Telstra has updated its alerts system for data usage, pinging users when they have used 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their data. Telstra has also changed the way it calculates usage, which means (at least in theory) you should see alerts sooner.
Telstra was obliged to introduce those alerts as part of the consumer-protecting TCP Code by 1 September this year, but it's good to see them come in a little early. The move follows the introduction of alerts for users travelling overseas, which were introduced in May.
Telstra has also changed the way it calculates data usage, generating a 'billing record' whenever a customer has used between 100MB and 130MB of data, rather than waiting 24 hours to do so. (Why the same right-here-right-now approach that clearly applies to prepaid isn't used everywhere isn't clear.)
The changeover appears to have caused some teething problems. Recently a number of Telstra mobile users, including journalist Peter Moon, found that they were going through more data than they expected. Looking at their bills, they discovered that they were churning through data in 117MB blocks -- a figure which falls right in the middle of those numbers.
The lesson? It's always worth checking on your data usage and alerting your carrier of any anomalies. (Telstra has data tracking tools on its smartphones, and you can text the word USE to 176 by SMS for a relatively accurate figure).
Helping customers better manage their mobile data use [Telstra Exchange]