Switch off global roaming and data when you take your phone overseas

I saw an article in the Sun-Herald about how data costs jump massively when you are overseas. For the full article see:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/travellers-stung-by-phone-costs-20101218-191by.html

 Below I’ve listed some of the risks taking your phone overseas (soon I’ll post what you can do to lower your mobile bill when overseas).

Risk 1: Data -You get massive charges from automatic internet updates

If your phone is updating automatically while you are overseas you could work up a huge bill without even realising it.

For example with Vodaphone – if you are over your data limit it charges 25c/megabyte over the limit. If you are overseas though this is $10.24/megabite!!! (and even more scary the other telcos were even more expensive)

Risk 2: Data – International Data doesn’t count under your phone plan

Under the small print in an Optus page I found the following text:- 2. Data usage will be counted in kilobytes, both uploads and downloads. Any unused monthly data cannot be rolled over. Excludes data used while international roaming.

So I would imagine this would be standard wording in other mobile providers as well – so you probably would pay extra for data whenever you go overseas.

Risk 3: Phone – International Calls don’t count under your phone plan

Just like data – international calls often don’t count under your phone plan. So you could be paying your ‘cap’ amount + the expensive costs of overseas calls.

My brother and his wife signed up to 3 a few years ago.

They knew that they were going to Russia for a year so they confirmed with the salesman that the overseas calls would be included in the cap.

They couldn’t get onto 3 before they went overseas and they soon realized that he had told them the wrong thing. That they were paying the Cap amount PLUS paying top rate for each international call they made (and received).

Whenever they called back they weren’t able to find anyone who had the authority to cancel the agreement without cancellation fees.

When they did the person wouldn’t do it and ordered an investigation. The investigation came back negative (we assume that the salesman said that he hadn’t told them that the international calls were included in the cap).

In the end our dad paid the amount outstanding to fix the problem without further headaches.

Although other options would have been:

-          To go to the Ombudsmen (see below) or  www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au (NSW fairtrading) to complain about the contract was unfair

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
Tel: 1800 062 058 (free call)
www.tio.com.au

Note - you don’t have to pay the balance – you could also make a payment plan with the phone company to pay over time.

Posted in Saving Money

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