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Topic # 95688 10-Jan-2012 21:07 Send private message

i met an old friend of mine today. ~2 months ago, he decided to move his number from the cdma network to vodafone. he bought one of the new android phones and use it on prepay (as he hardly use it for calls, therefore dont need those free minutes). i have to admit, he is not savvy enough with technology.

in general, he is quite happy with his smartphone and enjoy that he can have his email, txt and play games on it (from android market). however, he hates the fact that he paid close to $100 a week for topups in the last two months. he put this down to using 'android' phones.

it turns out that he is on prepay without any add-ons. at the vodafone store, he was told that data is cheap as he will only need to pay $1 a day ($30 a month) for a 'casual/up to 10MB a day'. apparently, this should be enough for someone like him with his brand new $800 smartphone.

poor guy...  i wish those at the shop should at least able to give some useful advice. by default, everyone buying smartphone should be alerted that they need data add-ons. i wonder how many people are having the same problem.

please note, i am not blaming vodafone but i think this $1 a day for 10MB should not be the selling point for smartphone user
 





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  Reply # 567089 10-Jan-2012 21:08 Send private message

I wouldn't blame Vodafone. I would blame the store and the sale person who obviously is there for the buck only, not to actually be helpful.
 




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  Reply # 567090 10-Jan-2012 21:09 Send private message

While you could lay some blame on Vodafone, surely alarm bells muct have been ringing in his head paying $400 per month for mobile access?


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  Reply # 567092 10-Jan-2012 21:12 Send private message

How about the warning SMS at 80% and 100% of the 10MB used?

These would of come in everyday early in the day






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  Reply # 567127 10-Jan-2012 21:45 Send private message

as i said in the first post, i did not blame vodafone for this. however, those at the stores should take some responsibility when selling smartphones to a noob customer. they should at least know what they are on about. 10MB/day is not enough for smartphone. some app alone can be more than 10MB!

sbiddle: he knew something is not right but he was not sure what to do. he just assume this is the 'normal' cost for using android and being on vodafone. please note that he was on cdma network for years, 99% of the time - txting only.







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  Reply # 567153 10-Jan-2012 22:37 Send private message

$100 a week is $14.29 a day which is $1 for 10mb then 13mb on top or 14mb a day * 30 days = 420mb a month

I'm guessing the Vodafone staff asked if he would be using the internet much and he told them he wouldn't be then they would have assumed he wasn't.

If I recall the NZ herald had an article that said the average NZ data user uses just under 200mb a month.

If your friend had told the Vodafone staff that he intended to use twice the national average then they might have recommended a proper data add on.

If your friend was under 30 which I'm assuming he was then maybe they should have expected more usage than what he told them. Most people I know over about 40 aren't even aware they can get email on their new phone they got with their last contract resign.

End of the day I feel that anybody who gets hit for $100 a week and waits 8 weeks before complaining needs to take some responsibility for themselves too

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  Reply # 567178 11-Jan-2012 01:23 Send private message

The problem is people on prepay do setup their email, facebook, twitter accounts to sync every few hours, and they do download updates over 3g. We've read about these things so many times in the media, specially when it comes to roaming.

To me you don't buy a smartphone to not use its full capabilities, and therefore should naturally expect to pay more when you try cheap out using prepay over a smart phone plan.

If the guys in the shop purposefully mislead the guy then sure, give em hell. However I suspect they would have also tried to sell a smart plan which the customer declined.

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  Reply # 567185 11-Jan-2012 07:56 Send private message

It's like my parents-in-law, who moved from CDMA to XT this month. They came to me asking if they should get a "touch screen" smartphone. They can't even send SMS, so I told them buy those $49 handsets with large keys, which will be more useful for them.

As said, if you are not going to pay for mobile data, don't get a smartphone. Those $1 day is pretty much all you need if you have a feature phone and use a couple of pages a day for something - lookup an address, or similar. Otherwise stay away.




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  Reply # 567196 11-Jan-2012 08:15 Send private message

It really depends on the customer and what he told the shop about its intended usage. I know lots of people that have smart phones and use hardly any mobile data because they do everything via wifi, or don't use the 'smart' features (they just want a cool touch screen phone). I would have thought alarm bells would have started ringing when the first months account turned up!





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  Reply # 567197 11-Jan-2012 08:23 Send private message

The friend is on prepay, so there's no monthly account. He would notice thought the balance going away very quickly and the frequent need to topup the account.




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  Reply # 567227 11-Jan-2012 09:28 Send private message

freitasm:
As said, if you are not going to pay for mobile data, don't get a smartphone. Those $1 day is pretty much all you need if you have a feature phone and use a couple of pages a day for something - lookup an address, or similar. Otherwise stay away.


It is possible to get the benefits of a smartphone without using a lot of data. I have an iPhone and use about 50MB data per month. Because I'm connected to wifi at home and work, most of the time I can use its Internet connectivity without worrying about data usage. Granted, I do have to be careful when only 3G connectivity is available, but in the 12 months that I've owned it I've not found my data usage to be to be overly restricted because of this.

I've also just bought my daughter a Huawei X5, and she loves it. She uses many of its Smartphone features, and she is yet to complain that mobile data has been disabled. In fact, she probably doesn't even realize.

Smartphones offer a lot of benefits over feature phones in areas that don't require Internet connectivity at all. In addition to being phones, they are also PDAs, mobile gaming devices, and MP3 players. Sure, some of these features are available in feature phones, but are nowhere nearly as well executed as in most smartphones.
 

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  Reply # 567228 11-Jan-2012 09:29 Send private message

dclegg: It is possible to get the benefits of a smartphone without using a lot of data. I have an iPhone and use about 50MB data per month. Because I'm connected to wifi at home and work, most of the time I can use its Internet connectivity without worrying about data usage. Granted, I do have to be careful when only 3G connectivity is available, but in the 12 months that I've owned it I've not found my data usage to be to be overly restricted because of this.


The problem is "I do have to be careful when only 3G connectivity is available" doesn't work for someone who can't differentiate between 3G and WiFi.
 




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  Reply # 567230 11-Jan-2012 09:32 Send private message

I only have an entry level smartphone and I use it on wifi at home but I wouldn't use 10MB a day. I could use it if I had a plan that provided it, but it's relatively easy to keep usage down if you try. I still check emails, web, facebook etc. I wouldn't say that those plans have no use to smartphone users.

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  Reply # 567237 11-Jan-2012 09:44 Send private message

freitasm: 

The problem is "I do have to be careful when only 3G connectivity is available" doesn't work for someone who can't differentiate between 3G and WiFi.
 


That is correct, but the point still stands that there are many valid use cases for smartphones using little 3G data, yet still having the majority of their capabilities used. In fact we have three in our household. My wife has been an iPhone convert for about 18 months, and I see her as a poster child for the accessibility of the modern smartphone. She's not overly technically minded, and in fact initially scoffed at the idea of owning such an expensive phone. Now she wouldn't be without it. 

In summary, I guess I'd reword your sentiment to state that if you have no ability to regulate data usage then don't consider a smartphone. And my wife demonstrates that you don't have to be an overly technical user to do that.

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  Reply # 567268 11-Jan-2012 10:42 Send private message

As Johnr said, they would have had regular alerts, and I assume Voda have a usage meter as well?

As with any usage item , the customer needs to take responsibility, as in "what happens if I go over 10Mb a day, I better keep an eye on to start with to see if my typical usage pattern works with that"

While the user may not have been tech literate, we all are literate when it comes to costs of a service

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  Reply # 567272 11-Jan-2012 10:43 Send private message

dclegg:

I've also just bought my daughter a Huawei X5, and she loves it. She uses many of its Smartphone features, and she is yet to complain that mobile data has been disabled. In fact, she probably doesn't even realize.

 


You might have already thought of this but on the topic of avoiding future data complaints you might want to bear in mind a scenario where outside of wifi she tries to use a feature and her tech savy friend helps her with the problem by turning 3G data on.

My above point may well be completely irrelevant to your particular situation but  it does highlight another little difficulty with mobile data which we love.




Please note: I have a professional bias towards Vodafone.

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