28438 views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
TL;DR:
    * Excess data costs $2,000 / gb
    * You have a $770 “credit limit” above your normal “cap” you may be unaware of
    * Not notified until after you’ve used all the “credit” (400mb = $800)
    * All services are deactivated until payment
    * Usage meter has 48 hour delay
    * Employees have either no discretion/spine/brain
    * TIO and ACMA unlikely to help resolve
    * Accept your idiocy, pay up, and don’t do it again
    * Make sure other VM customers are aware


Quote
From: Ash Simmonds
Sent: Wednesday, 4 November 2009
To: ‘team@virginmobile.com.au’
Subject: Oops! Account suspension. :(

Hello Mega Virgin Mobile team,

Last week I was merrily trundling along home from a long day in the office grooving to the tunes on my delightful iPhone when I thought it’d be nice to catch up with a mate for a steak and beverage and idle banter about the mysteries of the universe, including but not restricted to the merits of tofu hotdogs and pre-torn jeans. So as I went to call my buddy, I got a curt but friendly message from The Booming Voice of Virgin that I was unable to make a call to this number.

Damn, maybe he was out of range or something, I tried texting him and that failed too - crap, maybe he’s changed his number to avoid me. So I tried to get into my email and mis-type with my fat and now trembling fingers a brief question of his whereabouts, alas - a message popped up to tell me I wasn’t subscribed to any cellular data network or something. Quite confused I tried dialling and texting a few other numbers but sure enough nothing worked.

A while later on this fine Wednesday evening I recieved a text - excitedly imagining that my world was all well and good again as people were able to contact me I checked the message with breathless anticipation, however it was text from you guys - my next best friends after my real ones - to tell me my “agreed credit limit” had been reached and my service temporarily restricted. I had no idea what this meant - I didn’t realise there was a “credit limit” seeing as I am on a simple $100 a month plan, the message included a number to call to rectify this - I went to call it however The Booming Voice of Virgin again tapped into my attempt to connect with the outside worl to tell me I can’t call this number either. Confused and lonely I had no recourse but to go and have a shandy by myself and read a men’s issues magazine as I could no longer browse the interwebs on my shiny Apple device.

The following day - after a harrowing 18 hour depression spiral of being unable to contact anyone who’s usually kind enough to pretend to be my friend - I logged into my account on www.VirginMobile.com.au (a lovely site which I would use more and recommend if it had pictures of ninjas or brunettes in bikinis or brunette ninjas in bikinis) from my office computer to check what was going on. I don’t often log in - usually only when I’ve forgotten to check my snail-mail and need to pay your bills, sure I’m usually late, but I make up for it with enthusiasm in my keystrokes and also a $10 tip.

So I get in and I’m quite confused by what I see, there is no bill to pay (I’m all up to date), there is no money owing, however on the data usage page it seems that instead of only letting me use the amount of data I agreed to - a healthy and delicious 5gb - the iPhone has somehow let me continue traversing the mysteries of the interwebs for a further 400’odd megabytes (probably very odd megabytes), at a rate of 0.2c/kb. I haven’t officially consulted the ISPs of Borat’s homeland, but it seemed to me $2 a megabyte was about the most expensive internet surfing I’ve heard of, and short of a big portrait of the cheery smiles of the Virgin Mobile Team I find it hard to imagine much that would be worth downloading at $2 a megabyte.

As you can imagine, although I do find value in paying more for a decent bottle of wine or a fine steak, I don’t think I found any additional value in the areas of the interweb that I must have stumbled about in this Ultimate Luxury Interweb $2/mb Zone beyond my 5gb cap, and I would not have done any interwebbing had I known I was able to go into this super-valuable area where I obviously don’t belong - despite my very trendy haircut and reasonably uncomfortable shoes.

Upon seeing that my account would rollover within a few days - and that I couldn’t find a way to rectify this through your awesome and almost-fully-functional website, I decided a few days of pretending to ignore my friends probably wouldn’t hurt. However, as it turns out it’s now been a week without an outgoing service and people think I no longer care to interact with them, this may or may not be true - and if I were active on Facebook I can just imagine them having to change their status with me to something uncomplementary. Also none of the amazing high-scores I’ve managed to get on my geoDefense app since having a lot of spare time have been uploaded to the highscores boards, meaning there is little to no validation to what I spend my time doing and hence seriously devalues the worth of my existence.

