How much is your mobile really costing you?

Recent research into exactly how much the average Aussie understands about their mobile phone contract got us thinking – so we took a quick poll around the office. Embarrassingly, we found we were all just as guilty as some recent survey participants when it comes to understanding the other costs that can come with our mobile plan.

Sure, we all knew our mobile’s monthly plan fee. But, be honest– do you really know the ins and outs of your mobile phone contract, and what it could really cost you?

Here’s 5 things in our mobile phone contracts we don’t really understand:

  • Only 11% of us know how much it will cost us to switch our number to a different provider
  • Only 12% of people know what it’ll cost to bail out of your mobile contract early
  • Only 14% of us understand how much costly data we’re chewing through when streaming a TV program
  • Only 24% of people know when they’ll reach their free SMS limit
  • And only 34% of us know if calls to 1800 numbers are included on our plan

Source: Paul Harrison, Deakin University, 2016

Not understanding details like this could prove pretty costly!

  • If you end up being unhappy with your telco and wanting to switch providers, you could be up for hundreds of dollars in charges to terminate your contract early, or take your number with you.
  • Exceeding your plan’s limits on text messages and calls could result in some big extra costs on your monthly bill.
  • And if you use all of your data, your telco might start charging you exorbitant excess usage fees.

What can you do?

  • Don’t run the risk of being hit with mobile bill shock.
  • If you have a copy of your contract, grab it and sit back with a cuppa to review all of the details.
  • Otherwise, give your provider a call and ask them to send you a Critical information Summary for your plan, which outlines key information on the pricing and terms you’ve signed up for.
  • The Critical Information Summary is designed to help you to understand what your new phone service really costs, and what you’re actually getting for your money. And it’s written in a way that doesn’t make it sound like rocket science!
  • Knowledge is power! Understanding what’s included – and more importantly, what isn’t – will help you avoid any nasty surprises on your bill.

In the market for a new mobile?

  • Make sure you review all of the plans and options available, and choose the one that’s right for you.
  • Read here for some more information about making your mobile work for you.