Vodafone has launched a data tracking service called Data Angel to help customers avoid running up massive bills resulting in so-called ‘bill shock’.
A world first for Vodafone, the service is available for free for almost all customers on Vodafone Smart and Smart Data plans. It sends the customer a notification when they reach 80% of their data, then stops data consumption at 100% and offers the option of either purchasing another bundle or paying per MB for continued usage.
Unfortunately, Data Angel is currently unavailable for international roaming, although Vodafone says that will change later this year. Roaming customers currently receive text warnings at 2MB, 5MB and 10MB thresholds.
Telecom launched a Data Smart Caps service in March to halt international data usage at a dollar value and allow the user to purchase more; however, the lowest possible threshold was a hefty $150.
Greg McAlister, general manager product marketing for Vodafone, says company figures show customers typically use less data than they think.
"A survey recently showed us that more than 50% of smartphone users use less than 150MB per month, while only 12% use more than 1GB,” McAlister says.
"Data Angel means Vodafone customers don’t need to worry about buying a large data ‘safety net’, as they will never unknowingly go over their bundle.”
30% of non-smartphone users avoid getting a smart device due to fears about data costs, particularly when exceeding data caps, McAlister adds.
"We are making sure our customers and those who might consider using mobile data have the tools they need to be comfortable using their smartphones when, where and how they want.”
Go here for more on the Data Angel service.