Put your breakables in a safe place and ready your best angry comments, because an investigation into mobile data caps offered this year and last year has found that we're paying more of our hard-earned for less of their data. The worst offender isn't who you think it is, either. Cue table flip.
Picture by Robert S Donovan
Because it's been around for so long and everyone has a bad story about what life was like in the dark, Sol Trujillo-days, you'd think you're safe guessing that Telstra is the worst data offender. This time, you'd be wrong. It's actually Optus.
According to the frankly excellent investigation by SMH, Optus is duking you out of more of your money than it did last year for less data:
All of its plans now offer less data and credit, and this is more pronounced on higher value offerings. Customers on the $80 cap get 2GB of data and $850 of credit, which is half the data and $50 less than was being offered in last year's $79 cap. Advertisement The value disparity on Optus's $99 Timeless consumer plan is wider, with only 3GB of data included compared to 5GB last year.
Sure it's only $1 more between the $79 and $80 plans, but it shows that Optus is most certainly going the wrong way when it comes to consumer value. Optus did try and defend itself against the accusations, saying that it's what consumers want. I definitely recommend you read the report for that.
Telstra and Vodafone are also offenders, but it's not as bad as Optus. Both networks are charging customers the same amount for less data.
Come on, telcos. I understand why, amidst all the mainstream scaremongering over "bill shock" (read: not being smart enough to research a purchase), people might be using less data on average, but lowering cap allowances on the whole as a result is downright idiotic. Especially considering the fact that customers are likely to use more data as 4G networks grown.
Time to take a long, hard bath with yourselves and think about what you're doing. [SMH]