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Topic # 111230 28-Oct-2012 00:17 Send private message

Hi there,

I recently migrated to NZ from the UK, and joined Telecom.

On my first trip abroad, I did what I do usually while abroad - leave my phone off most times, only turning it a few times a day to check for incoming texts.

Upon my return, I was shocked to see that my Prepaid Balance is significantly less than expected.

I rang Customer Services, who told me that I got charged because I have been rang. He said that although my phone is off, Telecom uses my last location to determine charges. As my last location is abroad, any voicemails received would be charged. Even when someone hangs up immediately after hearing "You have reached the voicemail of...." (Therefore I get charged $1 per call by someone else).

After much arguing, they refunded me the charges as an one-off, but honestly I am still unhappy that it occured. They suggested that I turn off my voicemail - which is unfair as I think a voicemail is useful when abroad.

On a more technical note: my understanding is that if my phone is turned OFF while abroad, Telecom will know about it (as my mobile phone will send a dissociation signal to the VLR, the VLR in turn updates Telecom's HLR). Therefore, any calls would only reach Telecom, Telecom would then divert it straight to voicemail (again, still in NZ) - there is no international routing at all isn't it? (Contrast that to my phone ON: in that case, Telecom would have to route to the Overseas operator, the Overseas operator would then have to re-route it back to the voicemail in NZ - I can understand a charge in this instance, but not when my phone is OFF).

Am I right about the technical part above?

Thanks for any opinion!

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  Reply # 707690 28-Oct-2012 01:17 Send private message

This is interesting.

Let say if I turn off my phone before boarding the flight back to NZ. I forgot to turn back on and I will still be charged for overseas roaming? LOL





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  Reply # 707704 28-Oct-2012 01:51 Send private message

Voicemail is the biggest hassle of any with phones. People can just text you. But the phone off when overseas and never turned back on thing is an interesting situation.

IMO the whole diversion things when roaming is broken.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 707705 28-Oct-2012 01:53 Send private message

I personally love voicemail. It is more reliable than sms.





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  Reply # 707715 28-Oct-2012 07:44 Send private message

taless:Telecom uses my last location to determine charges. As my last location is abroad, any voicemails received would be charged. Even when someone hangs up immediately after hearing "You have reached the voicemail of...." !


No way why would they charge if the incoming call has not left NZ??

I would get someone from Telecom to triple check this INFO no way it sounds correct




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  Reply # 707716 28-Oct-2012 07:46 Send private message

taless: On a more technical note: my understanding is that if my phone is turned OFF while abroad, Telecom will know about it (as my mobile phone will send a dissociation signal to the VLR, the VLR in turn updates Telecom's HLR). Therefore, any calls would only reach Telecom, Telecom would then divert it straight to voicemail (again, still in NZ) - there is no international routing at all isn't it? (Contrast that to my phone ON: in that case, Telecom would have to route to the Overseas operator, the Overseas operator would then have to re-route it back to the voicemail in NZ - I can understand a charge in this instance, but not when my phone is OFF).

Am I right about the technical part above?

Thanks for any opinion!


Yes




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  Reply # 707718 28-Oct-2012 07:54 Send private message

Sue.




Apologies for poor typing standards when on Samsung S4 [swype's fault]/iPad 2 Wifi[too slow to use!]

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  Reply # 707719 28-Oct-2012 07:55 Send private message

(ps love the title ... budding journalist?)




Apologies for poor typing standards when on Samsung S4 [swype's fault]/iPad 2 Wifi[too slow to use!]

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  Reply # 707786 28-Oct-2012 10:12 Send private message

Not sure of the specific details but if you pm me your phone number or email it to me "pl at telecom dot co dot nz" and I can investigate it further.

Did you check via the Mobile portal (www.telecom.co.nz/mbbmeter) and see what your last 12 transactions and that should show if there were unusual charges.  The Prepaid helpdesk can get the transactions further back than that.

Once I get your number I will look into this further when I am in the office tomorrow.





I work for Spark, but as always my views are my own.



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  Reply # 707903 28-Oct-2012 14:04 Send private message

Thanks for all the above! Really appreciate all your comments.

Nakedmolerat: Funny enough I said the same thing too during one part of my conversation!

