24 Aug 2012

Trans-Tasman crackdown on mobile roaming fees

1:32 pm on 24 August 2012

The New Zealand Government is teaming up with Australia to stop telecommunication companies on both sides of the Tasman from hitting travellers with excessive mobile roaming fees.

Communications Minister Amy Adams and Australian counterpart Stephen Conroy on Thursday released a draft report looking at ways to cut charges and improve transparency.

Mr Conroy says there have been many cases where Australian tourists have been charged several thousand dollars for using mobile phones overseas, the ABC reports.

"So when consumers are paying more for using their phones on holiday than for the holidays themselves, there is something clearly wrong."

The minister has asked the Australian Communications and Media Authority to draw up guidelines so customers receive an alert about call and internet rates before they use their phone in another country.

The two ministers have also released a draft report on trans-Tasman roaming charges.

Ms Adams says fees could soon be capped. She says excessive fees are a big problem in New Zealand and there is "clearly a lot of room for the industry to move".