Neotech

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
12
I recently stepped squarly into the dredded 'out of bundle' trap so smartly set by service providers. I really cannot understand the following:

- I, the consumer select a voice/data contract based on the amount of data p/m plus cost advertised
- The service provider does a credit check to establish if I can afford the monthly advertised cost
- The contract is signed for a 24 month period. 200mb data per month data, 200 min airtime and 200 sms's

Now remember, this is what I wanted. 200mb Data per month, because I knew I would be able to afford the monthly cost of the contract which is R389pm. Now with today's smartphones that's incredibly data hungry it's very easy to reach that 200mb data limit. That didn't bother me because if the limit is reached then logic tells me that I only had 200mb of data and thus I would not be able to use any data for the rest of the month, right? I mean, that is what I paid for? Right? Wrong!!

The thing is, service providers allow you a contract for x amount of data, but they do no limit you, in other words it's basically uncapped but the 'out of bundle costs' are huge! OOB means for every mb you go over the agreed monthly limit you get charged. It's then up to you to phone customer support and instruct them to place a 'cap' on your monthly data, this after you initially only applied for x amount. Now you have to request them to cap you on that exact x amount! Isn't that daft and borderline criminal? Then even after you place the request you'll notice in the t&c's that it's NOT a guaranteed service. I mean come on! I get the feeling you want me to go over that monthly limit only to charge me a huge amount!

And when I complain to customer service thay throw words such a 'open ended contract' in your face.

Dude, I only want the 200mb per month as advertised because I know that's what I can afford. If I wanted uncapped then I would have applied for uncapped!

It's like applying for an overdraft at the bank for R1000. The the bank agrees on the overdraft but allows you to use R10 000! It does not compute! And don't give me the 'system cannot do that' rubbish. If you can sell prepaid and limit people on prepaid then I am sure you can 'limit' me, by default, on the agreed amount of data per month. If I then ask you to increase my data limit then you can charge me for the extra amount of data.

I believe this is done intentionally to allow service providers the opportunity to charge many people with huge unexpected, unplanned monthly bills. This can ruin a person's life. I heard about people getting a monthly bill of R15 000! Can you imagine? You only wanted a small R390 er month contract and now you have this financial nightmare!

You cannot expect ordinary South Africans to be tech savvy enough to manage their own data usage.

Place a default cap on the data advertised per month!!!!:mad:
 

Lycanthrope

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
13,279
Yeah, I agree with you, it's a terribly unethical business practice.

Here, the system works fairly well. For... say... 70kr (SEK) per month you get 500MB of data and 20kr "extra" on your account for texting, calling, whatever. When you reach the end of your 500MB of data, your speed gets throttled to 64kbps. Usable but slow as hell. Afterwhich you can top up 2GB for 50kr or 10GB for 100kr.

But the system works. There's no "OOB shark" to bite you if you go out of your bundle.

And there's no reason why service providers can't implement a similar system in South Africa. Oh, wait, I lie: they wouldn't be able to milk their customers quite as much any longer.

And since they're all in on it together, I'm sure the world "collusion" must play a part in it, otherwise someone would've implemented a proper fail-safe solution by now.
 

Neotech

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
Messages
12
Yeah, I agree with you, it's a terribly unethical business practice.

Here, the system works fairly well. For... say... 70kr (SEK) per month you get 500MB of data and 20kr "extra" on your account for texting, calling, whatever. When you reach the end of your 500MB of data, your speed gets throttled to 64kbps. Usable but slow as hell. Afterwhich you can top up 2GB for 50kr or 10GB for 100kr.

But the system works. There's no "OOB shark" to bite you if you go out of your bundle.

And there's no reason why service providers can't implement a similar system in South Africa. Oh, wait, I lie: they wouldn't be able to milk their customers quite as much any longer.

And since they're all in on it together, I'm sure the world "collusion" must play a part in it, otherwise someone would've implemented a proper fail-safe solution by now.
I agree with you fully! This 'default cap' should become law and be written into the 'consumer protection act'

And I am sure the South African public paid millions to 'OOB' costs!
 
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