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Thread: Demystifying your telecoms bill (Insight)

  1. #1

    Default Demystifying your telecoms bill (Insight)

    Demystifying your telecoms bill (Insight)

    Reading your telephone bill can be a bit like watching a politician operate: You know something is amiss, but it’s hard to see what, exactly

  2. #2
    Grandmaster MightyMuffinMan's Avatar
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    Reading your telephone bill can be a bit like watching a politician operate. You know something is amiss, but it’s hard to see what, exactly.
    top notch writing this.

    oh and first.
    Remember: The liver is EVIL and must be punished.

  3. #3
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    Please can you do a 'Demystify your Metro Bill' now?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freshy-ZN View Post
    Please can you do a 'Demystify your Metro Bill' now?
    I know this unrelated to the thread, but I rent out my place to 40 something divorced woman with apparent issues.

    She gets her first month electricity/water bill (direct from City of Johannesburg) and emails ME about the service charge, network charge, demand side management levy ... what each means and the calculation of each. She then asks me to get back to her urgently with the required information ...

    I wanted to flip as I'm not City of Johannesburg!
    http://www.riverbed.com/

    Jägermeiʃter can fix that!

  5. #5
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    this appears to be written as a Press Release for the VOIP providers. While there is some useful info, it is generally too biased. My minimum 60 second Virgin Mobile bill was usually around R375pm, ported to MTN to average over R500pm. That is where this artical fails to analyse the options properly. mTN charges per second but @ R2 per minute, while VM charged persecond @ R1.95 perminute with a minimum 60 seconds. BUT after 5 minutes of calls in a day, you paid 99c per minute. Didn't like the service at VM but hating the cost @ MTN. Perhaps the make up slightly with the phones on offer, but not that much.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barge View Post
    this appears to be written as a Press Release for the VOIP providers.
    Agreed.

    It seems Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 and it took Telkom until the advent of the 21st century to perfect their version of this device. No dropped calls, crystal clear voice clarity, CID etc.

    Now we have the VOIP crowd taking us back to mid 80's telco standards by trying to implement first world tech in a 3rd world internet environment with the excuse that the drop in service levels is justified because we're saving a couple of bucks.

    Sorry, I'm not biting.
    Last edited by MickZA; 03-12-2011 at 12:50 PM.

  7. #7

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    Barge has highlighted an important issue.

    It is so misleading when people say "always got for per-second billing." That is often bad advice.

    The key to saving is to quantify the benefit of per-second billing to your call profile. E.g. If you're using your package for telemarketing and people are slamming the phone down on you all the time, you may be better off with per-second billing, even if the rate is 60% higher then a 60/30 rate. However, if you're using your phone in the evenings to call family and friends and chat for hours on end, 60/30 billing with lower rates may work out a lot better for you even if the 60/30 rate is only 10% less than the equivalent per-second package.

    It's all about understanding what your requirements are and what the telcos are offering. So many telcos make large amounts off subscribers by means of confusing call packages with varying increments, variable discounts, etc, all of which sound good but are impossible to quantify. In reality, it is the simpler packages that usually work out best for most people because it is easier for them to assess which of those packages is most suited to their usage.

    Most telcos (Telkom aside) actually offer a choice of packages. The best advice that I can give: take a bit of time to understand your own usage patterns before you choose a package. If you don't have itemised billing, request itemised billing for your last month's usage. If you can only get it in paper form, not a spreadsheet, capture a sample of the calls in a spreadsheet. E.g. If you have 5 pages of itemised billing, capture details of every 10th call into Excel. It won't take that long. Then apply the billing methodology of the packages you're looking at to those calls and see which works out best.

    Make an informed choice!

  8. #8

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    much like my MTN anytime 200 "ITEMISED" account - it shows me exactly when I made a call and how much data I downloaded when, but doesn't show me what these transactions cost - all transactions are indicated as costing R0.00 - I've tried many times to get MTN to explain why the cost/item are not shown....... forget it..... the idjits don't know and can't help..... just gave up on it
    -------- e-tolling is a new tax, with added VAT! Don't support corruption, don't get an e-tag! and don't pay! -------

