Billshock is a growing problem, even with the cost of roaming data, and calls, being splashed across the media on a constant basis.
The latest high profile victims of billshock have been government ministers, and particularly a provincial cabinet minister in Alberta, Canada. This is actually the second time Diana McQueen, now Minister for Energy, has suffered billshock. This is then compounded by the Canadian media’s approach that taxpayers’ dollars are being abused.
Another recent article talked about an Australian company who could pinpoint over AUS$500,000 of business lost because of the restrictions placed on mobile use when staff are travelling overseas; victims of the IT department’s methods of controlling roaming mobile bills.
Within the EU, it is expected that the level of billshock should reduce because of the caps put in place by the European Parliament. These came into force on July 1st this year, but it is only recently that the caps have started to show up in corporate tariffs. Just last week I was talking to a top 20 UK law firm who had only just seen their tariffs reduced. Of course, this doesn’t stop business travellers from outside the EU getting hit with huge mobile bills.
Cell phone roaming data charges (to use their language) will continue to be a problem unless businesses are very careful about the amount of data they access using their mobile devices and when they are away from WiFi sources. With Canadian mobile operators frequently charging CAN$8.00 per MB (Approx £4.40) and US carriers often charging over £5.00 per MB (£3.00) just for European destinations, it’s easy to see how billshock can quickly hit a business. UK mobile operators aren’t any better. The cheapest standard rates are around £3 per MB, with others charging up to £8 per MB.
Of course, there is a solution. Amiigo provides roaming data in the EU at about 3% of the cost being charged in Canada and only 4% of the US standard rates. If you’re a Canadian or US firm doing a lot of business in the EU, we’d love to have a chat.