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MTN R128,000 bill and how I got scammed

isie

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
9,486
The cost was incurred during phone update period of around 8 hours. Speaking to the usual attorneys this will go to court. The advise is they have legal representation on retainer so I will need to pay costs and if I dont win with costs then it will be a double financial whammy.
so they charged you R150K for only that 8 hours isage?

on 3g (i recall you saying something about it being 3g not faster?) you can probably do about 25Gb in 8 hours at OOB Prices thats about R50 000 - increase the speed and or time that goes up
 

George A

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
40
Not that i don't trust your recollection but please pray tell how from thousands of lines can you say without a doubt, what's streaming and what's not?
quick search on you file
i see over 100 Mp4 files which can be downloaded or streamed and then, over 50 m4a files again which can be downloaded or streamed
the above that over 4000 lines marked as itunes
this isn't the entire file - rough calculation OOB rate at R2 per meg those 100 mp4 at a modest 10mb each is already R2000 increase the size of each file and that increases exponentially.
plus a bunch of games there too - you sure all charges were data not any WASP services too?
so not sure how many days this was over but add it up and it can kill.
You say it was you 7 year olds phone now you saying you did - you can honestly tell me that without doubt your kid did not go nuts 2 years ago seriously dude your story doesn't make sense - i don't trust the SP's but you need to have your story straight.
When streaming from Itunes it shows like this: http://streamingaudio.itunes.apple....nlWfWFClxlJkO41bGn7J+yvi3yY1ZiPUbmYsp/dyRnFwR so it wasnt streaming anything.
I had the phone with me at all times. Worked till 7am that day and took the opportunity to move the phone over to the newer phone whilst working. The charges during that period of 11pm to 11am are R125,803, this is seen here in the costing sheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1j5PvaY-3u2XoIqJ2JEDFz-NXIYmubueiSunWGGo5vEE/edit?usp=sharing. The items from the Itunes store where manually selected since at the time it was a shared account I didn't want non relevant stuff on her phone so I know what was requested at the time.
Most people find this hard to believe and maybe things would be viewed differently if I had a decent post count. I wouldn't have brought this up now if I knew for sure that potentially I was in the wrong.
I am trying to get a Apple privacy report to see if they do have any information during that period that might help explain what occurred.
 

quovadis

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,790
so they charged you R150K for only that 8 hours isage?

on 3g (i recall you saying something about it being 3g not faster?) you can probably do about 25Gb in 8 hours at OOB Prices thats about R50 000 - increase the speed and or time that goes up
The major usage is about 148GB from midnight to 11am on the 28th which would be around 30mbit/s average. Definitely LTE and plausible usage however without MTN's complete user agent etc I cannot tell if it was the phone or a tethered client (ie. laptop plugged into phone). I'm just doing some stats - most likely a device initiated a "Redownload" of purchased items.
 

George A

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
40
so they charged you R150K for only that 8 hours isage?

on 3g (i recall you saying something about it being 3g not faster?) you can probably do about 25Gb in 8 hours at OOB Prices thats about R50 000 - increase the speed and or time that goes up
The period works out to R126,800 odd. Phone was on 3G, sim was 3G as it was old and the tower here by us doesnt support LTE as I am in a relatively "rural" area. Average speed test gives 15-23mb/s best case.
 

quovadis

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,790
The period works out to R126,800 odd. Phone was on 3G, sim was 3G as it was old and the tower here by us doesnt support LTE as I am in a relatively "rural" area. Average speed test gives 15-23mb/s best case.
Unless you were testing the average speed on 28 December 2016 you have no idea what the speed was at that time. The nano sim in the iPhone 5 which was transferred to the 6 is guaranteed to support LTE speeds since the sim age makes little difference unless it was a full size sim from years back which would've been required for the iPhone 5.
 
Last edited:

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
28,450
What if she used her phone as a Hotspot? You can't really blame MTN if you didn't teach her to do her due diligence.
Even with his failure if there was a 12k limit in place they should have abided by it.

This could in theory be seen as reckless lending.
 

