There was a time when every other story on the TV shows that pass for "current affairs" was about bill shock. The stories were simple. Someone signed up to a mobile phone plan and when the bill arrived at the end of the month it was much higher than expected. The customer would would shake their fist saying the carrier ripped them off while the service provider said it was up to the user to make sure they understood the contract they had signed up for. Thankfully, there have been improvements but many people are still being hit with excess charges. However, it seems they just don't care as much.
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If you're on a cheap mobile phone plan, there's a good chance your monthly data allowance is woefully inadequate. This can lead to huge bills at the end of the month if you don't keep close tabs on your usage.
Instead of switching off your mobile data completely (or downgrading to a basic phone), try following these simple data-stretching tips. With plenty of discipline and a bit of know-how you can make even the flimsiest of data plans go the distance.
As we move into colder weather and the heaters come on, more households are at risk of 'bill shock' from their electricity bills. To counter this, Melbourne-based power company Sumo Power has introduced an 'unlimited' energy contract, or so to speak, providing as much energy as your household needs for one fixed price.
As businesses begin to adopt cloud technology to reduce their operating costs, more and more are falling victim to cloud bill shock -- where the unseen costs of support, tools or skills can eat into planned budgets. GorillaStack allows IT managers to automate their cloud infrastructure and receive real-time notifications about their expenses, tools which can save up to 40 per cent on cloud deployments.
Apple has agreed to refund $US32.5 million to US customers after the Federal Trade Commission found it was too easy for kids to make in-game transactions without their parents’ permission. Australian parents won't be seeing any of this money, unfortunately. Here's what you can do to safe-guard your own device from accidental in-app purchases.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is introducing new rules to make it less likely Australian travellers will suffer a horrendous case of bill shock when they return from an overseas holiday and discover a massive global roaming bill. Here's how the new system will work (and why anyone using a carrier other than the big three won't notice changes for a long time).
Vodafone has announced a new range of data add-ons specifically designed for customers on the telco's freshly launched 4G network. The packs allow customers to top-up their post-paid plan with an additional data allowance with prices starting at $5 per month.
Hot on the heels of not-exactly-announcing-roaming-bill-shock measures, Optus has rejigged its mobile pricing policy and changed the way its alert structures work for mobile broadband customers.
Critical information summaries (CIS), which provide an easy-to-follow summary of the main costs associated with mobile phone plans, have been compulsory for Australian phone providers since the beginning of March, and make it much easier for consumers to ensure they don't get caught out by unexpected plan conditions. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is already enforcing that requirement, and says it has already told 38 providers to make sure they are following the code.
Public awareness of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has more than doubled in the past four years, according to the latest TIO Talks report national survey. However, despite these gains, a whopping 43 percent of respondents remained clueless about the organisation's existence. (That stifled giggle you just heard came from Dodo's headquarters.)
We're not big fans of 24-month phone contracts here at Lifehacker, and the evidence for how they're bad value keeps piling up. An analysis of phone bills by Macquarie University suggests that people on a monthly plan will typically end up paying $20 or more extra each month.