Roaming bill shock hits harder: TIO

Telco bill shock surprises from global roaming charges are now fewer in numbers but greater in their intensity, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) quarterly publication, TIO Talks.

According to the report, fewer consumers are complaining to the Ombudsman about global roaming charges, but a greater proportion are now disputing bills over $5000.

The report notes one particularly severe instance of bill shock, where a nine week holiday in Europe racked up a $147,908 telco bill.

“Some consumers who travel overseas for business or leisure are returning to telephone bills that are more expensive than the trips themselves,” Ombudsman Simon Cohen said. 

“Making sure that consumers are fully informed about roaming charges before and while they are overseas will go some way toward reducing the risk of returning home to a high bill.”

Overall, the ombudsman said it disputed a total of $8 million worth of charges between July 1 2011 and September 30 2012.

The report also noted an overall reduction in the amount of complaints about telco services to the TIO.