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Topic # 105285 1-Jul-2012 10:40 Send private message

This is a mobile topic but since it relates to no specific provider I didn't know where to post it. Mods - move it to the correct forum if you think there is a better one.

Note that is not a political comment but a comment on the apparent lack of education by IT staff (or their passing on the knowledge)  in Govt departments on the best way to use cellphones, especially w.r.t. roaming data.

The article in question

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10816586

The item in that article that really irked me was this one


"Sport NZ chief executive Peter Miskimmin received a $10,000 data bill and $1131 phone bill for September and October last year.Marketing manager Laurie Edwards said the majority came from using a laptop during a two-week trip to Europe.

Miskimmin met international sport organisations, including Sport England, UK Sport, UK Youth Sports Trust, Sport Scotland, and the Irish Sports Council."

$10K for roaming data is inexcusable. Since it's clear from the article that he spent the most of his time in the UK, I am sure he could have been told to purchase some sort of prepaid data SIM and put it into another phone he could use a tethering device. Even if he bought a new phone over there, the savings using that phone and prepaid data would have been more than covered the cost.  It's a bit hard with the voice bills since I would imagine he would want folks back home to contact him but then again he could have used that same phone to make calls and receive them on his local number.

I find this particularly annoying since while we all complain about international roaming, there are so many ways to overcome the costs that don't require you to be an IT Geek to use.

 

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gzt

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  Reply # 648954 1-Jul-2012 11:24 Send private message

Good article. Many public and private companies make exactly the same mistake with huge unnecessary costs.

Free Wi-Fi quality can be variable not to mention misconfigured so it is no surprise that is not being used to reduce cost.

Getting IT to organise a local datastick for a laptop should be straightforward in US/UK.

Phones are harder, you really do need to retain the same number.

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  Reply # 648980 1-Jul-2012 11:53 Send private message

Last two times I've been to OZ my 2degrees phone has received TXT messages once powered back on over there clearly stating the roaming and data rates. I'm pretty sure I received the txt messages more than once while there too just to make sure I 'got the message'.

I don't see why all government phones can't have some sort of fair use limit applied to them to prevent such blowouts.

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  Reply # 648986 1-Jul-2012 12:22 Send private message

Insane:I don't see why all government phones can't have some sort of fair use limit applied to them to prevent such blowouts.

Probably because the users simply couldn't give a rats arse as it isn't their money.

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  Reply # 648987 1-Jul-2012 12:22 Send private message

We are currently switching from our crappy Vodafone plans to Telecom plans this month. Some of our marketing bunnies asked why. We said you bill will be less that half what it is now. Their reply "I don't care as I'm not paying it" Typical marketing speak. Sort of like the company exists for their benefit not anyone else's.. Some of these guys bill are over $400 / month..




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Old3eyes



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  Reply # 649038 1-Jul-2012 13:46 Send private message

gzt: Good article. Many public and private companies make exactly the same mistake with huge unnecessary costs.

Free Wi-Fi quality can be variable not to mention misconfigured so it is no surprise that is not being used to reduce cost.

Getting IT to organise a local datastick for a laptop should be straightforward in US/UK.

Phones are harder, you really do need to retain the same number.


You can have two phones, one with the NZ SIM in it for receiving inbound calls from NZ and the other with a local SIM, local number and data. For an Android phone that second phone could be used for tethering and possibly making much cheaper local calls. It's not that hard and might have saved a bundle off the $10K mentioned in the article.




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  Reply # 649199 1-Jul-2012 19:32 Send private message

kiwitrc: 
Probably because the users simply couldn't give a rats arse as it isn't their money.


Most businesses handle this by saying your position includes mobile plan cost upto $xyz, if you use more than this we take it out of your pay.

People start to care quick fast when you do this.

gzt

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  Reply # 649208 1-Jul-2012 19:50 Send private message

Ragnor:
kiwitrc:?
Probably because the users simply couldn't give a rats arse as it isn't their money.


Most businesses handle this by saying your position includes mobile plan cost upto $xyz, if you use more than this we take it out of your pay.

People start to care quick fast when you do this.

I doubt anyone anywhere in any business applies this policy to CEO level staff. Many at that level would not even be aware of the problem. HOS has done a good job putting it on the radar for the public sector.

