Vodafone acts on roaming bill nightmares

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 11:18 05/11/2012

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Vodafone says its customers will no longer be able to run up unexpected bills surfing the web or checking email on smartphones or computers when travelling overseas.

A new system, Data Angel, means its customers will be prompted to buy data when they switch on their phones or devices after arriving in a country. They will receive a warning once they have used 80 per cent of their allowance and will need to buy extra data in order to continue accessing the internet once that runs out.

Vodafone said the system was a "world first". It has at the same time cut the cost of data for New Zealanders visiting Australia by 70 per cent to $15 for 100 megabytes.

Data Angel has been operating when customers use Vodafone smartphones or data sticks within New Zealand since May. Extending it to international roaming has necessitated adapting it to work with third-party networks.

The Australian and New Zealand governments began consulting in August on how they could intervene to bring down the cost of roaming between New Zealand and Australia. Price controls are of the options being considered.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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