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  • Mobile phone users hit with more than $259 MILLION in excess data fees...
  • 18/10/2017 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: McStooge ( 1 article in 2017 )
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Mobile phone users hit with more than $259 MILLION in excess data fees in just a year - as experts slam telcos for lack of unlimited plans

- A record high amount was spent by Australians on mobile internet in 12 months
- The staggering amount is up $113 million compared to the previous year
- Users were slugged by giant monthly bills for underestimating their needs
- Experts are confident unlimited mobile internet plans are on their way

New figures reveal Australians have forked out nearly $260 million on excess mobile phone data charges in the last year.

The staggering amount is up $113 million compared to the previous year, according to comparison website

The company ran a survey of 2000 Australians and found that one in five mobile users, nearly 20 per cent, were exceeding their data limit on a regular basis.

Most providers now charge the standard flat rate of $10 for every extra gigabyte used outside of the allocated data amount on a set plan.

But it seems users have been underestimating how much internet they require each month, subsequently leaving them facing hefty overcharges on top of their normal monthly bill.

More than 23 per cent of participants reported going over their data in the past year, while 10.9 per cent had gone over their allocation three to four times.

Aussies were slugged more than $50 million for going over their plan allowance every second month, and nearly $94 million for exceeding it every month.

The results also reflected differences in usage from generational groups, with Gen Y the most frequent to exceed their data at 36 per cent.

Gen X also racked up significant over charges, with 21 per cent regularly using more than their allowance, compared with a dismal 7 per cent of Baby Boomers.

A concerning 16 per cent were found to have auto-debits set up to pay their account, meaning they were unsure of how often they exceeded their data.

Aussies were slugged nearly $94 million for exceeding their data plan every month

Consumers should pay close attention to the fine print of their plans and monitor their usage closely, according to the website's tech expert, Alex Kidman.

'Some telcos are now charging $12 or even $13 per extra gigabyte which may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re regularly going over your allowance, that could be an extra few hundred dollars a year,' he said.

With mobile devices increasingly becoming used more for streaming of music and videos, Mr Kidman recommends those frequently going over their data consider opting for a more accommodating plan.

Some tips to help cut back on monthly blowouts include downloading an app to track consumption and slowing down usage towards the end of the month as data becomes scarce.

Experts also recommended cutting down on overall usage of apps that suck up the most data, like video sharing platform YouTube.

While they shouldn't be used for online banking or shopping, free public WiFi networks can help make personal data last for the whole month.

Mobile devices have become increasingly used for streaming of music and videos, landing many users with a surprisingly high bill at the end of the month

Unlimited data on mobile handsets has long been pegged a desirable feature for Australians, who unlike Americans, are yet to experience such luxury.

While the feature was rumoured be available to consumers by the end of the year, it seems Australians still have some waiting to do.

The large geography of Australia and its small population density poses challenges for telcos looking to provide unlimited data, website co-founder Fred Schebesta said.

But the highly anticipated service was expected to become a reality soon, with Mr Schebesta saying it should become available once providers make necessary investments in infrastructure.

'They don’t want to promise (unlimited data) then have mass exodus of customers,' Mr Schebesta told

'Someone’s going to move, but I would submit that it’s not going to be super fast because they’ve got to deliver on that promise,' Mr Schebesta said.


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