- Use mobile-optimised websites to reduce the amount of data transfered when browsing.
- If the phone has Wi-Fi, look for free hot spots to browse the net.
- Set up a home Wi-Fi network to use your home internet via the smartphone.
- Check the usage monitor on the provider’s website regularly.
- Download and upload large files to and from the smartphone using a USB link to a computer.
- Check email via a webmail interface and delete large attachments (such as funny videos/pictures) from friends before downloading them to your phone.
Did you know?
Before you sign up for a two-year contact that could cost you upwards of $2500 for a handset, phone plan and internet plan, you need to check the data quota. In general, smartphone data quotas will include both downloads and uploads. In this case, all the web pages you visit and files you download as well as emails (and attachments) you send out will count towards your monthly limit.
Beware “roaming data” charges. Accessing the internet via email or web browsing when attached to another provider’s network (roaming) may add an unexpected and hefty bill on top of your existing plan cost, even if you’re well within your data plan’s capacity. Check your phone plan conditions carefully.
A Premium rip-off
CHOICE has been campaigning for some time on the problems with mobile premium services. These services sell subscriptions to games, ring tones and other content, but they’re expensive and often include an automatic subscription that can be hard to get out of. The industry has set up the www.19sms.com.au website, which has details of service providers to make it easier to cancel a subscription. CHOICE would like to see consumers given the right to bar these services from their account, a double opt-in system with two messages before a subscription begins and no advertising of premium services during children’s television.