenience store for phone credit then you don’t even know the hardships.

Imagine this: you just managed to convince your parents that in fact you should really be able to spend all the pocket money you saved on a phone because you are definitely old enough now (remember you have to be “Old enough” to have a phone? I think people grow one with them in the womb now.) The phone in question is a small brick, because you certainly couldn’t afford the fancy flip phones.

Ok no I’m not that old but you get the vibe.

You’ve exchanged numbers with your five friends who also just got their own cell phones, and you have a really long text string with each of them. Unlimited texting doesn’t exist yet, and your $ 20 credit recharge is quickly depleting.

THEN. Your best friend is dropping yummy tea (which at the time was just called gossip), and you desperately need to respond with these old-fashioned text emojis – you know, like ‘: O’ – but you just did. ‘use all your credit.

Your mom has the landline attached and yes of course you can just wait until school Monday to answer, but this tea was JUICY. The first kisses were involved. Your only option was to run to the corner store (yes, to run, because you only had your L-plates) to buy more phone credit.


PLUS, once you got that new credit it came in the form of a receipt from which you then had to type a whole bunch of numbers into your phone to actually apply the credit. And yes, it got lost more than once before you had a chance to, so you might as well throw $ 20 in the trash.

This whole scenario was too common, and a huge pain in the ass, I’m telling you what.

These days we are all spoiled. So spoiled that I had almost blocked any memory of having to take a big old trip every time I needed to buy another $ 20 credit (again I was working with money from pocket and a shift a week at the local bakery, I wasn’t going crazy over the $ 50 refills).

Now prepaid phone credit is flexible of all kinds, and you can even top up online or create a subscription through an app (you know, with the kind of internet that doesn’t take 10 years and a lot of fuss to connect) .

In reality, Optus plans to simplify your life with its prepaid Flex plan Complete with 5G access, to make your phone credit life even easier (and your web sleuth much faster).


Basically, it gives you the choice of upgrading to a daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly plan and then you can decide what you want or don’t want to add to it like unlimited data, Optus Sport, or international plan. Plus, now that it has 5G access, you have the option to take your streaming, scrolling, and downloading to the next level.

You can cancel at any time, so it’s as open as your prepaid phone credit plans of yesteryear, just 1,000 times more convenient, especially since up to 200 GB of data will automatically be transferred to an active plan. In the 2000s, it was a total “you take a nap, you lose” sitch.

Do you know what i mean? Life on the phone was so much more difficult as a teenager in the 2000s.

Image: Lizzie Maguire