Gold plated mp3s :(
June 3, 2010 1:43 AM Subscribe
Help me negotiate with my phone company when I feel that I've been unfairly billed for data useage.
posted by Chrysalis to computers & internet (7 answers total)
I purchased an iphone plan with 1.5g of included data and then added mobile tethering (mobile as modem) for an extra $10 a month. The company provides an iphone application to monitor data use, and states on the app that this can be delayed up to 24 hours. I used this app at least every few days to keep track of where I was at, and daily in the last week of the month, as I was paranoid about going over the limit as I'm not earning a lot of money right now. My billing period is from the 4th to the 4th of each month.
1. On the last day of my first billing period (Mar 4 - Apr 4), I was WELL under the data limit (according to the app), so I downloaded a bunch of mp3s. I was charged about $100 for exceeding the limit by 500mb. I was upset but thought I must've downloaded more than I'd realised, and sucked it up and paid.
I have now looked at this bill, and I can see that the "big mp3 download fest" was 450mb worth, however, according to my bill, I had already been OVER the 1500mb limit for 5 days.
2. In month 2 (April 4- May 4), I was extra careful with my downloading, and again relied on the app. I didn't download much at all until the last 2 days. The same thing happened again.
Looking at the itemised bill now, I can see that I was already OVER the 1500mb limit for 4 days. Again, I wouldn't have started downloading mp3s in the final 2 days if the app had shown that I was already over the download limit. The total useage was ~1900mb
3. This month (May 4- June 4), I was monitoring my data useage earlier in the month, and about a week and a half before the end of the billing period, the app said I'd used about 1200mb. The next day it showed only 900mb! I freaked out and called the company. The person I spoke to was surprised by my second bill, and told me that the company had increased the data allowance to 2g with effect from April 4, and hence, I should have been *under* the 2g last month - and not billed an extra $150 or so. He has been trying to follow this up for me for a few days but said he was getting nowhere and suggested I call a manager.
4. I called again today, and a different consultant tried to explain that I wasn't entitled to the 2g because that started in April, and I added mobile tethering in March. I asked if I had cancelled, and then re-added internet tethering the same day in April, if I would have got the extra 500mb, he said probably. I said this didn't seem very fair, and plus, the previous consultant had told me that EVERYONE had 2g with effect from 4 April (more worryingly, this morning I downloaded about 600mb of data, as the app is showing me 1100mb used so far, and I was told yesterday that I could download up to 2g, and it's the final day of the current billing period)
Ideally I would like to be refunded for the extra charges for these two bills as the app is clearly unreliable. I wouldn't have downloaded 500mb if the app had shown me I'd already been past my limit in any of these months. If they won't do that, I'd like to be refunded for the extra I was charged for month 2, as I did not exceed the 2g that apparently everyone had that month. As a real last resort, I do not want to be overcharged this month as the downloads I made today were based on being told yesterday that I had 2g of data.
I'm upset because I truly did track my data useage using the company app and I feel that its unreliability was what caused me to go over the limits, but it's a big company and I'm sure they get people making stuff up all the time. Also, I don't have the technical knowledge to make any big claims about the app. The other day a friend of mine who works for the company in IT said he wouldn't trust the app, and I should use a 3rd party app instead. Going forward this is what I will do, but what now?
How can I best approach this? A manager at the call centre is apparently going to call me back. We are talking about close to $300 here (probably more when I get the bill for this month!). I am currently at university so that is a lot of money for me. The whole reason I just paid the $10 to have mobile tethering added to my phone plan was because I couldn't afford the $70 odd dollars a month to get proper internet put in.
Any kind of advice much appreciated...