Data charges may cost Australians $259 million

Do you regularly go over your monthly mobile data allowance? It can be difficult to keep track, and even if you know you're out of data you might still need to check your email or social media accounts and rack up the charges that way. According to a new report, this is a more common problem than you might think; and it is costing Australians millions.

Price-comparison website finder.com.au surveyed more than 2,000 people to find out whether people are able to keep within their mobile data allowance. According to the findings, nearly one in five Aussies (19.6 per cent) regularly exceed the amount of data they get each month.

This is a problem that seems to be getting bigger. When finder.com.au ran this study last year, only 13.4 per cent of Australians regularly exceeded their allowance. In 2015, it was just 5.6 per cent. This equates to an increase of 250 per cent over just two years, and 78 per cent since 2016.

So how much is this costing Australians? It's impossible to tell for sure, but finder.com.au has an estimate based on the cost of data. The standard price of going over your allowance is $10 per GB, and assuming that – on average – Australians are exceeding their monthly allotment by 1GB, that adds up to $259 million over the last 12 months.

This is $113 million more than was wasted in 2016, based on the same calculation method. Furthermore, the price of exceeding your allowance is going up, with many firms charging $12 or even $13 per GB.

Alex Kidman, tech expert at finder.com.au, said: “Our report shows Aussies are increasingly underestimating how much data they need, and they’re paying for it. But what many don’t realise is choosing a higher limit is typically a lot cheaper than paying excess data charges.

“If you’re running into excess data charges three or four times a year, you should consider switching your plan to a more data-friendly option.”

Written by Mazuma

Mazuma Mobile is Australia's most trusted mobile phone recycling service.

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