There's nothing quite like that sinking feeling when you open up your mobile phone bill and it's far higher than expected. One survey suggests that over-the-top data charges are a major cause of that problem.
As smart phones become more common, it's inevitable that people will use their phones more for data applications, but unless you carefully research your plan, it's easy to get stuck with excess charges. A survey of 1,000 Australians commissioned by Acision found that 71% had experienced bill shock and — in a figure we can't help but see as related — 75% didn't know the exact mobile data costs for their phone were. Of that small handful who did know what the charges were, 87% thought they were too high. (Acision sells software to calculate consumer charges to telecommunications companies.)
While mobile cap plans have become a popular way of controlling spending on voice calls and text messages, few of these plans offer comparable options for data savings, and virtually none make it easy to save money when overseas. The bottom line? If you urgently need Internet access, hunting for some free Wi-Fi should always be the first step.