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back to article Aussies stumped reading the phone bill

Australia may enjoy some of the highest teledensity levels in the world, but the more calls made, the less the understanding of pricing and billing information, claims the Australian Communications and Media Authority. New research from ACMA reveals that the vast majority of Australian telephone consumers have a “patchy …

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FAIL

KFC stats

Ah another poll only done in sydney, never before have i seen such breadth of ignorance as in Sydney.

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As an Australian resident

When I look at my phone bill, what I see is something like this:

Metered calls: $5.60

Metered calls to mobiles: $32.85

Metered calls to international numbers: $6.85

Administration Fees: $22.50

Line Rental: $26.50

Service Charges: $12.50

GST: $10.70

Metered calls I get. It's all the other bullshit scalpings that piss me and my countrymen off.

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Identify a local call

There is no easy way to identify a local call in AUS. For example: "85 km is the distance between zonal or district charging points." Who knows if the call you are making is more or less than 85 km?

There used to be simple number rules (if you dialed an STD prefix, it was charged at STD rates), but a policy decsion was made to partly disassociate numbers from locations and call charges.

Fortunately, long-distance telephone calls don't cost very much now, so it is mostly possible to ignore the distinction. And you have to do that.

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Flame

Consumers have a “patchy understanding” of how their services are charged.

Quelle surprise!

The Telcos go out of their way to make things as confusing as possible in order to discourage plelbs from shopping around.

I can't tell you the number of times I get told "Wow, my plan gives me $100 worth of calls!"

When I enquire "oh, and at what rate are those calls charged?" I get looked at with that blank, glazed eye look that we geeks know oh so well coming from our less geeky brethren.

Sigh.

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FAIL

Not surprised

Working in a little Aussie computer shop that now sells phones, I can agree with the ACMA - most consumers are idiots.

And here's a tip people - if you don't even bother reading the large print, you're going to get really caught out by the fine print.

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