Mobile phone service provider, TravelSIM, has achieved savings of $26.2 million in global roaming costs for international travellers in the past 18 months.
Over the same period, TravelSIM recorded a cost difference of 80.6 per cent between its rates and those advertised conventional Australian telecommunications companies.
The results were gleaned from how total customer spending of TravelSIM customers compared to currently advertised rates from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, broken down by country.
“We have been growing so rapidly over the last few years and demand has been so intense that the [results] just froze us in our tracks, because it showed the scope of the savings and the gulf between our rates and standard global roaming,” TravelSIM CEO, Jamien Zimmermann, said.
Despite the Travel Industry Ombudsman reporting last year that the number of global roaming complaints have risen significantly, Zimmermann is disappointed that the result show that the “bill shock message” and the “pitfalls of global roaming” are still not reaching customers.
“You would think that people would instinctively safeguard themselves against what can end up being the single biggest expense of a trip abroad after their airline tickets,” he said.
“In fact, in some cases much more than their airline tickets.”
Zimmermann attributes this to travellers anticipating that they will be able to “prudently use” their mobile devices, but the complicated billing system of global roaming means that users are often being charged for services they assume are free, such as not answering a phone call with some providers
“A lot of people don’t know that you can actually be charged,” he said.
“But more likely you have to make that one long unexpected phone call because of some issue at home and the global roaming damage is done.”
The increasing use of smartphones and resulting data needs were also identified as another pitfall to global roaming costs overseas.