On lifehacker.com.au today, there was some discussion on how people on mobile contracts get hit with large monthly bills, mostly because of complicated bills and what is included and not etc.
The research is part of an ongoing series sponsored by prepaid provider Amaysim, which we’ve reported ona number of times. For this stage of the research, Dr David Gray and his time analysed 201 bills, taken from a demographically representative group of Australians.
“The average bill shock was $28 a month in the sample period,” Gray told Lifehacker. Unexpected data charges were the most common issue, affecting 43 per cent of bills with an average extra total of $22.18. While overspending on calls was less common, affecting just 24 per cent of the group, the average value for excess calls was higher, coming in at $43.12.
Adding insult to injury, many people manage to overspend on data while not using their full paid-for value for calls and texts. “While 40 per cent were subject to bill shock, there was a significant percentage of people underutilising their included value.” The average included value across all the bills analysed was $547, but typically customers only used $262 worth of calling credit. “The average headline cap rate is $53, but you wind up with an average bill of $73. That’s a big jump. Once you’ve used your inclusions, then it skyrockets in terms of the costs.”
Sure, Vodafone and Telstra have their own apps to track one's data usage, but they are either crappy, or delayed (from 6 to up to 48 hours) which isn't ideal. Well, I would suggest taking a look at DataWiz, in that case. it's a data management tool that was developed by Princeton University, that tracks the phone's data usage directly, whether it is 3G or Wifi, and so it's live and accurate. It provides charts for current usage, predictions and so forth, once you set up your billing cycle, so you know how much data you use.
This will help you establish over a month or two, your data usage pattern, so you won't under or over-utilise your data usage, and help you adjust with your carrier the best data plan, accordingly.
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