Smartphones not so smart when abroad

Mobile phonesThis year, British holiday makers will pay over £500m in mobile phone charges they incurred while abroad....which could have easily been avoided.

According to research from Carphone Warehouse, 80% of smartphone users in the UK have been hit with a phone bill on their return from a trip abroad which was up to £100 more expensive than their standard bill.
Even though EU regulations have been put in place to curb call and text costs, no such measures have yet been put in place with regards to accessing the internet through a smartphone – hence the hike in bills.

Twitter not cheap
Carphone Warehouse's research shows the dangers of using smartphones on holidays- people are being hit with massive bills as smartphones use so much data. Facebook and Twitter are the main culprits for a rise in roaming fees

However, the unexpected cost could have easily been avoided as almost all (89%) of those heading for fun in the sun didn't check their network data roaming charges or activate cost-saving bundles before jetting off.

Furthermore, only one in four of those questioned claim they are aware of the true costs for using their mobile abroad. However, when asked specially about mobile internet access, only 6% knew the correct cost per megabyte (MB). Smartphones can easily use one MB in a few seconds to view an image, update an App or stream music, highlighting how quickly mobile phone bills abroad can get out of hand.

Bill hike
Of those who have been caught out by data charges, one in five (22%) admit to accessing the internet at least once a day on their smartphone, with a third (33%) revealing they use the time to browse or update their social networking sites - making it the biggest contributor to the dramatic rise in their holiday phone bills.

In addition, other holiday roaming culprits include "wish you were here" calls to family (34%), downloading or accessing Apps (17%) and researching the local area or booking restaurants (16%).

Some 58 million Brits are due to go on holiday this year and of those who use a smartphone, 79% expect to access the internet from their mobile device while they're away. But it would seem most are unaware of what this will cost them.
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