Leaders try to cull roaming charges

Prime minister Julia Gillard and her New Zealand counterpart John Key have moved to ensure that visitors in each nation aren't paying exorbitant roaming fees.

During bilateral talks, the two leaders discussed how to ensure that their citizens don't get stung with huge bills - which can reach up to thousands of dollars

Powers have been given to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) to ensure that telcos must offer local access services which don't require the purchase of a domestic sim card.

Make It Cheaper says that relief from expensive roaming charges and other hidden fees won't come from legislation.

The mobile market is a place where players are gouging their customers of cash - and it will eventually stop. 

But it will stop due to smart competitors - Kogan have a mobile phone plan on the Telstra network that costs $300 a year that allows for unlimited calls, which works out to about $25 a month.

Customers really don't understand how call charges work and that is especially the case when travelling overseas.

When travellers dial out while abroad, they pay a charge to access the network of the country they are in and then they pay another fee to access the network of the nation they are trying to contact.

And these expenses relate to what deal Telstra, Optus or any provider have made with the overseas network.

Over time, the interconnectedness of the world and increasing competition will fix this issue. It will get to a point where a seasoned traveler who goes overseas frequently will be able to obtain a better rate through negotiation with the provider.

In theory competition will weed out issues like roaming charges but certainly governments creating awareness is a good thing and formulating a framework for customers to feel confident to try and scope out a better deal is also a positive.

Talk to Make It Cheaper to compare phone plans and work out what the best mobile plan is for you and your family.