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Group of people holding smartphonesComplaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about excess data charges have been steadily dropping over the past year. This is most likely due to better value excess data packs (most telcos now charge about $10 for 1GB) and plans with bigger data allowances being offered by the telcos.

While complaints are down, excess data charges can still be a shock on your monthly bill, especially if you are on a tight budget. Extra data packs that automatically kick in are convenient, but most of these data packs expire when your monthly billing period is up. It is important to watch your data usage because you may spend extra money on data that you might not get to use.

Below we list the excess data charges from a range of Australian mobile providers.

What happens when you use all of your monthly data allowance?

  • amaysim – if you are on an amaysim Postpaid UNLIMITED plan and joined amaysim from 1 December, 2015, if you exceed your monthly data allowance you will automatically get a 1GB top up for $9.90. This top up lasts for 30 days. If you are on an amaysim FLEXI plan and you exceed your data allowance, you will be charged 7.2c per megabyte and this usage will be deducted from your credit balance. For more information, visit the amaysim website.
  • Optus – if you exceed your monthly data allowance an automatic top up of 1GB for $10 will be added to your service.
  • Telstra – if you use more than your shared monthly data allowance, Telstra will automatically add extra data to your service in blocks of 1GB for $10.
  • Virgin Mobile – if you exceed your data allowance, Virgin Mobile will automatically give you a data top up of 1GB for $10. If you do not use the data top up, it will rollover to the next month.
  • Vodafone – if you exceed your monthly data allowance an automatic top up of 1GB for $10 will be added to your service.

Is your plan meeting your data needs?

Over time your data usage is likely to go up. If you find yourself going over your data allowance it may be time to look for a new plan with more data that offers better value for money. The golden rule when choosing a plan is to always know your average monthly usage so you get a deal that meets your needs. Make sure you also know what the excess data charges are if you exceed your data limit.

If you are buying a new plan, do not just go with the first one you see. Sometimes it pays to shop around and compare plans from a range of telcos. Using comparator websites like finder.com.au and WhistleOut can help you compare plans.

To conserve your mobile data, connect your phone to your home or work Wi-Fi. Read our tip sheet for more tips on how to use less data on your smartphone.

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