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Telstra, Optus Continue To Gouge Aussies With $1.4bn Roaming Fees

Telstra and Optus have been accused of ripping off Aussies by more than $1 billion in excessive international roaming fees simply to protect their “massive profit margins.”

In a bid to garner ammunition against its rivals, Vodafone commissioned a YouGov Galaxy survey found Aussies were spending $1.4 billion on roaming charges – and the telco says the rip-off continues despite recent announcements by its rivals.

The research found that only 3% of smartphone users continue to use their phone as normal while overseas. The vast majority take steps to avoid international roaming, with 41% restricting their phone to Wi-Fi.

The research also shows five million Australians had been hit with international roaming fees – an average of $290 per person. Some 250,000 people claimed to have paid more than $1,000. In one standout case, an Australian man found himself with a phone bill of more than $7,000 when he returned from an overseas trip.

Vodafone used the research to spruik its $5-a-day roaming deal, available in 80 countries, which allows customers to use their phone as they normally would. According to The Australian, Telstra and Optus, by comparison, both charge $10 a day and have very low caps.

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