01.Mobile phone research revealed
Research released by three leading consumer organisations shows that more than half of mobile phone customers on plans with an included allowance are not using their full monthly calls, texts or data.
Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), CHOICE and the Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC) conducted the research for World Consumer Rights Day (15 March 2014).
The research also reveals that 15% of consumers weren't even aware if they had used their monthly mobile phone allowance or not.
Meanwhile, one in five people with an included allowance found unexpected charges on their last mobile phone bill, such as late payment fees, premium service fees, or excess usage fees. Among these consumers, almost 50% did nothing about it.
The three organisations are urging consumers to:
- properly check their phone bills
- not to hesitate to make a complaint to their telcos, and
- to shop around for the right plan.
Mobile phone plan tips
Any unexpected charges?
Check your bill every month and look for any unexpected charges.
Contact your telco
If you have unexpected charges on your bill, contact your telco about it. You may want to ask for a refund or a credit on your next bill. If you’re unsatisfied with your telco’s response, ask them to escalate your complaint. If you’re still unsatisfied with your telco’s response, make a complaint to the free and independent Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
On the right mobile phone plan?
When you look at your bill, check whether you have an unused call, text or data allowance (this is your included allowance). If you’re regularly only using a small amount of your included allowance, you may be on the wrong plan and paying too much.
Compare mobile phone plans to find the best plan for you. Sites such as Whistleout and Ozcompare provide comparisons. Look at your bill to work out what kind of call, text and data allowance you will need, or simply ask your telco to provide you with the information. Also consider pre-paid options.