George A

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
40
Unless you were testing the average speed on 28 December 2016 you have no idea what the speed was at that time. The nano sim in the iPhone 5 which was transferred to the 6 is guaranteed to support LTE speeds since the sim age makes little difference unless it was a full size sim from years back which would've been required for the iPhone 5.
If I am not mistaken I modified the sim. Will pull it out and check but I didn't get a second sim at any time.
 

isie

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
9,486
When streaming from Itunes it shows like this: http://streamingaudio.itunes.apple....nlWfWFClxlJkO41bGn7J+yvi3yY1ZiPUbmYsp/dyRnFwR so it wasnt streaming anything.
I had the phone with me at all times. Worked till 7am that day and took the opportunity to move the phone over to the newer phone whilst working. The charges during that period of 11pm to 11am are R125,803, this is seen here in the costing sheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1j5PvaY-3u2XoIqJ2JEDFz-NXIYmubueiSunWGGo5vEE/edit?usp=sharing. The items from the Itunes store where manually selected since at the time it was a shared account I didn't want non relevant stuff on her phone so I know what was requested at the time.
Most people find this hard to believe and maybe things would be viewed differently if I had a decent post count. I wouldn't have brought this up now if I knew for sure that potentially I was in the wrong.
I am trying to get a Apple privacy report to see if they do have any information during that period that might help explain what occurred.
what about the other files i mentioned? Itunes is only 1 type there are other lines i noticed?


The period works out to R126,800 odd. Phone was on 3G, sim was 3G as it was old and the tower here by us doesnt support LTE as I am in a relatively "rural" area. Average speed test gives 15-23mb/s best case.
11 PM to 11 AM 12 hours on 3G you can do a good 7Mbps you can easily do 37 Gigs that will put you at almost R74K - now I'm snot ure 2 years back what speed you were capable of but if at that time you could do 15 Mb like you can do now that in 12 hours can pull a good 75 Gbs and at oob rate you have R150k - which comes in at what you were billed.

Sorry if i seem like a hard ass here - but chances the MTN guys will give a similar arguments - so you should make sure you have your ducks in a row - I think your better argument is they allowed it to go over a credit limit they calculated you could afford at 12k and they allowed it 10 times that amount - reckless lending? of course they can say 2 years later :(
 

George A

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
40
what about the other files i mentioned? Itunes is only 1 type there are other lines i noticed?




11 PM to 11 AM 12 hours on 3G you can do a good 7Mbps you can easily do 37 Gigs that will put you at almost R74K - now I'm snot ure 2 years back what speed you were capable of but if at that time you could do 15 Mb like you can do now that in 12 hours can pull a good 75 Gbs and at oob rate you have R150k - which comes in at what you were billed.

Sorry if i seem like a hard ass here - but chances the MTN guys will give a similar arguments - so you should make sure you have your ducks in a row - I think your better argument is they allowed it to go over a credit limit they calculated you could afford at 12k and they allowed it 10 times that amount - reckless lending? of course they can say 2 years later :(
Legally I have 5 years to argue this if I want. The average person after a hit like that won't have money for lawyers.
Reckless lending is what all legal people have told me but it will go to court and that's a risk when a individual has to fight a giant in court.
 

isie

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
9,486
Legally I have 5 years to argue this if I want. The average person after a hit like that won't have money for lawyers.
Reckless lending is what all legal people have told me but it will go to court and that's a risk when a individual has to fight a giant in court.
and I'm not even the Lawyer Izzy :D

good luck really hope you win this
 

quovadis

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,790
Legally I have 5 years to argue this if I want. The average person after a hit like that won't have money for lawyers.
Reckless lending is what all legal people have told me but it will go to court and that's a risk when a individual has to fight a giant in court.
The problem is that its not reckless if you can afford it and I'm pretty sure that their terms and conditions cover this. But regardless, looking at the logs provided the duplicated entries appear to be resumes and multi-threaded downloads. Furthermore, each url has an accesskey and validator which are Apple-issued which link the download URL to your apple account (they are issued per download, increment with each download authorised and valid for a period) so the data can be linked to you. I cannot determine if this was the phone or a tethered device (cabled laptop/wifi hotspot) but it appears that an explanation for the files being downloaded is that a re-download was initiated by the phone or iTunes. (MTN may have purposefully not provided the extended data log as it may have more infromation such as user agent etc).

It would be truly silly to challenge the data usage in my opinion. You could try the "credit limit" approach which MTN refer to as a "charge limit" but in most cases you would still be held liable for consumption especially if you read your subscriber agreement.
 

