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MSE News: Call to curb massive mobile internet bills

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mobiles
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MSE_GuyMSE_Guy MSE Staff
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mobiles
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Mobile companies have been urged to help stop consumers facing huge costs when they use the web ..."
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Replies

  • NFHNFH Forumite
    4.4K posts
    I think a lot of this is down to inaccurate billing by the mobile networks. My data usage is usually around 200MB to 400MB per month, but one month my Orange bill showed that I had used 916MB when my iPhone had recorded that I had used only 404.5MB (370MB downloaded and 34.5MB uploaded). Orange's customer service system showed that I had downloaded large quantities of data during short daytime periods on two days in the billing month, which if true would have severely drained my battery, but it hadn't done so because I didn't use the data. Also there's no way that my iPhone could have physically downloaded the alleged high quantity of data in the short periods stated. I was just within the 1GB fair usage allowance so there was fortunately no cost or other implication. Nevertheless I asked Orange to investigate several times and made sure that copious notes were made on my account in case the same thing should happen in future more excessively or when I'm roaming, but they failed to investigate. Unfortunately many other customers end up significantly out of pocket when the same thing happens; I was one of the lucky ones. I'm sure Orange know all about these data billing errors but won't admit it.
  • edited 18 November 2011 at 9:40PM
    NarcNarc Forumite
    422 posts
    edited 18 November 2011 at 9:40PM
    Either these devices bleed data or companies have very inaccurate usage figures. Even before I got a very internet capable phone just checking my email a few times a month on the go seemed to use at least 2MB - a far cry from the 'typical' figures quoted by networks. As for the women in Turkey, I have to say I have little sympathy. Data roaming is off by default and when you turn your phone on in another country you get a txt telling you have calls, data and txts cost. Really, how more obvious does it need to be? Ignorance is not an excuse.

    The 'unlimited' in advertising needs to stop in all areas from phones to broadband with virgin being the worst offender repeatedly. My contract had 'unlimited' data but the small print had the 'fair usage policy' capped at less than the non-unlimited packages available from all other networks.

    The cost of data usage in the EU is also absurd. The time when you most need it for email, directions etc. you can't use it because the cost is prohibitive.
  • tifotifo Forumite
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    It's amazing how these companies can advertise 'unlimited' internet capped at 25Mb ..... that is severely misleading .... and they get away with it.

    The govt should outlaw the use of the word 'unlimited' if it is capped .... whatever the fair use policy is. It should mean what it says.
  • NFHNFH Forumite
    4.4K posts
    Narc wrote: »
    Data roaming is off by default and when you turn your phone on in another country you get a txt telling you have calls, data and txts cost. Really, how more obvious does it need to be? Ignorance is not an excuse.
    The networks have to do this only when you log on to another network in the EEA. If you receive such a text outside the EEA, then you're lucky.

    I agree that ignorance is no excuse. If consumers use their phones abroad without checking the cost first, it's like going into a restaurant and ordering an expensive bottle of champagne without reading the menu. Caveat emptor.
  • gjchestergjchester Forumite
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    tifo wrote: »
    It's amazing how these companies can advertise 'unlimited' internet capped at 25Mb ..... that is severely misleading .... and they get away with it.

    The govt should outlaw the use of the word 'unlimited' if it is capped .... whatever the fair use policy is. It should mean what it says.

    The ASA who oversee advertising have repeatedly ruled unlimited is calid as long as the majority of people doi not hit any limit.

    The outcome of this is pretty obvious. Mobile companies will simply stop advertising unlimited internet (as Vodafone already do) and state a UK amount, state you will be charged xx when you go over it and thus simply side stop the rules.

    There are issues of mis charging, but by and large these huge bills are down to people being thinking about use. Costs are not hidden on operators web sites an a simple call will confirm the costs, but people just don't think.

    If you go away you turn the phone off, your on holiday.

    I've very little sympathy for the people who go away and spend all the time watching you tube or using facebook, and they are usually the ones loudly phoning friends back home telling them how many coctails they have had that day.
  • luciluci Forumite
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    Narc wrote: »
    Data roaming is off by default and when you turn your phone on in another country you get a txt telling you have calls, data and txts cost. Really, how more obvious does it need to be? Ignorance is not an excuse.

    This is not always the case. We were in the EU recently. We each received 2 texts on the 2 old phones which don't have internet or data access. One text with the cost of calls and texts and another with the cost of data.

    However no texts were received on the new Smartphone which is the one that would have run up a huge bill.

    The text we did receive about the data was badly worded. It stated that you could buy a bundle / get a cheaper rate (can't remember the exact wording), but that this would opt you out of the 16Mb limit. However there was nothing to indicate the consequences of this.
  • edited 20 November 2011 at 11:33PM
    mark5211mark5211 Forumite
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    edited 20 November 2011 at 11:33PM
    My friend's son is on 02 Simplicity Monthly and he has been using his phone to watch utube in the uk, my friend has just discovered that £177 has been debited from her account for October and after checking the bill for November its already well over £1000, she has been in touch with O2 five days ago about this but not had a response yet, they do not seem to be treating it with much urgency even though a massive bill like this is causing her a lot of stress.

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  • StevieJStevieJ Forumite
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    I thought the max charge with O2 for data download was £1 a day?
    UK browsing6 Never costs more than £1 a day
    6. UK browsing

    UK data usage only. Data used while outside of the UK is not included. Applies if a data bundle Bolt On is not chosen.
    Government: "Should we get a pet?" 52%: "Yes" Government: "OK, we'll get a cat" 1/2 of 52%: "Oh no, I hate cats. I wanted a dog."
  • StevieJ wrote: »
    I thought the max charge with O2 for data download was £1 a day?

    That's what I thought too, because when I miss the top-up anniversary date for my inclusive balance (top up £15 for unlimited texts and 500mb internet) I get a text saying the max I will be charged is £1 per day.

    But it is probably different because I am on Pay As You Go and that is a Simplicity Monthly contract :s
  • edited 22 November 2011 at 12:04AM
    mark5211mark5211 Forumite
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    edited 22 November 2011 at 12:04AM
    I will get her to look into this deeper as O2 have replied after 6 days waiting and spoke to a guy who was extremely unhelpful and told her husband that he cannot do anything as he 'can't change bills or discount bills' and that they will have to pay for all charges, which they cannot afford.

    Its not very good customer service as they have 3x long standing O2 pay monthly contracts and a long standing O2 Broadband contract and no customer satisfation as yet, they dont seem to understand how much stress and worry a bill like this can cause someone.

    Found the terms and conditions from 2010 for this tariff and they state:

    Data Charges

    For applicable tariffs with data capability: Unless a data or BlackBerry Bolt On is taken, your tariff will include O2 Web Daily under which data (for UK only use) will be charged at up to a maximum of £1.02 per day (00:00am to 23:59pm). Once you have reached your maximum daily charge of £1.02, O2 Web Daily allows you unlimited use of Telef!nica UK Limited's Edge/GPRS/ 3G networks (as applicable to your handset), for personal internet use via your mobile phone. All usage must be for your private, personal and non-commercial purposes


    So dont know why this £1.02 max charge does not apply to this Simplicity Pay Monthly contract?
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