Mobile Networks Asked to do More to Stop Mobile Data "Bill Shocks"

By Gary Cutlack on at

The rise of data-hungry smartphones is seeing more and more people hit with surprise bills for breaching their download allowances, leading the Communications Ombudsman to ask networks to do more to warn users of the dangers.

But the networks are not actually doing anything wrong. Lewis Shand Smith, who is the Chief Communications Ombudsman, says the mobile operators are mostly adhering to the rules when it comes to advertising data limits and charges. The problem comes from users simply not knowing how much data a YouTube clip chomps up and when to stop.

Shand Smith says networks should "be very clear about what they mean by unlimited in the advertisements," they need to start giving more advice to users "so they know when they're reaching their limit" and they should also "give advice on the amount of data that's being downloaded."

Of course, all of the above are easily accessed by more aware mobile users through apps and billing features. We're sure the average Gizmodo reader is well aware of their contract data allowance and what that means in terms of how much web use you can get away with in an average month -- but for the average punter, keeping track of data use can be a nightmare. [BBC]