Fresh complaints of Mweb charging its capped ADSL users 20c per Megabyte (MB) for out-of-bundle (OOB) usage have surfaced online after MyBroadband forum user Vie was hit with a much larger bill than they expected.
Though it’s nothing new, Vie’s report confirmed that the default “out of package” setting on Mweb’s capped ADSL account was still 20c per additional MB.
This comes to around R200 per Gigabyte (GB), which is far higher than the sub-R10 per GB prices South Africans pay for digital subscriber line (DSL) data nowadays.
Though Mweb subscribers can change their settings to let them buy additional cap by the Gigabyte — which is the default of many other ADSL service providers — Vie reported that it is not possible to switch once you’ve already exceeded your data cap.
Queried about why its capped DSL products still work this way, a spokesperson for Mweb said that their pay-per-MB option is in many ways a throw-back to the early days of uncapped ADSL.
“Regulations were introduced [around 2005], still in effect today, that prohibit the hard-capping of data,” Mweb said.
“We have a minuscule portion of our base which use this particular option but they generally choose it because if they do go over their cap it’s by a very small amount and this remains the cheapest ‘top-up’ option,” the Internet service provider said.
Mweb said that thanks to how mobile data packages are structured, most capped Internet users are familiar with the concept of OOB usage, and usually diligently manage their usage accordingly.
“We also take a number of steps to keep consumers up to date with their usage and warn them before they go into out-of-bundle,” Mweb said.
Usage notifications are sent at 50%, 75%, and 90% of a subscriber’s allocated cap, Mweb said, and email reminders are sent to inform its customers of the out-of-bundle options and their pricing.
“We go even further by actively reviewing usage patterns and if we believe that a customer is subscribed to a package that is not suitable for his needs, we make contact with the customer suggesting alternative products,” Mweb said.