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Dongle surfers unaware of limits

Costly excess download fees uncovered

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Blighty’s mobile web users are unaware of the low download limits normally applied to dongle-based tariffs, and risk incurring surprise costs if they exceed them - new research has concluded.

Opium Research quizzed just over 2000 UK-based adults recently – on behalf of website Moneysupermarket, and discovered that 24 per cent didn’t know if they had a download limit on their service.

But of those that did claim to know that a download limit was in force on their mobile internet service, over half – 54 per cent – admitted they had no idea what the limit, such as 4GB per month, was.

James Parker, Manager of mobiles and broadband at Moneysupermarket, said that that download limits on dongles “tend to be much lower” than the caps imposed on fixed-line packages.

For example, O2 charges customers £200 per GB when they exceed their download limit. Network operator 3 charges £100 per GB exceeded, the report added.

It’s worth noting that both firms will send customers a text message to inform them that they’re at their designated download limit.

While the download excess fees would likely put a small dent in some pockets, 30 per cent of those quizzed still thought current download limits are fair. ®

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