Mobile Complexity

In today's Canberra Times, Ross Peake writes up my criticism of Australian mobile phone carriers for offering needlessly complex plans. A snippet:
A Federal Labor MP is gobsmacked that Australian mobile phone companies get away with offering plans that are very difficult to understand and compare.

Andrew Leigh is turning his frustration into a campaign, based on his experience with simpler plans offered in the United States.

He says the complexity of phone plans has a particularly hard impact on people with low levels of financial literacy. ''Complexity hurts the poor, new migrants and the elderly - in this sense unnecessary complexity operates like a regressive* tax,'' he said. Mr Leigh, who represents the northern half of Canberra, concedes that the Federal Government has little role to play unravelling the complexity of plans and caps. ''You can't legislate simplicity,'' he said.

* The article accidentally quoted me as saying 'progressive'. But of course a tax that hurts the poor is a regressive one.

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