Good news for Telstra users who often lose track of their data usage. Telstra has released extra data packs to kick in once you go over your monthly limit.
Starting May 12, Telstra will invite users to take advantage of this new feature, which will cost $10 per GB block. By comparison, the current $0.03 per MB in excess will cost $30 to achieve one GB. In a press release, Telstra touted this as a first in Australia, part of a larger campaign to promote confident data usage.
Keep in mind, however, the extra data pack rate is fixed, whether you use the entire GB block or part of it. Adam Turner of The Sydney Morning Herald estimates that your excess data use must be at least a third of the GB block to get your money’s worth. You can still choose to be charged at $0.03 per MB.
Reporters pointed out that this is Telstra’s answer to the dreaded “bill shock.” Simply speaking, this is the feeling subscribers get when they realize that they used more data than they thought. Bill shock is a common source of tantrums from customers, demanding an explanation on how their bill ran up that high.
According to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), avoiding bill shock is as simple as being aware of your data usage and billing periods. Whenever possible, use your home internet or free Wi-Fi for downloading or streaming music and movies. You can take advantage of data usage apps (most are free) to help you.
Upgrade Your Plan
If you feel that you’re using more data too often, consider upgrading your plan via authorised Telstra shops in Melbourne like TelcoWorld. You can end your current plan (although you might be charged a termination fee) to upgrade to a higher data plan without waiting for the two-year period.
In fact, upgrading may prove to be more affordable than applying for extra data packs. Telstra’s small data plan, with a 1 GB limit, costs $55 a month; the next data plan, medium, costs $70 for 2.5 GB. If you stick with the small data plan and use 2.5 GB blocks, you’ll be charged $85 (2.5 GB is treated as 3 GB under the excess data pack plan).
On top of that, upgrading a plan gives you access to bonus data. The medium data plan, for instance, comes with 1 GB of bonus data, so you’re allowed up to 3.5 GB at no extra charge.
Visit a Telstra shop in Melbourne to know more about your options. Whether you’re using your phone for personal or business matters, awareness is key in avoiding bill shock.
“Telstra unveils answer to bill shock,” The Sydney Morning Herald, April 1, 2015
“Millions of Telstra customers to benefit from Extra Data,” Telstra, March 31, 2015