While mobile carriers offer great deals for calls within your own country, they charge astronomical amounts for phone calls and data downloads when you head overseas. Why? Because they can.
A survey conducted by Vanson Bourne for mobile carrier Tru has shown that practically all Australian business travellers need to be in contact with the office when they’re overseas and half reckon they’ve lost business because they have not been contactable. That’s because most (68 percent) make fewer or shorter calls when overseas, to try and avoid the high costs of global roaming.
It echoes a recent ZDNet survey that showed that overseas travellers believe call rates need to drop by at least 60 percent to be considered reasonable value for money. Fifty-six percent had paid $200 or more for a monthly roaming bill, with 12 percent shelling out $1000 and above.
It has provided an opportunity for Tru, who offer a choice for regular travelers. I talk to their country manager, Ben Pullen, in this edition of BTalk. Tru offers prices close to local mobile charges in each major overseas market, together with local phone numbers. Let’s hope they pick up enough customers to give the major carriers something to worry about. Otherwise we’ll have a long wait for the government regulators to do something about controlling the price rorting by the big telcos.