  9. #9

    Default Invoices..They ar plot to confuse

    Could someone also explain my Multichoice bill
    I put 650 rand in by EFT on 22nd of each month.
    They take out just under that amount on the following 1st of the month which leaves a few rand.
    So Invoice should be IN = R650
    OUT R642
    BAL: R8 and growing each month.
    Multichoice take 12 lines on Invoice to say that (Half I don't know what they say). They add strange amounts with strange item refs and then having taken the money they put it back and always comes back to the above

    Virgin Mobile are just as bad.
    I have two phones on a fixed upper limit of R239 a month. I never go over this set amount and they take 18 lines(plus the itemised calls- which I don't want but they insist and charge me)) on the invoice. They add Invoice numbers I have never seen..then repay half of the amount they have taken, then they repay the other half...this they do 4 or 5 times again. Always different invoice numbers/ amounts taken and then paid back in fragments and then it always ends up as R239.
    When they did make a mistake it was impossible see where it was. In the end I had to contact the CEO (because centre people are not very bright and half of them I can't understand what they say) who got it sorted...but the invoices still come as coded messages from the Secret Service

  10. #10

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    The 'call rates' is a war we've fought and won. the interconnect rate is dropping every year, so call rates will be cheaper. I dont think it plays such a major role in a users/company decision making. If you see it, most promotions today by the cell providers offer per minute (CellCs 99c etc), but they offer such nice phones!! My wife signed up for one of them contracts just for the phone!

    Frankly, most of the providers packages nowadays add up to the same. I ported from MTN to Vodacom, and my bill still averages out to the same, although some months my Vodacom bill is slightly higher, but I get lots more for it.

    It's time we start moving forward in technology, by the providers offering us new calling technology, like video calling, or offer us free calling to some family members on the same network, even if it is a limited amount of minutes. Also they must enable QoS for VoIP like mobile Skype/Viber/Fring.

    Another thing: If a VoIP providers main source of income is by selling airtime, but they sell it cheap, how will they make profit and be sustainable?! Short term goals and fly-by-night business strategy. Designing packages must have a good balance between profitability, flexibility, sustenance, and after sales service. Rather make little more profit on airtime, and use the extra profit to market the service and provide excellent after sales support. If you're not making money, you'll hire monkeys and pay them peanuts, because thats all you have!

    The reason why I ported to Vodacom and pay a higher bill is because (I believe) they have a larger 3G/Internet network, as I travel extensively, locally and internationally. Since porting, I've have more productivity as coverage was less of a problem, and I've generally experienced better connection and after sales service with Vodacom.

    Personally, I would pay slightly more to obtain better service, more uptime and more confidence in dealing with a company whom I know will be here tomorrow when I need them. After all, you get what you pay for, right?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickZA View Post
    Agreed.

    It seems Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 and it took Telkom until the advent of the 21st century to perfect their version of this device. No dropped calls, crystal clear voice clarity, CID etc.

    Now we have the VOIP crowd taking us back to mid 80's telco standards by trying to implement first world tech in a 3rd world internet environment with the excuse that the drop in service levels is justified because we're saving a couple of bucks.

    Sorry, I'm not biting.
    If you use a decent VOIP provider and have a proper internet connection to run the VOIP traffic over (and manage your traffic properly) you don't get dropped calls. Remember VOIP is reliant on your internet connection, so if that is not managed well you will have problems. VOIP can actually have much better quality than POTS depending on codecs and sample rates.
    Attention City of Joburg and its employees, you do not have permission to view this webpage, you will be charged for your malicious hacking crimes

  12. #12

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    Hey MickZA
    I hear you, implementing VoIP successfully in a third world country, is the furthest thing from buying a PBX and linking it to the Internet. This is bound to fail. You need a clean diginet link, a dedicated IPC connection or ViBE technology. ViBE creates a VPN tunnel removes excess packet wrapping and allows for 75% compression and seamless fail over. In other words we send the VoIP packets over 2 lines at the same time. I.E 384K wireless link and adsl, what you get is perfect digital audio. Obviously the service provider needs to understand out networks and implement solutions for clients that actually work. The functionality and quality of our VoIP is a quantum leap forward from an 80's PBX.

    My feeling is you have simply had bad experiences from service providers who are not doing their job properly or do not know their product well enough. Take a look at http://www.euphoria.co.za/pages/1010...nformation.asp, VoIP works very well and all our clients would back us up.
    Last edited by georgegolding; 12-12-2011 at 09:35 AM.

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