Telstra, Australia's largest phone and Internet provider, is offering vacation goers an early Christmas gift — increased roaming rates — as it revamped the pricing structure of its International Travel Passes.
While it is offering its subscribers a lot more data to burn, it, nevertheless, elevated the prices for the passes to those who travel to various spots across the globe — with vacationers going to countries like the U.S., UK and Canada as highly impacted by the price hike.
In September 2014, Telstra launched its International Travel Passes, making it possible for consumers to make calls, send out texts and use data when traveling offshore. The passes are split up into zones, based on which country subscribers are going to visit. These are available in different periods: 30 days, 14 days, seven days or three days.
Formerly, the scheme comprised of two zones which cover the well-renowned holiday destinations. Now, it is adding Zone 3, which include the U.S., UK, Canada and more countries. The passes for Zone 3 nations are now priced at AU$450 (USD$327) for 30 days (which is AU$50 or USD$36 increase from the original price). Meanwhile, the three-day passes for Zone 3 has a price of AU$45 (USD$33).
Additionally, extra data charges also inched up, from 3 cents for every MB to 10 cents for every MB.
In the meantime, customers who'll be traveling to Thailand and Indonesia will need to fork out AU$70 (USD$51) instead of AU$35 (USD$25). However, rather than 350 MB, they are now going to be given 525 MB of data to enjoy during their vacation in these countries.
It is worth noting that each country has been bumped up to a higher price, apart from New Zealand which remained in the Zone 1.
"Telstra has made changes to the International Roaming Travel Passes to expand the number of countries covered and to increase the amount of included data available when roaming," said a spokesperson of Telstra. "We're increasing the daily Travel Pass data allowance from an average of 50 MB a day to 75 MB a day.
The spokesperson touted that Travel Passes is now available for 20 new nations.
Customers, however, are complaining about the price increase. They took to Telstra's website to comment on the announcement.