Wednesday 2 October 2013

In Defence Of The Tech [I]

The first in what I fear will be a regular series...

We've read a recent spate of news articles that turn up at least once a year. In their simplest form, they go like this,
'I went on holiday, came home and got a mobile phone bill for £27 million.'
There is a recurring theme in almost all of these stories. And it goes something like,
'I didn't know I was going to be charged £120 per MB while abroad.'
And therein lies the problem. Not that the bill was a mistake. Not that the phone was racking up a phone bill with an evil smile on its face. The issue was that the human in this equation didn't know all the facts.

That's not to say the mobile service providers are completely blameless. Historically, roaming charges were notoriously hard to find. It really wasn't even made clear enough that charges were significantly increased while abroad. There again, how could it not be. Being able to phone or text the same number and have that person or message reach you wherever you are in the world is a phenomenal technological achievement.

So this seems to be down to getting all the facts, then using your phone within your means. Data use is what will rack up the largest portion of your mobile bill while abroad. Some apps will use data to check for updates and that data can mount up quickly. Most phones have the facility to switch off roaming data and if you don't need constant internet access and can live off of WiFi only, switch it off. If you do need mobile data overseas, it's worth asking your provider what offers they can give you or buying a SIM card specifically for the country you're travelling to.

Estuary IT - Defenders of Tech since 2013!

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