Australian telcos to provide roaming alerts to stop bill shock

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has introduced new measures to extend the current arrangements, which mandate an SMS to customers travelling overseas.

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Under the new rules, notifications must be sent to any device capable of accessing international roaming.
The warnings about international roaming charges will also be available through other means like email or an app.

Roaming alerts

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said no one’s overseas trip should be tarnished by mobile bills unintentionally run up due to high international mobile roaming charges.
“It is not uncommon for people to return home only to realise their overseas data use has resulted in a much higher than expected mobile bill, which can sometimes run into thousands of dollars,” she said.
“These new rules will close some gaps in the system and ensure people are better informed of the costs associated with using mobile data overseas, particularly for those using tablets or laptops.”

Anyone travelling overseas will now have a choice over how they receive international roaming alerts.

Currently, telcos only need to send roaming alerts to devices capable of receiving SMS messages.

Earlier this year, ACMA introduced a revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code which required new customers signing up to a plan with a commitment of over AU$1,000, around AU$45 a month for 24-month contracts, to have a credit check from an external party, and customers would need to prove to the telco they are able to pay the bill.

ACMA said at the time repeat non-compliance would lead to ‘significant consequences’ with penalties up to AU$10 million for not following directions from the ACMA.

ACMA will enforce the changes from 1 July 2020 under the Telecommunications Service Provider (International Mobile Roaming) Determination.

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