Today I logged into your fabulous website again to see what’s going on as it was 2 days ago my account was due to rollover or something - and in those 2 days some cute acquaintances who may have been potential life-partners have now been embittered and feel scorned by my seeming aloofness to their previously unexamined interest in me - it now shows another bill which has a due amount of over $900, but no indication on how or whether my ability to communicate with the vast and wonderful world out there will be restored somehow. Also - when I click the blue link thing to examine this powerful and mysterious invoice, all I get is a blank page - do you guys use white ink?

Here is the link:
*removed*

It’s my understanding that somewhere in your tiny but lengthy and friendly terms and conditions somewhere there must have been a clause for over-use of your service, I apologise for overusing it, however I would never have done so had I known I was anywhere near wearing out my welcome among the ebullient Virgin Mobile Team. In future I will monitor usage much more closely, because as much as I like downloading pictures of Smurfs to remind me of my collection in the halcyon days of when I was 7, back then I never imagined it would cost over $900 for pictures of Smurfs, else I would have spent that money bolstering and storing my collection instead - negating the need to download them. If you guys resell Smurf stuff I would definitely buy it through you.

So as retribution for the inadvertent overuse of your impeccable service, I would like to either send all the Smurf photos I downloaded back to the interweb which should restore the balance like Ferris Bueller’s mate’s Ferrari running in reverse, or I could supply a photo of me enjoying an oversized beer at Schutzenfest with friends whilst thinking how great the Virgin Mobile Team are for enabling me to be able to even contact other people and make close connections, or I could retro-actively purchase an extra 1 gigabyte data block which you have advertised for $15, and I’ll let you keep the other 500’odd megabytes I didn’t use for your own Smurf downloading, I’m a nice and generous guy that way - I’ve never once clubbed a baby seal on purpose.

My phone number is #### ### ### so you can check your records of this long-term happy and loyal customer, and get back to me on which option suits you best.

Give my regards to Sir Rick, a couple weeks ago I saw some space-junk burning across the evening sky and just thought how awesome it would be to go into space on his uberjet thingy and not end up as space-junk, but I lingered looking upward a little too long and a bird pooped on my cheek.

Yours tastefully,
Ash Simmonds.

PS, please enjoy the attached photo of the moon smiling over Adelaide which I took for you.

Image



Quote
From: Virgin Mobile Australia [mailto:team@virginmobile.com.au]
Sent: Thursday, 5 November 2009
To: Ash Simmonds
Subject: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Hi Ash,

G’day! Thanks for getting in touch with us and for the articulate correspondence you have given us. You have painted a vivid picture of your feelings and concern. =)

Let me apologise for the inconvenience this concern may bring you. Rest assured that we would be glad to help you with your concern.

However, before we can assist you with your account enquiry, we just need to check your ID so that we could bring up the account and check into its details.

Kindly log in quickly & securely online at http://virginmobile.custhelp.com/app/ask and then:

- Answer ‘Yes’ you are a Virgin customer
- Enter your phone or service number and your 6-digit PIN
- Confirm your email address
- Enter your question into the ‘Ask a Question’ form (copy & paste the original if you like) and hit ‘Submit’.

We’ll be in touch shortly with a reply based on your specific details.

I would like to inform you that confirmation of secure details is a requirement of the Federal Privacy Act, to which Virgin Mobile is bound by law. If you would prefer not to provide this information via email, we ask that you please contact our Customer Service team by phone on 1300 555 100 between 7am and 11pm EST, 7 days a week.

On another note, if you would like to check into your past billing statements, you may try logging into your account by going to the Virgin Mobile website at virginmobile.com.au with your mobile number and 6 digit PIN. Just click on the tab for Your Account Balances and you may then check your latest bill.

Thank you for your much valued patience and understanding. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

PS. Thank you for the pic. =) That’s mighty nice of you.

Have a great evening! Cheers!

