Ode to Devastating Data Plan Overages

Holy data plan danger! As any mobile IT manager knows, keeping data plan costs in check can be a daunting task - especially when you get an overage bill in six digits.

Visage Mobile, provider of the MobilityCentral SaaS application for corporate mobility management, just released the winners of its "Outrageous Overages" contest, designed to find the strangest and most outrageous mobile employee smartphone abuse stories.

The main culprits unveiled in the contest submissions include thousands of dollars spent on unnecessary roaming charges, SMS texts, calls to 411 and ringtone downloads, according to Visage.

Here are some especially costly tales from the trenches, as supplied by Visage in the following submission excerpts:

The Roaming V.I.P

A vice president at our company who accumulated a $35,000 bill in international roaming charges and texting alone in only six months. It's estimated that in the two years the user was with company we spent $100,000 just in international roaming and texting charges...again for one user! And this is on top of the unlimited voice, data and texting package.


Video Overload

One employee, in only two months, streamed so much video and audio on his corporate mobile device while using his AirCard and traveling abroad, that we ended up with a $10,000 bill when he returned.


AirCard on Auto-Pilot

On a trip to Japan, one employee left his AirCard active for the entire two weeks he was there and came back with a $16,000 cell phone bill.


Achtung, iPhone

We had one employee take his iPhone to Germany and it turns out that he was texting, making phone calls and streaming video. We ended up with a $4,000 bill.


Domestic Abuse

An employee had been traveling overseas for months and he didn't know that the data plan on his laptop was only setup for domestic data and not international. We determined that the user incurred over 100G of data overages, which cost us $5,000 in charges plus another $5,000 in roaming fees.

The Visage Mobile "Outrageous Overages" contest began on April 6, 2010 and ended on May 7, 2010. The submissions ranged from first-hand accounts of mobile overspend to executives charged with managing their business' corporate mobility across a variety of industries. Winners have been notified, and prizes including Apple iPads and Amazon gift cards are being awarded, according to Visage.

If you didn't enter the contest, you can still get a prize: Visage offers a free template for crafting mobile IT policies, upon registration. For more information on how to manage your mobile IT costs, read "Mobile Device Management Made Easy,"Mobile IT Watch: Five Mobile Management Software Firms," "New Crop of Mobile VoIP Services Cut Data Plan Costs," and "Buyer's Guide: 5 Key Considerations for Mobile Management Software."





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