George A

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
40
The problem is that its not reckless if you can afford it and I'm pretty sure that their terms and conditions cover this. But regardless, looking at the logs provided the duplicated entries appear to be resumes and multi-threaded downloads. Furthermore, each url has an accesskey and validator which are Apple-issued which link the download URL to your apple account (they are issued per download, increment with each download authorised and valid for a period) so the data can be linked to you. I cannot determine if this was the phone or a tethered device (cabled laptop/wifi hotspot) but it appears that an explanation for the files being downloaded is that a re-download was initiated by the phone or iTunes. (MTN may have purposefully not provided the extended data log as it may have more infromation such as user agent etc).

It would be truly silly to challenge the data usage in my opinion. You could try the "credit limit" approach which MTN refer to as a "charge limit" but in most cases you would still be held liable for consumption especially if you read your subscriber agreement.
Its reckless as affordability can only be done with a credit check. How could they know at the time if I could afford it or not. Bottom line is if they have the tech to cut off the pay as you go users surely they can activate it for the guys with contracts but they choose not too. This is also why most guys that get caught on international roaming get screwed so bad since it doesnt stop at the credit limit point and they just let it run.
 

quovadis

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Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,790
Its reckless as affordability can only be done with a credit check. How could they know at the time if I could afford it or not. Bottom line is if they have the tech to cut off the pay as you go users surely they can activate it for the guys with contracts but they choose not too. This is also why most guys that get caught on international roaming get screwed so bad since it doesnt stop at the credit limit point and they just let it run.
They don’t have to know if you can afford it or not. Read your contract. The international roaming argument isn’t quite the same. The reason why you get screwed is because the billing for your roaming can take up to 30 days to reach your cellular provider back home - you are using a completely different network to make calls and use data.
 

George A

Active Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2018
Messages
40
They don’t have to know if you can afford it or not. Read your contract. The international roaming argument isn’t quite the same. The reason why you get screwed is because the billing for your roaming can take up to 30 days to reach your cellular provider back home - you are using a completely different network to make calls and use data.
With roaming that makes sense, never thought of that.
 

quovadis

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Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,790
With roaming that makes sense, never thought of that.
As per MTN’s subscriber agreement:

7.6. Our right to Suspend your access to the Network Services
If we see that you are going to go over your Charge Limit, we may, but do not have to, Suspend your access to the Network Services. If you go over the Charge Limit before we Suspend your Network access, you will still have to pay for these extra Charges. (See clause 10, 'Suspension and Deactivation', for more information about Suspension). (Please see clause 6, 'List of Charges', for a list of all of the Charges that apply to the Contract).
 

airborne

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
7,864
It's almost impossible to dispute the data useage, there may have even been some apple bug that caused the downloads to crash at 99% and take 5 retries for each file/app before being successful. Only some very expensive data analysis expert could try work that out to dispute it in court but even then it'll probably still be inconclusive.

But there must be some recourse as to the R12k limit going more than 10 times over.

I had something similar recently with an Adsl provider that convertered a limited free trial to R300 pm paid account. Next I heard of it the account was R2000 in arrears with zero useage, I soon realised how screwed I was and how it costs them nothing to let the account run up and by that stage the accounts managers couldn't care less - pay up.

It took a lot of sleuthing and arguing on my part till they finally backed down, luckily I had some kind of evidence that they hadn't credit vetted/authorised the R300 pm account so it was hard for them to show evidence that the account was legitimate.

You have to somehow find a way of showing that massive bill is illegitimate, reasonably a person with a R12k credit limit can't be held liable for a huge bill like that, whether you have the money to settle it or not MTN was not offering you that credit in the first place.

The argument will have to be made that they can't dodge around that and then conveniently retroactively make that decision to increase the credit limit without any consultation with the customer, no matter what their terms and conditions state.
 

AirWolf

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
21,297
There are 581 unique items in the list for the given time period, and 4022 individual download lines, indicating each item was downloaded almost 7 times each on average.
 

quovadis

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,790
There are 581 unique items in the list for the given time period, and 4022 individual download lines, indicating each item was downloaded almost 7 times each on average.
I did a few tests myself sniffing the activity and mine behaved the same - multithreaded downloads and resumes.
 

Moosedrool

Expert Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
3,608
Can you set a hard limit on apple phones? I do it on the Samsungs anyone in my family buys and warn at about 200mb left with a hard limit when there's about 50mb left since it's not a perfect counter.

I'm still of the type who considers these type of charges as a violation of consumer rights. Lots of hotshots in this thread acting all high and mighty but your granny who's basement you live in doesn't know this tech. Hell anyone can have this happen to them.
 
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