If one of the “big three” telcos was to do anything about the problems it should be Vodafone, after all they are a global player with networks all over the world – so what have they got to offer when it comes to putting an end to “Bill Shock” from those global roaming charges? Their “Gamechanger” was announced today.
After a pretty solid wrap over the knuckles from the Communications and Media Authority which led to new international mobile roaming standards being phased in from late September this year, each of the Telcos has been touting their new plan to help combat the huge bill shock that still goes on.
In the main, the plan from Telstra is to give you notice of your usage – updates via SMS so you simply can’t claim you didn’t know.
Vodafone today took that to the absolute next level.
On new plans that will be announced next month Vodafone customers who are travelling overseas can choose to continue using their phone overseas for just $5 a day.
Yep, $5 is a fair bit of money, but in reality it’s nothing compared to internet cafe’s or hotel internet so if you can get bang for that buck it’s going to be worth it.
That $5 allows you to continue using your existing plan. If it is (as EFTM understands) a plan with unlimited calls and texts, and a data allocation – that $5 gets you exactly that – your regular plan – continued. It’s that simple.
While the $5 option isn’t available on existing Vodafone plans, it seems this is a strategy to not only impress those travellers in the market for international usage, but also to get customers to sign up and re-commit to the Vodafone network.
Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow is quoted in today’s release saying “Australians’ love affair with smartphones is well-known but an increasing number of customers have been getting caught out by unacceptably high bills when they’re overseas, particularly in relation to data usage,”
“$5 a day to use your normal plan overseas is the cost of a coffee in New York, London or Auckland. But it’s hard to put a price on having your smartphone on you to keep in touch with friends and family at home, share your holiday snaps on Facebook and Instagram, or use Google Maps when you’re lost in a foreign city.”
Within the announcement Mr Morrow goes on to say: “We’ve begun our simplification of global roaming pricing with New Zealand, the UK and the US, which are the countries that 40% of our customers visit most frequently, making up some 50% of all data usage overseas. But our plan is to extend this simple plan to as many countries across the globe as we possibly can,”
Which means that this pricing is only available in those countries mentioned. A bit of a downer on the plan, but still a big advantage for customers nonetheless.
The devil as they say – is always in the detail, but here’s one line I think sums up just how good this deal is:
We’ll only charge for the days customers actually use their phone, and they won’t pay a cent to receive calls and TXTs.
We’ll wait and see the plan details when they are announced next month, but on the face of it to EFTM it seems the ball is now squarely in the court of Optus and Telstra to respond with similar simple offerings for consumers.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.