Telcos’ prepaid data swindle

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A number of Australian communication companies are rounding up data sessions of pre-paid mobile users to the nearest megabyte. Drew explains what this means and which providers to avoid.

Each time you use the internet, download an app, access Facebook or send a tweet on your mobile phone, you are using up kilobytes of your available data download. Some of these sessions, such as sending a tweet on the social network Twitter, can use up as little as four kilobytes. To put that into perspective, there are 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte.

A recent article in The Age has revealed that several of Australia’s largest telcos have built into their pre-paid contracts the right to round up your data session to the nearest megabyte. The worst offenders are Amaysim, Woolworths Mobile, Boost Mobile and Kogan, whose mobile pre-paid plans all round up to the nearest megabyte, while Telstra and Optus both have one plan each (the other plans charge in 1kilobyte increments) which rounds up to the nearest megabyte.

Vodafone, which currently charges in 25, 50 or 1000 kilobyte increments, has announced that it will stop this practice from 13 February 2013 and it will charge in one kilobyte increments from there on.

There is no doubt in my mind that this practice, which has flown under the radar of consumers and regulators for some time, is just another way for the telcos to make the consumer spend a little bit extra every time they recharge. 

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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).


Total Comments: 3
  1. 0

    O.K. Don’t use Amaysim for data, just for ‘phone like we do and then make use of Virgin’s offer for data which is a one kiloB charging system

  2. 0

    Yes i only use amaysim for outgoing phonecals. as i have to have the home landlind for my internet.. ,so i buy a 20.00 plan and that coovers me for 3 months.. yes i am paying for my home land line until my contract runs out with westnet. then will go mobile.. but at moment stay with them cos i do not get good internet recetion but will within the next 12 months or so… then i will go mobile wifi etc..

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