Mobile phone operators must do more to help people avoid getting unexpectedly large bills after downloading data warns the Communications Ombudsman.The complaints watchdog says the so called “data download bill shock” is a serious and growing problem.
Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith says that is because it is becoming more common for people to download big files, like videos, onto mobiles.
He says that has led to a rise in the number of customers being affected.
As technology improves it is becoming more common for people to download bigger files. Those include songs, videos and emails with large attachments.
Communications Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith thinks phone companies could do more to warn people but says they are doing nothing wrong under the current regulations.
He said: “Most mobile operators are playing by the rules, so that then begs the question are the rules what they ought to be? Customer satisfaction is always a priority and there are several ways people can keep track of exactly how much data they use.”
He’s calling on mobile phone operators to do three things:
- First of all, be very clear about what they mean by unlimited in the advertisements;
- Secondly, give advice to consumers so they know when they’re reaching their limit;.
- Thirdly, give advice on the amount of data that’s being downloading.
In a series of statements the big five mobile phone operators said: “There are a variety of different tariffs and deals that let customers manage their bills effectively.
“Customer satisfaction is always a priority and there are several ways people can keep track of exactly how much data they use.”
Depending on your download connection the amount of data you use for one song is roughly 3 megabytes, for a three-minute video it’s 15 megabytes and for a half hour TV show it’s around 350 megabytes.