Are Aussie Telco Plans Deliberately Confusing?

Are Aussie Telco Plans Deliberately Confusing?

It’s not exactly news that mobile phone plans can be confusing. I certainly find it frustrating setting up a new mobile phone contract (part of the reason I’m now a pre-paid customer, although that’s not without its annoyances), but do the big three Aussie telcos really deliberately set out to bamboozle us?

Adam Turner at the Sydney Morning Herald reports on a research study from Deakin University which took 517 shoppers and tracked their quest to find the best mobile phone deals. The study certainly doesn’t mince words; Turner quotes it as concluding that

consumers consistently found it difficult to have a straight conversation with their telecommunications provider pre-sale (through marketing communications), at point of sale (with salespeople), and post-sale (with customer service representatives). Participants expressed a broad frustration and disappointment with the way in which the telco sector communicated to them. Some simply felt that the sector relied on “information overload” as part of its business model.

As Gus at Lifehacker notes, proposed new rules should eventually cut back on those problems, but there’s a lot of bad blood already. What have your mobile phone shopping experiences been like? Do telcos rely on shifty small print, or are consumers broadly just unaware of what’s on offer?[SMH]
image: Guy David

More: Mobile Plans: How Much Data And Calls Do You Really Get?