Regards,
Joseph


Quote
From: Ash Simmonds
Sent: Thursday, 5 November 2009
To: ‘Virgin Mobile Australia’
Subject: RE: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Greetings Joseph,

Thankyou for reading my plight of angst, woe and confusion, and taking it on board with your clearly intelligent disposition. Your timely and optimistic response is appreciated, perhaps if you are handsome enough you may play a younger version of me in a flashback scene from the joy I had when first signing on board with Virgin Mobile in my upcoming biographical feature-film, if not that’s ok - you could be an extra as one of my homely-but-cucumber-cool friends in a montage sequence where we see shots of my friends looking frustrated and sad at not having been praised or insulted by me in over a week. I was considering either Baz Luhrmann or Victor Fleming as Director, as it turns out old Vic is worm food so that narrows my choices somewhat.

I have gone through and done the top secret list of steps you outlined in order to confirm my identity - the results of which provided reading material that was just as interesting as it was illuminating, I give it 4 stars, the critic with a love for drama in me thinks that maybe there could have perhaps been a bit more character development in the 2nd act, and the twist in the final act was a little too easy to see coming, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, will recommend to all my friends once I am able to contact them again.

————————————————————————-
Your Question has been Submitted
Question Reference # 091105-000610

You should receive a response by email from our Customer Service Team within the next 2 working days.

If you need to add information to or cancel your question, you can do so by updating it through the ‘My Support History’ section of this site.

————————————————————————-

Danke,
Ash Simmonds.


Quote
From: Virgin Mobile Australia [mailto:team@virginmobile.com.au]
Sent: Friday, 6 November 2009
To: Ash Simmonds
Subject: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your email and for confirming your ID.

I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been unable to use your shiny iPhone recently and would like to extend an apology for any inconvenience caused. I see that the text message that you have received was sent to warn you that you are approaching your credit limit.

All Post-Paid accounts have a predetermined credit limit dependent on the rate plan they’re signed up for and the number of services on their account where yours is set at $750. The credit limit is different from your included value though which stays at $520. Any amount that exceeds $520 will be charged on the top of your plan as an excess usage.

We send text reminders when the total approximate balance (billed and unbilled amounts) of an account has reached 75% and 90% of the account’s credit limit. These text alerts are automatically sent out 2.5 hours after the last call or text was made that went over the threshold.

It appears that your account has exceeded the credit limit for your most recent bill’s total amount due is for $928.68. Same reason why your service has been suspended for outgoing calls and text until a payment is received to bring you back below the credit limit. Just head to virginmobile.com.au/ and log in with your Virgin Mobile Number and 6 digit PIN to make payments and view your bills.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Regards,
Rjy


Quote
From: Ash Simmonds
Sent: Friday, 6 November 2009
To: ‘Virgin Mobile Australia’
Subject: RE: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Greetings Rjy,

As much as I appreciate your swift investigation of the issue, unfortunately your summary - whilst theoretically informative - doesn’t paint a full picture.

The text I recieved from the fantastic Team at Virgin Mobile was not to let me know I was approaching a 75% or 90% limit, but in fact to inform me that the “agreed credit limit” was reached and that my service had been restricted - again I was unaware of any such “credit limit”, and were I knowledgable in such practices I would not have indulged in such a thing. Here is the verbatim text:

28/10/2009 7:17PM
Hi, you’ve reached your
agreed credit limit and
your service has been
temporarily restricted.
Please call 1300 555 100
to make a payment.


The only other most recent text from you guys was thus:

13/10/2009 7:45PM
Hi from Virgin Mobile.
Please call us urgently on
1300 555 100. Thank you.


In the instance of this 13/10 text I checked into www.virginmobile.com.au and was suitably aghast that my previous two bills were outstanding - not just in their presentation which is very slick, but that I owed you $210 for the last couple months of immaculate service. I paid this almost immediately, which is reflected in the latest bill noting that you recieved the aforementioned lucre on the 15/10 which brought our relationship back square.

Sadly at no time was there any of these alert texts, and indeed I had no idea I was even in breach of the original agreed upon allowance (I never asked for an interwebs overdraft thanks) - at which stage I think anyone would prefer the data services be stopped rather than allowing idle browsing at $2/mb.

So as to bring our relationship back to a peachy square once again, I propose my original solution that I purchase a 1gb block of data which you have advertised at $15 for last month, and I’ll let you keep the remaining 500-odd MB of interweb I was unable to traverse, which after having run out of Smurf paraphernalia to download I might have moved on to midgets painted blue.