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  Reply # 649477 2-Jul-2012 12:08 Send private message

You can have two phones, one with the NZ SIM in it for receiving inbound calls from NZ and the other with a local SIM, local number and data. For an Android phone that second phone could be used for tethering and possibly making much cheaper local calls. It's not that hard and might have saved a bundle off the $10K mentioned in the article.


I used to do this but taking two phones is a hassle.  Instead I picked up a cheap dual-SIM phone,  Has NZ SIM for receiving calls and TXTs, and a cheap local prepaid SIM for making calls, TXTs and data use. Not as nice a phone but certainly helps to save $$$ over roaming or the hassle of two phones.

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  Reply # 649505 2-Jul-2012 12:43 Send private message

Most of the govt agencies would be using a Blackberry or some kind of secure VPN log-in I suspect... that would preclude them doing so over an unauthorised SIM or via public wifi.

Security versus cost expediency... always a tricky battle.

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Reply # 649515 2-Jul-2012 12:58 Send private message

Disappointing that the 'Industrial Research Limited' boss doesn't seem to have a clue in this area either. I would've hoped someone in that position would have more gumption in technology matters.

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  Reply # 649530 2-Jul-2012 13:09 Send private message

jonb: Disappointing that the 'Industrial Research Limited' boss doesn't seem to have a clue in this area either. I would've hoped someone in that position would have more gumption in technology matters.


Of the small number of CRI bosses I've come across NONE of them had any IT nous. One had some very highly specialised IT knowledge in their chosen field, but PC's and laptops - nope. And occasionally those holding the IT purse strings didn't either!


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  Reply # 650138 3-Jul-2012 17:17 Send private message

lchiu7: 
"Sport NZ chief executive Peter Miskimmin received a $10,000 data bill and $1131 phone bill for September and October last year.Marketing manager Laurie Edwards said the majority came from using a laptop during a two-week trip to Europe.

 


This is typical abuse of tax payer funds. 

Look at all the junkets many government employees enjoy.   I've got mates employed by the public service who get sent on the most ridiculous training courses --- including flights , and accommodation in decent hotels. The cost would run into many thousands for 0 return for the taxpayer. 



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  Reply # 650142 3-Jul-2012 17:20 Send private message

surfisup1000:
lchiu7: 
"Sport NZ chief executive Peter Miskimmin received a $10,000 data bill and $1131 phone bill for September and October last year.Marketing manager Laurie Edwards said the majority came from using a laptop during a two-week trip to Europe.

 


This is typical abuse of tax payer funds. 

Look at all the junkets many government employees enjoy.   I've got mates employed by the public service who get sent on the most ridiculous training courses --- including flights , and accommodation in decent hotels. The cost would run into many thousands for 0 return for the taxpayer. 




That is bad! I use to work for a CRI and they were not frivolous like that with their cash as they had to work very hard to get it. And many jobs hung in the balance every funding round! SOE's need to pull their heads in!

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  Reply # 650162 3-Jul-2012 17:42 Send private message

surfisup1000:
This is typical abuse of tax payer funds. 

Look at all the junkets many government employees enjoy.   I've got mates employed by the public service who get sent on the most ridiculous training courses --- including flights , and accommodation in decent hotels. The cost would run into many thousands for 0 return for the taxpayer. 


It's not typical at all.  Most departments/crown entities/crown research institutes are actually pretty darned strict.  As an employee of a DHB, we got exactly zero training/outing opportunities.  The best we got was an opportunity at the end of the year to use some of our unused Microsoft support contract money to go on product training (no flights or accomodation though - it's "training's in town.  Getting there is your problem").

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  Reply # 650172 3-Jul-2012 17:55 Send private message

Kyanar:
surfisup1000:
This is typical abuse of tax payer funds. 

Look at all the junkets many government employees enjoy.   I've got mates employed by the public service who get sent on the most ridiculous training courses --- including flights , and accommodation in decent hotels. The cost would run into many thousands for 0 return for the taxpayer. 


It's not typical at all.  Most departments/crown entities/crown research institutes are actually pretty darned strict.  As an employee of a DHB, we got exactly zero training/outing opportunities.  The best we got was an opportunity at the end of the year to use some of our unused Microsoft support contract money to go on product training (no flights or accomodation though - it's "training's in town.  Getting there is your problem").


+1 - I'm pretty sure that the majority of this problem would be restricted to a handful of SOE's only. Outside of SOE's most other crown entities HAVE to be careful where they spend as they're held very accountable.

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