Aug 31, 2012

Paul Barry to Stephen Conroy: roam wasn’t built in a day, but fix it

Optus and its fellow phone companies blame those pesky foreign companies for charging outrageous rates. But ...

Paul Barry

Journalist, author and Media Watch host


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11 thoughts on “Paul Barry to Stephen Conroy: roam wasn’t built in a day, but fix it

  1. romeobravo

    Telstra charges around $15 per GB for domestic data. It charges $15,360 per GB when roaming.

    Complete market failure.

  2. GregE

    So you are going to leave Optus because of roaming charges. Which company are you going to switch to? Have a look at their web pages and look at roaming charges. I have been to France many times (with Optus) and never incurred these charges. I did not incur these charges because I turned off data roaming and left it off. A few minutes research before getting on the plane is all it takes. There is free WiFi all over France to use for occasional connects. Getting a local sim will not work for most people because their phones are network locked. The rule is simple – if you leave the country then turn off data roaming and have the discipline to leave it off.

  3. GregE

    Also, just because you did not use the Internet means nothing. Smartphones are constantly looking for app updates and new emails. You cannot stop them doing that other than turning off the data connection.

    Mr Vodafone. Do you want to steal customers from Telstra and Optus? Here is your chance. Offer local data rates on your network world wide. Easy.

  4. [email protected]

    I have just returned from India and my experience was the same as Paul’s .I switched Data roaming off and I was very careful to only access data in very small doses, eg 1 -2 minutes over 3-4 days, yet was charged a fortune . After returning home and enquiring about these roaming charges I was informed that unless the ‘phone is switched OFF it will continually be roaming. This is not mentioned on Optus website re overseas roaming. Nearing the end of my contract and although having been a longterm Optus customer I will definitely be looking at all other options.

  5. floorer

    Grege, the homeowner leaves a window open, the burglar gets in and steals stuff and you’re blaming the homeowner for being stupid.

  6. thewetmale

    Take it to Whirlpool, Paul.

  7. Waste of Time

    Let’s see – I could take responsibility for my actions, or blame a senator. Grow up. Crikey needs to grow up for publishing such dross too. How about doing some actual journalism on why these costs exist, what if anything the govt is doing to change this (assuming there is something they can do, given some charges may actually be levied from overseas – eg. how much of the $25 a minute is optus, how much is the French carrier?), how our various carriers compare, what is the actual situation with overseas regulatory regimes?

  8. Waste of Time

    Hey – nice dog whistle on the “Indian call centre” stereotype too, and good on you for swearing at your “Indian friend” who was doing his job and trying to help you. You really told them didn’t you! Hooray for you! Pathetic.

  9. Arty

    Two things you should never do with your mobile phone: (1) make a call. (2) access the internet.

    TEXT, don’t talk. Use Internet cafes.

    But don’t use your mobile unless your employer is paying.

  10. TheFamousEccles

    I was in Italy and Spain recently, and wondered the same thing re: Vodafone – if they could charge the same data rates from one market to the next, they would absoltely dominate.

    As for the article – I agree with many posters above. Switch off the data roaming, unlock your phone and get a sim from whichever country you are in. $35 euro saw me happy as a clam in Italy for three weeks. Browsing the web was fine and there is plenty of WiFi all over the place (some more onerous to access than others, but it is there).

    Good job (?) with your Indian friend, you told him.

    Are you a journalist? Surely you would have known many of these issues existed before heading off?

    On one point I agree: Conroy could win a few votes if he can stop this gouging. I can’t see the telco’s doing this voluntarily, though.

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