Bill shock is known to many as that heart-stopping moment when you look at your mobile phone bill and realise that all those spare moments spent on YouTube, emailing and surfing the net have added up to one giant, and very expensive, headache.
Complaint stats from the TIO also show that the cost of international roaming is another source of bill shock. As many smartphones have become defacto computers away from home, the cost of making calls and using data has grown with the convenience and ease of communicating from a handset.
Global roaming charges must be a source of some juicy revenue stream for telcos, but consumers aren’t being well served with the exorbitant phone and data charges with out of the country. So what can you do?
Simply, take your global roaming business elsewhere. It might take a bit more time to look for alternatives than just ring your telco and connect, but it is well worth it in terms of the money you can save when overseas. You could stay another week on that holiday!
If you need phone and data access, a global roaming SIM will allow network sharing with a single SIM card at substantially cheaper rates than the global roaming charges from the local telcos for OS access. For example, the Bridge Alliance has an Asia-wide network and the Tru network offers UK and US roaming and Optus is a partner in Australia.
If you’ll be around Wi-Fi, then Skype is always a good choice and has mobile versions for Symbian (Nokia and Sony Ericsson) as well as Android and BlackBerry as well as the iPhone.
If it’s just phone calls you need, then call-back services such as BigTinCan can be used from the web or a smartphone including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Android, provide an inbound number and big savings.
Have you been stung with a huge bill? How do you avoid the charges?