Optus To Text Customers When They Start Using Roaming Data

Switching on data roaming when you head overseas is almost always a bad idea, as you'll pay a small fortune more often than not. From today, Optus is trying to cut down bill rage by sending an SMS to contract customers when they first use roaming, to ensure they're aware of any potential expenses.

It's not a perfect solution — the alert comes within an hour of first using roaming, by which time you could still run up quite a big bill, especially if you're tethering. But anything that can cut back on unexpected phone costs is a help. (Optus is still rolling out its more general alerts for contract customers who are nearing their usage limits.)


    O2, the UK provider in the UK used to send me lots of warning messages about overseas rates and data roaming whenever I went overseas. I think they'd been doing it for a long time.

    I wish Vodafone was thinking about this as well. I have a $36,000 data charge against one of my company's staff members because Vodafone did not apply a 1GB plan when requested. It will be refunded but the stress of this happening to the staff member in question could have been avoided or at least reduced if such an SMS was sent early on.

    Thank god, it's about time.

    I remember when I got my first eye popping bill, $400 for going a gig over. I realized this half way through the billing cycle after it took 2 days to activate online account management. So I called Optus and they told me they couldn't do anything about it. I even asked to upgrade my plan but they said I'd still have to pay the bill.

    I was seriously bitter. If only they had made any attempt to alert me about the usage I would have be happy to accept responsibly, but to think they are perfect OK with charging customers massive excess usage fees which could have been covered with a simple $10 plan upgrade just leaves me with a lack of respect for them.

      I think you'll find this is referring to roaming overseas, not going over your data cap locally. But both should give you a text message in principal. In fact it should be built into consumer protection law that the service provider has an obligation to inform you when you will breach the 'pre paid' allowances, whether it be phone, internet, data or whatever.

    Better idea: make data roaming rates reasonable. I don't understand why they have to be so much... I can understand that they want to make money and there may be a bit of overhead with overseas agreements, which accounts for a slight increase, but it is absolutely ridiculous what they are charging right now, especially when it's not going to cost that much extra to normal.

    Another thing which I think all providers should be forced to offer is a service which allows you to limit your bill. Basically, you set the maximum amount you want your bill to be, and they will cut any service that will cause you to go over, such as going over your call cap or data allowance. If you're on a $29 cap, and set your maximum bill to $29 (obviously couldn't be less,) then when you reach your data allowance, your service will simply be cut. Granted, it's almost getting into prepaid territory (only you pay after, but at a predictable rate,) and there's no way telco's are going to implement it without legislation forcing them to.

    It seems that telcos are just setting their customers up for failure, and they're probably all doing it.

    With Telstra International Roaming you can buy 60MB of International data for $160. Yes 60MB, and yes $160. ($2.67/MB) and that 60MB has to last you one month - you can NOT buy another 60MB during that month. After the 60MB it's $15/MB. To rub salt into the wound, you have to measure your international data usage yourself - Telstra's usage tracker stops working when you leave the country.


      That this can happen is so, so wrong!

      I wish I could travel more but this almost makes me glad I can't!

    Its been pretty well documented about Data Roaming, surely by now people are aware of this. Its outlined in the contract as well.
    The reason the charges are high is obviously the roaming agreements. The country you go to, charges your carrier for the use who then pass on that charge to you, with no doubt, a margin for themselves.
    If you have any doubt before you leave the country contact your service provider and take some responsibility!

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