Thankfully yours,
Ash Simmonds.


Quote
From: Virgin Mobile Australia [mailto:team@virginmobile.com.au]
Sent: Monday, 9 November 2009
To: Ash Simmonds
Subject: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your email.

We normally send out reminders when an account is approaching the credit limit. In your case, the notification did not kick in because after you have used your service, your approximate unbilled balance was already above the credit limit.

Virgin Mobile currently does not offer a service where we monitor your spending for you. The credit limit system does suspend your service but billing is not always in real time and we cannot guarantee that your service will be cut off at exactly that point. You can though check your approximate usage online at any time simply by logging into our website.

I can see on your bill that you have exceeded your data allowance, as such you were charged .2 cents or $0.002 per KB. We can add the $15 Data Subscription Plan (DSP) but this won’t count toward what you have already used. If you want me to add the $15 DSP, just let me know.

Thank you for your patience.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Regards,
Cheryl


Quote
From: Ash Simmonds
Sent: Monday, 9 November 2009
To: ‘Virgin Mobile Australia’
Subject: RE: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Greetings Cheryl,

I am pleased to note that each time I respond it is with a different Sir Richard appointed Virgin Mobile customer relations ambassador as it obviously means you guys have many folks working on my problem.

I am not after a service to have my spending monitored - otherwise I would probably have a girlfriend and not spend lonely Saturday nights on the internet, I simply only want to spend what I had pre-arranged to with you, which is $100/month and includes 5gb of data. As I was not interested in the additional 400mb+ at your overdraft rate which is approximately $2.05 per megabyte, and unwittingly went over the allowance thinking I would simply not be able to use your great service once I had fulfilled the agreed 5gb of data transferage.

In future if I wish the extra interweb time for Smurfing, I will purchase one of your 1gb data blocks at $15 once my agreed 5gb limit has been reached, at a somewhat more believable rate of 1.4 cents per megabyte. I’m just wondering - how are those other megabytes worth the extra $2.03 cents each over normal - or approximately 14,000% mark-up?

So if it would please all concerned, I ask that to rectify last month’s overcharge you apply the $15 extra gigabyte to my bill from last month which more than covers the extra downloads, and remove any credit limit from my account as I didn’t ask for credit and I don’t think it’s something which should be provided to someone without their knowledge - Smurftastic as it may be - and re-enable my account which has been inactive for close to two weeks already, the lonely dinners and people thinking I’m ignoring them is starting to give me a twitch in my left eyebrow.

Cheers!
Ash Simmonds.

Quote
From: Virgin Mobile Australia [mailto:team@virginmobile.com.au]
Sent: Tuesday, 10 November 2009
To: Ash Simmonds
Subject: Oops! Account suspension. :( [Reference #: 091104-000400]

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for your email.

May I apologise for confusing you about your credit limit. The credit limit is the amount we allow you to have outstanding and this includes not just what you have spent so far in a month but also any outstanding invoices. If we won’t have a credit limit on an account, you would have spent much more than what you have already used. Credit limits are in place to protect its Members’ from over spending.

We are unable to reactivate your service unless we receive a payment from you and we are unable to make any changes on your account until it is in active status again. You can pay at least $300 to bring you below the credit limit so we can reactivate your service. Once the service is active, you may call our collections team at 1300 304 090, during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30am and 5:00pm AEST) in order to request for a payment arrangement for the remaining balance.

I apologise but we are unable to charge you for $15 DSP to waive the excess data usages you have incurred nor we are unable to allocate the data allowances that you have not used previously toward your excess usages on your current bill.

As I have mentioned previously, excess data usage is charged .2 cents per kb.

Thank you for your patience.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.

Regards,
Cheryl



Offline NSX

  • The Cow Whisperer

  • Joined: Apr 2006

  • Drives: Honda NSX
  • Location: Adelaide
That’s pure gold cant wait until the next exciting episode



Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
A few google hits leaking in to my delightful tale of internet smurfing...

Funny - seems a few other folks have since been making the same dumb mistake as me and expecting fair warning when you're about to be charged $2,000/gb... :faint:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1243372&r=21509979#r21509979

Quote
Does Virgin send you an SMS at all if you are going over or close to the limit of your data plan/bundle??

