High data charges are easily incurred by going over an inclusive data bundle. It could typically cost up to around £35 per GB which can turn into a £1000 bill very quickly with video streaming or using the phone as a hot spot to connect devices such as laptops.
Simon Gardner, sales manager at Stonehouse-based Lister Unified Communications, said: “For our business customers and indeed anyone else our advice is to check in with your provider if you’re going abroad.”
Brexit has meant proposed changes to tariffs in Europe. But the Channel Isles and the Isle of Man have always been outside standard UK tariffs. Ferries and cruise ships use their own expensive satellite connections.
It is when using data for web browsing and video streaming that mobile phone users are particularly at risk from exceeding their data plans.
Simon said one customer had used just 267 MB, that’s just 0.267GB on top of their regular plan and ended up with a bill of £1,000. It was only prevented from being higher because £1,000 was the cap on the bill.
He said the best way to avoid this is to use a data counter, so users manage and monitor their own usage. Some devices such as Samsung have these built in, other such as Apple have free versions available in the App store. There are many variations to choose from such as “My Data Manager” which allows users to set alerts and limits themselves.
He also warned that WiFi use could leave people open to hacking.
Simon said: “If you’re lucky enough to go abroad after Covid, check in with your provider, because it’s a fluid and changing situation.”