Many transport operators, suppliers and manufacturers travel the world and take their mobile devices with them, this can be a massive slug on the hip pocket with high roaming fees and that’s why the government has changed the rules for Australian telcos.
The reason for ‘bill shock’ is because the rates for international mobile roaming services, including internet access, can be up to 150 times more than what they are charged at home.
The new Australian Communications and Media Authority standard requires telecommunications companies operating international mobile roaming services to provide Australians with more information about their use and how much they will cost.
“These outrageous prices mean that too many Australians are coming home from an overseas holiday and being confronted with a mobile phone bill that costs more than the trip itself,” says the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Anthony Albanese.
To add to the “bill shock” theme strangely the new old PMs phone bill has also been made public this week showing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd racked up a massive $29,676 phone bill in just six months on the backbench.
He’s not alone, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has produced a shock of his own as he rung up a big bill of $33,523 – for the six months to December 31 2012. Albeit its the bill for all the phones in all the offices, roaming and staff phones.
Former PM Julia Gillard also got a “bill shock” as Mr Bill Shorten changed sides but that is another story.
The new standard will result in Australians travelling overseas receiving warnings about the higher charges that may apply while using their mobile devices; information on how to opt out of roaming services; what charges they can expect from such services; and how to access spend management tools.
The new standard applies to all Australian mobile providers and will cover all countries where Australians use international mobile roaming and will be phased in progressively from 27 September 2013.