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Aussies less informed about mobile caps than those in UK, US

Telcos making plans hard to understand, industry reform needed

The complexity of mobile phone cap plans is making Australian consumers less informed than their UK and US counterparts when it comes to per minute pricing information, a new study has revealed.

Comparison website WhistleOut has launched an independent analysis of Australian mobile cap plans, revealing that hidden mobile phone costs are confusing and misleading to consumers.

Director of WhistleOut, Cameron Craig, said the findings make a good argument for industry reform.

"Unlike the USA and UK, consumers in Australia would actually need to use a mathematical formula if they really want understand any of the marketing language used by the telcos in Australia," Craig said.

"They'd need take the advertised value of, say, $500 of calls per month, and then divide this by flagfall costs, per minute pricing and other charges."

Craig said WhistleOut's findings back up claims made from the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) that telco consumers are living in a 'confusopoly' because of the constant bill shock they receive each month.

ACMA research from earlier this year backed up such claims, finding that many complaints about telecommunications provider customer service may come down to a basic lack of understanding about billing and call prices.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu


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