Report: Aussies Spent $259 Million On Excess Data Charges

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Australians are paying even more for excess data charges according to finder.com.au’s 2017 Excess Data Charges Report.

In a survey with 2,010 respondents, finder.com.au found that Australians paid $259 million on excess data charges last year. An increase of $113 million (or 78%) compared to the previous report.

These numbers came a conservative estimate that the one in five Australians (19.6%) who are regularly exceeding their data allowances are paying $10 per GB and only exceeding their allowance by 1GB. The true figure is likely buried somewhere in the telcos' financial reports but it's safe to say that we are paying a lot for excess data.

People who regularly find themselves exceeding their data limit should consider changing mobile plans. As finder.com.au tech expert — and former Gizmodo editor — Alex Kidman says, "“Some telcos are now charging $12 or even $13 per extra gigabyte which may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re regularly going over your allowance, that could be an extra few hundred dollars a year.”

Most disturbingly, 16% of respondents were unaware that they were even exceeding their data limits as they never checked their bills. Auto-debits make it all too easy for someone to miss an unexpected charge.

Supplied: finder.com.au

To avoid getting caught out, finder.com.au offers the following tips:

1. Check your data limit

It may sound simple, but the key to avoiding excess charges is knowing what your limit is and then slowing down until the month ticks over. You can also use apps and alerts which will help manage your consumption.

2. Know what apps are data-hungry

Some apps consume more data than others. For example, video streaming is the number one candidate for why your mobile data bills are so high, especially if you watch video at higher quality data rates.

3. Avoid those activities when you’re out and about

After you’ve brushed up on how much data apps and activities consume, think twice before you use them. You might be bored on the bus, but one hour of YouTube at the end of the month could mean an extra $10 to your bill.

4. Use free Wi-Fi

Wherever you can, tap into free Wi-Fi. Just be mindful but that public networks can be a major security risk. Hold off doing your banking or shopping online on free Wi-Fi to when you have a secure connection.

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