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Monday, 02 December 2019 11:21

$152.6 million wasted on paying excess data charges

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$152.6 million wasted on paying excess data charges Image stuart miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australians are paying a high price for exceeding their data limits and have blown $152.6 million on excess data charges over the past 12 months, according to comparison website Finder.

According to a survey of 1,023 Australians by Finder, over one in four (27%) go over their data cap at least once per year - with some Aussies exceeding their limit between 8 to 12 times a year.

Finder’s Angus Kidman, says that many Aussies misjudge the amount of data they need.

“Some Aussies will underestimate their data usage and opt for a cheaper plan to save money. But this can end up backfiring when you go over your limit.

“Signing up to a new phone contract can be costly, especially if you’re after the latest model smartphone.

“But a plan with a generous amount of data is much better value than paying through the nose for excess data charges.

“If you’re locking yourself in for two or sometimes three years, you’ll inevitably use more data as time goes on," Kidman said.

In fact Finder says that ACCC figures show from June 2018 to May 2019, Aussies consumed an extra 77,445 terabytes of data via their smartphones, representing an extra 31% more data consumed via phones.

“It’s generally cheaper to pay for a more generous data limit than face excess data charges,” Kidman said.

Finder’s research also found that 16% of Australians s don’t know how to check their data usage, while a further 29% know how to check but rarely do.

Kidman said that in this day and age, there’s no excuse for Aussies not to keep tabs on their data usage.

“Telcos are required to notify customers if they’re close to exceeding their data limit. This means you should be checking any text messages received from your provider,” he said.

“If you’re regularly exceeding your limit, it’s time to bump up your plan and start getting better value for money.

“There are plenty of affordable plans on the market for data-hungry customers.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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