The Herald-Sun today reports that pre-paid mobile phone customers are spending up to $1 billion a year on phone calls they never make.
“Millions of mobile owners who pay upfront for their service allow call credits to expire,” the paper says.
Pre-paid phones make up more than half the national mobile phone market.
We bought pre-paid phones for the kids and encountered this problem. Kathleen uses all her credit (quickly) but Michael doesn’t come close. Most of the plans expire in 30 or 60 days, which simply isn’t enough time.
The rip-off extends beyond pre-paid plans though. So-called member plans are just as bad.
I had one for years at a minimum of $30 per month which included $30 or thereabouts of calls. I paid that amount whether I made the calls or not.
Most months I didn’t make $30 worth of calls.
If the $1 billion pre-paid windfall for telcos is an accurate figure, add that much again I reckon for cream on member plans.
There must be millions more generated from people who commit to handset deals only to upgrade before the plan expires.
All this makes the mobile phone sector highly profitable. That’s a bit sad really, in my opinion.
Landlines have historically been an essential communications tool and the internet has made the world a global village.
I suppose I could do without a landline if I had wireless internet and a mobile phone, but in essence the mobile phone is a luxury item. Most of us could carry on our lives without one.
Huge profits are being generated from people sending mindless text messages to each other and committing to phone plans they don’t need and don’t fully utilise.