Date Posted: 22/04/2013 11:00:00 AM
Australians can now take their mobile or tablet overseas without the fear of ‘bill shock’
Australia’s leading provider of travel insurance, Cover-More, has launched a Global SIM card, which offers huge savings to Australian travellers: call and data rates up to 90% cheaper than the standard roaming rates charged by the major telcos.
Cover-More is the first travel insurer in the world to include a free Global SIM with the purchase of a travel insurance policy.
Australians have the second highest rate of smartphone adoption in the world^, but research shows travellers leave their phones at home when heading overseas to avoid high roaming costs.
From 17 April 2013, Australian travellers will be offered the Global SIM free with the purchase of a Cover-More policy through Flight Centre, Harvey World Travel, Escape Travel, Travelscene American Express, Student Flights and many other retail travel agents.
Many Australians have experienced ‘bill shock’ when they return from their holiday and their mobile bill arrives with charges amounting to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reports that it received more than 4,100 complaints about global roaming disputes in 2011-2012*. Almost 80 complaints to the TIO in 2012 were for disputes about global roaming bills of more than $10,000.
Cover-More Marketing and Strategy Manager Zac Brookes said: “Our free Global SIM enables travellers to stay safe and connected. More than 10 million Australians own a smartphone^, but research shows most of us leave our phones at home when we head overseas due to the high costs of roaming.
“Our SIM enables travellers to use their phone like they would at home: find a great restaurant in the city they’re visiting, navigate their way to a destination, post photos on Facebook, call a friend to meet up or call home to check in without the exorbitant roaming charges Australians are wary of.”
Free to activate, the Cover-More Global SIM is prepaid for calls and data. The SIM works in more than 100 countries and is compatible with most recent mobile phones and tablets, including iPhone 5, iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy s4.
As the Global SIM is prepaid, travellers are in control of how much they spend. After each call, they receive an SMS with the cost of their call.
Cover-More emergency assistance numbers come pre-programmed on the Global SIM, and Cover-More can keep travellers informed of world events that may impact their travel plans or their safety.
Brookes said: “We are introducing Global SIM because we believe it will enhance our customers’ travel experience, but more than that, it’s a safer way to see the world. Because the Cover-More Global SIM comes pre-programmed with Cover-More’s emergency numbers, travellers who need assistance can contact us quickly and effortlessly.
“Additionally, if our policyholder is likely to be caught in a world event, such as a volcanic ash cloud crisis, we can contact them via SMS to ensure they get the information or help they need.”
Standard international roaming data rates from major Australian telcos are more than $10 per megabyte (MB) for most destinations.***
The table below demonstrates the savings Cover-More customers can access with the Global SIM.
Note: 1MB = 1,024KB. Rates correct at 25 March 2013. Cover-More rates available at covermore.com.au/sim
Example: an Australian traveller in the UK posting a 2.5MB photo to Facebook on a Cover-More Global SIM will be charged $0.63 versus approximately $25.00 roaming on a standard Australian mobile plan from a major telco.
Brookes commented: “Travelling overseas with a phone is obviously safer than leaving it at home, and all Australian travellers deserve to enjoy their holiday safely. A smartphone can also make a holiday experience more enriching—it’s great to be able to find a delicious restaurant or cool bar in the town you’ve just arrived in, just like you would at home.
“Unlike other Global SIMs on the market, which can cost up to $49 just for the SIM card^^, the Cover-More Global SIM is free with our travel insurance, and travellers can keep on top of costs, as they’re sent a message advising them the cost of each call when they hang up.
“Our Global SIM is so convenient—arrange your travel insurance and sort your overseas mobile phone coverage at the same time.”
On the launch of the Cover-More Global SIM, Colin Bowman, Executive Marketing Manager at Flight Centre said: “For us, the inclusion of the free Global SIM card with the purchase of travel insurance from Flight Centre is another example of how we’re working with our partners to drive more value and a richer experience into core products for our customers.
“The cost of global roaming has been painful for Australian travellers for a long time now. This product innovation will provide another option for travellers and in turn make travel insurance from Flight Centre a more attractive option.”
Peter Egglestone, GM Commercial with Jetset Travelworld Group, said their retail group continues to seek out innovation that enhances the intrinsic value of JTG products.
"No other travel insurance provider in Australia offers a Global SIM as a free inclusion. We see this is a win for our travel agents and travelling Australians. For our agents, it is a powerful selling tool. For travelling Australians, it drives high value into their trip at a very low cost," he said.
Cover-More is Australia’s largest travel insurance provider, with approximately one in four Australians departing for an overseas holiday with a Cover-More policy.^^^
*http://www.tio.com.au/publications/news/roaming-complaints-down-but-disp... ^ Our mobile planet: Australia, Understanding the mobile consumer. Google. May 2012.
** Trip duration must be longer than seven days. The Cover-More policy must be purchased at least 10 days prior to departure (so that customers receive their SIM prior to departure).
*** Prices compared on 25 March 2013 and based on postpaid plans per megabyte for the destinations listed in the pricing table of this release. Prices from the major telcos (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone) taken from their website as follows: Telstra standard roaming rate = $15.36/Mb (https://www.telstra.com.au/international-roaming/availability-pricing/po...)
Optus standard roaming rate = $20.40/MB (http://www.optus.com.au/shop/mobilephones/international-roaming/postpaid...)
Vodafone standard roaming rate = $10.24/MB (http://www.vodafone.com.au/personal/international-roaming)
^^ Example from All Phones: http://www.allphones.com.au/
^^^ 2012 Cover-More Group policy data compared to 2012 ABS short-term leisure departures.