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Global Roaming Charges Still Driving Up Phone Bills

Australians are still suffering from post-holiday mobile bill shock, with an estimated 400,000 returning from an overseas holiday in the past two years to find a bigger than expected bill.

According to research from finder.com.au, these Australians opened at least one unexpected bill of $278, 5.8 times their usual monthly costs for a total loss of $92 million.

The research found that mobile data usage, particularly through social media and apps, was the main driving force for higher than expected bills.

“While Australians are more conscious about texts and calls, data usage can so easily creep up on us with apps running in the background,” said finder.com.au telco expert Alex Kidman.

Kidman noted that phone providers are required to alert users to global roaming charges in overseas countries, usually in the form of a text on arrival.

“To make sure you don’t get stung, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and do some research. Either pick up a local SIM at your destination or find a roaming package at home,” Kidman added.

Women were also found to have higher unexpected bills than men in the research, with $317 in charges compared to $233.

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