Mobile broadband users are being warned that they could face huge bills if they exceed their download limits according to broadband comparison site http://www.Broadband-Expert.co.uk. Customers that exceed their monthly download limit by just 1Gb could receive a bill for over £200 with some providers, (1Gb equates to downloading an episode of Top Gear and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross from BBC iPlayer).
Mobile broadband packages typically have much lower download limits than home broadband packages, with the charge for exceeding these limits hugely expensive with some providers. O2 and 3 charge the most for exceeding download limits at 19.6p and 10p per Mb respectively. Of the remaining providers Vodafone charge £15 per Gb (equivalent of 1.46p per Mb), Orange charge 1.46p per Mb, whilst the only provider not to charge for exceeding download limits is T-Mobile.
Rob Webber, Broadband Expert’s Commercial Director, believes that whilst providers such as O2 and 3 offer excellent value for the light or occasional mobile broadband user, their policies are excessively expensive for users who may unwittingly exceed their download limit. Webber advises that “whilst many deals may appear to be very closely matched it is important to take excess charges into account, as there can be huge differences between one provider and another”.
Webber feels that providers should make the information relating to these additional charges more accessible commenting that the “information on run on rates is not always easy to find and not obviously visible on most advertising”. The exception to this is O2 who, whilst having the most expensive charges for exceeding download limits, do very clearly communicate these rates on their website.
Webber accepts some steps have been taken to help customers avoid nasty surprises in their bills as most providers supply free software with the service to keep track of usage, helping customers steer clear of extra charges.
Richard Warmsley, T-Mobile’s head of internet and entertainment commented that, they have “totally transparent price plans. There is no small print on charges or nasty bill shock for T-Mobile customers. Broadband is the most popular, new mobile service. With so many new people adopting this technology, other operators should be aware of consumer concerns.”
Broadband Expert (http://www.broadband-expert.co.uk) is part of Richweb Media, a privately owned UK company. We aim to provide expert advice and information to allow consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing broadband or mobile broadband services.
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