$152.6 million wasted

Aussies paying the price for excess phone data.

New research from Finder shows Australians are pouring millions of dollars down the drain by exceeding the data limits on their phones and tablets.

The survey revealed Aussies have blown a combined $152.6 million on excess data charges over the past 12 months.

More than one in four go over their data cap at least once a year, with some people exceeding their limit between 8-12 times per year.

Angus Kidman, tech expert at Finder, said that many people misjudge the amount of data they need.

"Some Aussies will underestimate their data usage and opt for a cheaper plan to save money, but this can end up backfiring when you go over your limit, Mr Kidman said.

"Signing up to a new phone contract can be costly, especially if you're after the latest model smartphone.

"But a plan with a generous amount of data is much better value than paying through the nose for excess data charges.

"If you're locking yourself in for two or sometimes three years, you'll inevitably use more data as time goes on.”

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission figures show from June 2018-May 2019, Aussies consumed an extra 77,445 terabytes of data via their smartphones
Mr Kidman recommended keeping tabs on your data usage.

"Telcos are required to notify customers if they're close to exceeding their data limit. This means you should be checking any text messages received from your provider,” he said.

"If you're regularly exceeding your limit, it's time to bump up your plan and start getting better value for money.”

How to avoid going over your plan

  • Check your previous bills to see how much data you’re actually using each month and increase your data limit when you sign up to a new contract.
  • Set alerts on your phone or telco provider app to notify you when you’re close to reaching your data limit.
  • Stick to WiFi where possible to conserve data.