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Man using smartphone and laptopThe Government has announced delays to the start date of cost information and usage notifications for mobile resellers. The international mobile roaming warnings were due to begin in May 2016, but have been pushed back until 2018.

Customers with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone already receive the warnings via SMS when traveling overseas. These notifications warn that mobile roaming is active and give information about the price and usage notifications for services overseas. Customers of resellers will still receive an initial warning about roaming being activated when they arrive overseas. However, pending the result of a review in 2018, the proposed change will mean customers with resellers like amaysim, TPG, iiNet and Kogan may never receive the cost and usage warnings received by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone customers.

ACCAN will be encouraging resellers to honour the original plan and activate notifications for customers as soon as possible. We will also be making sure consumers know about responsible telcos that bring in the changes. In the meantime, mobile reseller customers should consider alternatives if they travel overseas, such as buying a local SIM on arrival or using WiFi.

Complaints to the TIO about mobile roaming have plummeted since the introduction of these warnings. Some roaming charges can be as high as $50 per megabyte, so consumers should be wary of providers that don't offer the warnings.

The Government announcement includes a number of other changes, such as:

  • Allowing consumers to opt out of receiving the notifications
  • Giving consumers more avenues to cancel International Mobile Roaming services (e.g. online, SMS and by phone)

ACCAN will continue to consult with the Australian Communications and Media Authority about the process for 'opting-out' to make sure consumers understand the impact of not receiving notifications.

Consumers who want advice on how to manage mobile costs when travelling overseas can find money saving tips on the ACCAN website.

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