Quote
Nope as it is it takes them up to 2 days to update their data on the website

Quote
Postpaid..... no email, no warning..as far as I know...within reason..ie go waaaay over your limit and the default credit limits kick in instead...$400 or something...around 10 x my typical monthly bill.

Combined with the ludicrous delay, this makes one tentative to actually use up the entire quota WHICH I PAID FOR AND AM ENTITLED TO, for fear of being lumbered with extra data charges at ridiculous rates for exceeding the monthly quota.

I note this abhorrent and disingenuous behaviour prevalent with banks as well..whilst they have the technology and systems in place to generate a warning SMS to advise of approaching a limit, they choose to instead eventually generate a snailmail letter that arrives some days after penalty fees are applied to an account for being overdrawn etc.

Listen up Virgin...I want (on my postpaid data)...either:-

an SMS/email when I approach my postpaid data bundle limit

cease data flow if I exceed data limit ..same as prepaid customers get.

Why is it so hard? Because it would cause loss of revenue?

What do Postpaid get instead??? not even up to the minute data logging so one can proactively track ones data usage.

Quote
I've recently logged a call re the usage on my account that went over in the last few days. My monitoring indicated I'd used about 80MB on a particular day and the usage meter on the last day of billing increased by around 200MB putting me about $170 over my limit, which I knew I was approaching and as such was being careful.

We'll see what comes back after my second email, and yes, the first round of support was useless which included this doosey of a paragraph:

"On the other hand, though we have not come up yet with a way on how we can provide you with a copy of your browsing usage, rest assured that Virgin Mobile Australia uses a digital network that is extremely reliable and unlikely to make an error. It's almost like putting your television to the channel 7 and seeing it transmit channel 10. Highly unlikely."

I've heard it can be hard to get good staff these days...

Why would anyone want to pay $2/MB? Either cut off service at the limit or make the pricing reasonable.

(couple months ago)

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1289107

Quote
Holy Toledo. So the 1st GB is included in your $70 cap, but the next GB costs $2000.

Quote
I had a similiar thing with Virgin, my excess was over two grand. I managed with negotiations to get it down to $700 even though I admitted that it was my fault and it was due to a laptop doing automatic updates.

Virgin can charge what ever it wants too. I tried arguing this point first and got no where even with the TIO.

The argument I used to get out of the bill well down to $700 was the agreed credit limit that every Virgin account has, this limit was $700 and I successfully argued that if that is my agreed limit then I should of not been allowed to go over it, regardless of what the system does. I was let off the bill that time and was warned that if I ever go over the limit again I will have to pay the bill.

Quote
last month I did what you did and got a $980 bill;

I called and got no help, emailed and was told of the $570 limit, pointed out my bill is almost twice that, and i have just been direct debited $570 last night yay..

Quote
The real villain here is Virgin's excess usage fee of 0.2c per KB. It's nothing short of predatory when they're prepared to sell you a 1GB data pack for $15.

Quote
I rang Virgin recently about that because I wasnt sure if the 0.2c kB was 2c a KB or .02c or .0002c. Since there is no dollar sign in front of the zero one must assume it means 1 fifth of a cent right? Well the folks over at Virgin arent too sure. I asked the call centre person to explain whnat the charge would be for 1MB. She kept repeating that its "zero point 2 cents a KB sir" I kept on at her and asked her what the charge is per MB. Finally she said 'wait sir I will have to calculate that" She came back to the phone and said it works out at $200.00 a MB. I said "wait, so if I went 1 gB over my limit I would get a bill for $200,000.00?" she said "thats correct sir" me: Dont you think thats a little excessive? She: "I dont know sir" Im not blaming her...call centres dont employ geniuses...understatement

I think we all know it works out at $2000 a GB but its just interesting that the call centre folks have no clue. Virgin pay $2.50 a gB for this data and sell it back for $2000 a gig. What sort of profit margin/markup is that? hmmm think i'll give Virgin a call and ask them

Quote
Hmm another case where Virgin have wiped the excess charges. I think they realise it's unethical and will clear the charges if you challenge them hard enough. It's very similar to late banking fees or over-drawn accounts, if you rang up and questioned them they'd wipe them straight away .... sure enough these fees have fallen from $50 to $5 as of October 1st. With enough public pressure I feel the same will happen to these unethical telco's ..... they'll get away with it for as long as possible though.




