‘Tis the season for Australia’s Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman to dish the dirt on the country’s telcos, their dodgy practices, and the customers complaining about them. Of particular note is the dozens of Australians last year that were lumped with five-figure data costs, according to the TIO.
Lifehacker has all the details; a grand total of 60 complaints were made about data charges of over $10,000, part of 15,434 total complaints about data and roughly 7000 complaints above $440 in value throughout the 2013-14 reporting period. Seeing as it’d be damn near impossible to run up $10,000 in data costs locally, it makes sense that these excessive charges are only for roaming.
The number of complaints overall points to the fact that it really is a good idea to keep track of your mobile data usage wherever you are, either overseas or locally. It’s not that hard — pick the right plan for your usage needs, install a monitoring app, and pay attention to the mandatory 50-85-100 per cent usage SMS alerts you receive from your telco.
Tangentially — I’ve just come back from a fortnight in Germany and the UK where I put a Globalgig SIM through its paces, and it did not fail me once. If you’re on holidays internationally, picking up a dedicated roaming data SIM is a very good idea, especially if you’re travelling within the US, UK, or Ireland. [Lifehacker]