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%).

Topics:  macquarie university, mobiles



What happens in Vegas could change this Gladstone teen's life

RED CARPET: Chauntelle Taylor is off to Las Vegas to compete in the Australian team for the MuscleMania comp.

YOUNG and ready to take on the world is exactly what she is about

Police to crack down after hoons take over Gladstone roads

IN HIS SIGHTS: Gladstone Police Constable Paul Norris is on the lookout for hoon drivers.

One officer booked 14 speeding motorists during his shift

Man, 41 'exposes himself' several times to fellow beachgoers

YESTERDAY police were called to Canoe Point and charged a man who, on several occasions, willfully exposed himself.

Police received a strange call yesterday afternoon.

Local Partners

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

Daniel Radcliffe hoped for haircut anonymity

Radcliffe thought shaving his head would make him more anonymous

Jim Carrey slams 'shameful greed' of lawsuit

Jim Carrey has slammed the "shameful greed" of White's ex-husband.

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual