Business

Aussies rack up $560 million in mobile phone bill blow-outs

Women make up 55% of people who spend more on their mobile phone bills than expected.
Women make up 55% of people who spend more on their mobile phone bills than expected. Sharyn O'Neill ROK310712sbully4

AUSTRALIANS' addiction to mobile phones is costing them about $560 million a year in bill blow-outs, according to a new study.

Millions of Australians rack up monthly charges that are about 50% higher than expected, with the average "bill shock" $28 a month.

A new study by Macquarie University shows that about 40% of all phone users break their mobile phone caps.

The latest stage of the university's ongoing "state of the mobile nation" project shows women make up 55% of those who spend more than expected.

The study, funded by mobile provider Amaysim and which analysed more than 200 bills, also found people between the age of 25 and 49 were most likely to experience bill shock.

Macquarie University lead researcher Dr David Gray said the results built on an analysis of 1600 mobile phone users, and showed that browsing the web and overusing data was the major contributor to higher-than-expected bills.

"Recent changes adopted by the industry since this bill analysis are a step in the right direction, but the bills we've viewed even in the past few weeks still left us scratching our heads," he said.

"Despite a concerted effort to change the composition of the bill and advertisements, it's the concept of 'included value' in mobile plans that needs to be more clearly communicated to the consumer.

"This very big and real issue has still been left unaddressed by the industry."

The study recommends telecommunications companies better co-ordinate billing formats to help customers, and that itemised call, text and data use be a standard inclusion.

Amaysim founder and CEO Rolf Hansen said the popularity of mid-priced 'included value' plans made consumers think they were the best bet, but the bills told a different story.

"Even though these plans are advertised heavily by telcos and selected by consumers for budget management, they don't reflect the reality of what people are forking out each month," he said.

Key survey findings:

  • The most popular mobile phone plan price points are $59 (33.8%), $49 (20.9%), $79 (9.5%).
  •  The most common bill shock occurred in the $59 category (37.5%).
  •  The average mobile phone bill was $72.99.
  •  Bill shock affected 40% of those on mobile phone contracts. The average bill shock incurred was $28.08.
  •  The highest average bill shock was incurred by those on $129 plans (at $155.58 bill shock), followed by $59 plans ($34.58 bill shock), $60 plans ($24.40 bill shock), then $49 plans ($16.84 bill shock).
  • Females have a higher average incidence of bill shock compared to males (55% female to 45% male).
  • The highest incidence of bill shock by age was the 25-39 age group (36.3%), followed by 40-49 (26.3%), then 60-64 (21.3%).

Do you spend more on your mobile phone than expected each month? By how much?

This poll ended on 31 March 2014.

$5-$10 - 38%

$10-$15 - 7%

$15-$20 - 0%

More than $20 - 53%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  macquarie university, mobiles




UPDATE: 'What the hell': Burnett predicts court battle with Coles

Matt Burnett expects Coles will take council to court over its decision.

MULTI-million dollar Coles shopping centre for Kirkwood rejected.

New Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO has been announced

Peter O'Sullivan has been announced as the new chief executive officer of GLadstone Ports Corporation.

The future of Gladstone Ports Corporation is in new hands

Latest deals and offers

Shannen Doherty shaves hair during cancer battle

Shannen Doherty has completely shaved off her hair

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

Police charge in after Lohan claims fiance tried to kill her

"You tried to kill me. You're a f*****g psycho".

Prince Harry regrets not talking about Diana's death

Diana, Princess of Wales, enjoys a ride on the Maid of Mist in Niagara Falls, Ont., in this Oct., 1991, with her sons Prince Harry, then 7, and Prince William, then 9.

The royal was 12 years old when his mother was killed

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles