Virgin shaves excess data fees for smartphones

 

New 20.5 cents a megabyte charge undercuts bigger rivals.

Virgin Mobile has made a surprise move to reduce excess data usage fees on its postpaid mobile phone plans.

The low-cost Optus subsidiary quietly made the changes on May 1. It told customers in its community forums yesterday.

Under the changes, Virgin has reduced excess charges from 0.2 cents to 0.02 cents per kilobyte.

In other words, the reduction is from almost $2.05 a megabyte in excess fees to just 20.5 cents.

Virgin said it would still charge excess usage on postpaid mobile phone plans by the kilobyte, despite quoting the new costs by the megabyte.

The carrier said the reduction was an acknowledgement "that excess data can be really stressful" to customers that exceed allocated quota limits on smartphones.

It also said that excess fees were stunting "full" use of smartphones, presumably because users are too scared to run data-intensive apps for fear of running up large excess bills.

Virgin noted that it would take a month before its billing system caught up with the change.

"During May customers who go over their limit and check the excess data meter will see a higher excess dollar amount than what they're actually being charged on the bill as MyAccount has not quite caught up yet," the carrier said.

"This will be corrected by June 1st."

The carrier still urged customers that frequently hit or exceeded their quotas to consider buying a "data value add" package as "reassurance" against being hit with big mobile bills.

Virgin noted the reduction in excess charges was "one of a raft" of measures it was introducing to combat bill shock caused by excess data consumption.

Undercuts big rivals

The reduction and retention of kilobyte pricing brings Virgin back into competition in the postpaid sector.

TPG Mobile charges 25 cents a megabyte in excess fees for its plans. The minimum session is 10 kilobytes.

Virgin's parent company Optus charges 50 cents "per megabyte or part thereof" in excess fees on its $14 and $19 a month BYO plans and on 'Optus Plans' up to $35 a month, which come bundled with handsets.

Its excess fee drops to 25 cents a megabyte "or part thereof" on the chunkier $34 and $69 a month BYO plans, Optus Plans worth $50 or more a month, and on the high-end Timeless plans.

Telstra's SIM-only plans (called 'Freedom Connect') charge 25 cents a megabyte in excess fees. Details on minimum session could not be found at time of publication.

Vodafone charges 25 cents a megabyte across all its postpaid plans. The minimum session is 50 kilobytes.

Low-cost provider Amaysim remains one of the cheapest for excess usage, charging five cents a megabyte if a user exceeds the 4 GB offered on its 'Unlimited' plan. It charges in one megabyte increments. As with Virgin, Amaysim carries mobile traffic over Optus' network.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


Virgin shaves excess data fees for smartphones
 
 
 
Top Stories
Time management tips for CIOs
[Blog post] How to get to the genba.
 
Making a case for collaboration
[Blog post] Tap into your company’s people power.
 
Five zero-cost ways to improve MySQL performance
How to easily boost MySQL throughput by up to 5x.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
This 4G smartphone costs $219
Sep 3, 2014
It's possible to spend a lot less on a smartphone if you're prepared to go with a brand you ...
Looking for storage? Seagate has five new small business NAS devices
Aug 22, 2014
Seagate has announced a new portfolio of Networked Attached Storage (NAS) solutions specifically ...
Run a small business in western Sydney?
Aug 15, 2014
This event might be of interest if you're looking to meet other people with a similar interest ...
Buying a tablet? Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 goes on sale this month
Aug 8, 2014
Microsoft has announced its Surface Pro 3 will go on sale in Australia on 28 August from ...
Apple's top MacBook Pro with Retina is now cheaper
Aug 1, 2014
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro range with faster processors and new pricing, including ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Which is the most prevalent cyber attack method your organisation faces?




   |   View results
Phishing and social engineering
  69%
 
Advanced persistent threats
  3%
 
Unpatched or unsupported software vulnerabilities
  10%
 
Denial of service attacks
  6%
 
Insider threats
  11%
TOTAL VOTES: 1109

Vote