Offline cel

Great emails Ash, really poor service back to you.

Any updates?



Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Oh - final update was just as vaccuous - not worth the time responding which I guess is the point of hiring a hierarchy of simpletons, it's on the naturalstupidty link.



Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Another sting :doh:

http://onlineopinion.blandconsulting.com/2009/11/my-complaint-letter-to-virgin-mobile/

Quote
I went to NZ. I wanted to use data on my iPhone (Virgin $70 cap incl 1GB data). They turned on “Globetrotting” (aka international data roaming).  A coupla months later I got a $420 bill. I wondered how much data I’d actually used. I found out it was only 20MB. I got a little mad at the $22,000/GB rate and wrote to Virgin.

.....

The other fact is that you say that you are now telling me that my monthly limit is $770 before the account is suspended. This means you are saying that I can spend up to 1100% my expected monthly bill before I’ll be notified that there is a problem. At no stage did I ask for or agree to this limit. I agreed to a cap of $70 per month. I would expect slight variances in this monthly cost to go unnoticed, but not 1100%! Imagine if I’d spent $700 for several months in a row… It’s possible I wouldn’t even realise that I had a $1400 bill.  It can easily be construed that your CAPs are sold on the basis that are customer is ‘capping’ – and in this context CAP means “the upper limit of what is allowed”, but yet the very term you choose to advertise and form the basis of your sale is not only blatantly disregarded, it is disregarded without adequate or fair warning to the consumer.  It’s unconscionable.

I'm in the wrong racket - from now on usage of AE is free for the first 30 pages, after which it costs $0.02c per sub-pixel! :p



Edit: the author send me an email:

Quote
FWIW, I did get my money back.
And they unlocked my phone for free.
And I did get them to change their terms & conditions where they mention variances of up to 30% without quoting the base rate.
And the TIO were very helpful.
And the ACCC have said they've logged the issue and if further complaints come through, they'll investigate it further.

In the end, I was very happy with Virgin's customer service and helpfulness of all those involved.







Offline PA

  • One man comedy gala

  • Joined: Jan 2008

  • Location: www.club-carbon.com






Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com
Getting more coverage now more people are being sucked in...

http://www.news.com.au/technology/lure-of-internet-sees-smartphone-bills-soar/story-e6frfro0-1225821044985

Quote
Lure of internet sees smartphone bills soar

    * Mobile providers "trick users"
    * Hefty hidden internet fees
    * Deals look attractive but are costly

SMARTPHONE users are seeing their phone bills increase by hundreds of dollars because of hefty download fees hidden in confusing mobile phone plans.


Australian Communications Consumer Action Network chief executive Allan Asher said mobile providers "trick" consumers into spending hundreds of dollars to surf the internet on new phones such as Apple's iPhone and the BlackBerry, The Australian reports.

He said companies sought to maximise data flows, often "deceiving" people into arrangements that looked attractive but turned out to be very expensive.

"This new technology will be retarded by these practices," he said.

He cited a Virgin mobile customer who assumed that her capped plan included data usage charges, but at the end of the month received a bill for $2000.

Choice media officer Elise Davidson said a friend was hit with $800 in excess charges when she downloaded some music tracks to her phone, believing that data downloads were included in the package.

She was able to avoid the charges by reporting the situation to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and taking the complaint number back to the mobile provider.

NSW Police have also warned parents that smartphones could be used by potential sex offenders and other criminals to make contact with children.

NSW crime command sex crimes squad commander John Kerlatec said: "Downloading smartphone applications is proving very popular at present, but teens could be putting themselves into vulnerable situations and they could be at real risk of becoming a victim,



Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
1 Replies
2050 Views
Last post Fri, 21 Aug, 2009 - 18:54
by dkabab
0 Replies
1666 Views
Last post Tue, 08 Dec, 2009 - 13:13
by AshSimmonds
7 Replies
2072 Views
Last post Wed, 14 May, 2014 - 19:42
by goober
4 Replies
1763 Views
Last post Tue, 01 Jul, 2014 - 22:37
by 98octane
3 Replies
2089 Views
Last post Mon, 21 Jul, 2014 - 12:06
by Tiger


Latest Discussions