Telstra is about to be the first major telco in Australia to introduce real-time usage alerts when you reach 50%, 85% and 100% of your allotted voice, text or data usage. These alerts are something that every carrier has been required to provide since the ACMA revised its Telecommunications Consumer Protection code (TCP) back in 2012, but until now have suffered up to 48 hours of delay due to technological constraints.
Working a way around this time-lag should be a valuable step to Telstra customers that are nearing their monthly usage limits. It’s very easy to receive that 85% warning and think you’re safe, when in fact that data is two days out of date and you’re already near or over your cap.
Just in case you do go in to the red, Telstra has introduced another alert for when you hit $50 worth of overage fees in a single month. This could be a huge help when travelling; a primary cause of all those bill shock horror stories we've all heard and read about.
Your current usage will also be available to view on the Telstra 24x7 app on iOS and Android, the Telstra One app, My Plan Manager and My Account tools. This info will be refreshed every 15 minutes.
The update to Telstra’s network is expected to be completed by the end of this month (November) for personal use customers. A similar service will eventually be available to business users, although there’s no timeframe on when that will be.
The battle against bill shock
This is the second big move we’ve seen from Telstra to join the fight against bill-shock. The first was a significant drop in the data overage fees on its Mobile Accelerate plans, from 10c per MB down to 3c per MB. That works out to around $30 per GB at the new prices.
Optus took a similar approach with Vodafone quickly following suit. Both telcos now charge for data blocks. If you go over your allotted data amount, you will be automatically charged $10 and an extra 1GB will be added for you to use until the end of the month. This is applied after the required notifications when 50%, 85% and 100% of your cap have been used. These alerts from Optus and Vodafone still suffer up to a 48 hour delay.