Australians have collectively racked up $146 million in excess data charges this year. The new survey of 2,005 Australians found the number of smartphone owners regularly exceeding their monthly mobile data cap has doubled in the past 12 months and now sits at 13.4% – equivalent to 2.4 million Aussies. This represents an extra $86 million spent on excess data charges from November 2015 to November 2016.
Australians regularly passed their monthly mobile data allowance in the last 12 months and its costing them in excess data. While younger Australians might be more tech-savvy than their elders, they’re also more likely to live beyond their mobile data means.
A quarter of Gen Y mobile users regularly exceed their monthly data limit, compared to only 11% of Gen X mobile users and 3% of Baby Boomers. This is even though Gen Y users are the most likely to take advantage of free Wi-Fi – 44% tend to use Wi-Fi in restaurants, cafes or shopping centers to help curb their mobile data usage, compared to 35% of Gen X mobile users and 33% of Baby Boomers.
Australians are regularly blowing their data caps not just because they’re streaming music and video – it’s also due to what’s happening behind the scenes on their mobile devices, says finder.com.au telco editor Alex Kidman:
“They’re not just chewing up their data watching Netflix on the train, perhaps they’re automatically uploading high-resolution photos to iCloud or Google Drive – both Apple and Google encourage this,” Kidman says.
“Meanwhile background apps and games can also be real data hogs, as can social media, so it’s very easy to find yourself in the red.”
But it’s not all bad news, with more than one in four savvy smartphone users (27%) regularly monitoring their data usage so they don’t go over their limit.
This article was first published on PricingDataPlans.