Richms: Voicemail is actually useful while abroad. Those closest to me would know I am away - those who are distant colleagues, distant relatives etc. - the voicemail would actually be very useful, it can be a way of letting them know that I am out of the country and they could therefore use other means to contact me - like e-mail. Alternatively, it can be messages that I will check (and action on) when I am back, definitely prefer to keep it on while I am abroad!

Johnr: Thanks for confirming my understanding! Glad Vodafone is so much fairer in charging.

Joker97: Lol =)

Plambrechtsen: Thanks, I have PM-ed my mobile number to you. That was what I saw on ytmobile and also what your Customer Services people told me (that I was charged for 'international calls that I received while abroad'). I can confirm that I did not send any international texts, make/receive any phone calls, or use any international data while abroad.

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  Reply # 708049 28-Oct-2012 18:35 Send private message

taless: Thanks for all the above! Really appreciate all your comments.

Plambrechtsen: Thanks, I have PM-ed my mobile number to you. That was what I saw on ytmobile and also what your Customer Services people told me (that I was charged for 'international calls that I received while abroad'). I can confirm that I did not send any international texts, make/receive any phone calls, or use any international data while abroad.


And that you did actually get a refund on the usage you're contesting, so you're not actually out of pocket.  Just unhappy that it happened in the first place (I just re-read your first post) ... I'm suspecting it's because the phone was left on when the call came in and diverting to voice mail is a phone function when the phone is on rather than a network function when the phone is off.  But not sure of the exact details.  Going to check it out tomorrow.




I work for Spark, but as always my views are my own.

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  Reply # 708060 28-Oct-2012 18:45 Send private message

A incoming call diverting to Voicemail is a network action not handset generally this happens on the OCCF unless a customer has a CFB CFU CFNA CFNR setup






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  Reply # 708061 28-Oct-2012 18:46 Send private message

plambrechtsen:
taless: Thanks for all the above! Really appreciate all your comments.

Plambrechtsen: Thanks, I have PM-ed my mobile number to you. That was what I saw on ytmobile and also what your Customer Services people told me (that I was charged for 'international calls that I received while abroad'). I can confirm that I did not send any international texts, make/receive any phone calls, or use any international data while abroad.


And that you did actually get a refund on the usage you're contesting, so you're not actually out of pocket.  Just unhappy that it happened in the first place (I just re-read your first post) ... I'm suspecting it's because the phone was left on when the call came in and diverting to voice mail is a phone function when the phone is on rather than a network function when the phone is off.  But not sure of the exact details.  Going to check it out tomorrow.


The charges were over several days. Not as if I would be that careless - if the 'charges' occured over a certain date/time - maybe, as you said, I left the phone on accidentally. But over several days, not possible.

While I am not actually out of pocket in this instance - it is of course an annoyance I could do without. If Telecom is really charging customers whose phones are OFF while abroad, as described above, I find it profoundly unfair - it is fine to charge for a service that you provided; it is not fine to charge when no additional service is provided by you (it is standard, known, telecommunications engineering that when phone is off, no international routing takes place).

Not to mention your customer service people are extremely 'rigid' in their thinking, unable to even 'grasp' the basic technical knowledge I was sharing with them. The refund appears as if they are doing me a massive favour (and they are in the right) - it still annoys me to be honest.

And not to forget, I do make future overseas trips as well. And numerous Telecom users who could face the same problem - so if it is a system wide issue, this has to be sorted out - this is unfair pricing.



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  Reply # 708072 28-Oct-2012 19:12 Send private message

plambrechtsen:I'm suspecting it's because the phone was left on when the call came in and diverting to voice mail is a phone function when the phone is on rather than a network function when the phone is off.  But not sure of the exact details.  Going to check it out tomorrow.


When XT launched the roaming hub gave Telecom the ability to offer voicemail on all roaming destinations, and also not charge for roaming calls sent back to voicemail as they had a return path. I blogged about this back in 2009 http://www.geekzone.co.nz/sbiddle/6538

This was one significant difference to Vodafone who didn't support voicemail on the vast majority of overseas networks when your phone was turned on. On those networks that did you paid the normal $1 per minute roaming costs for voicemail desposits. Vodafone upgraded things in 2010 to support this and removed this charge.



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  Reply # 708080 28-Oct-2012 19:25 Send private message

sbiddle:
plambrechtsen:I'm suspecting it's because the phone was left on when the call came in and diverting to voice mail is a phone function when the phone is on rather than a network function when the phone is off.  But not sure of the exact details.  Going to check it out tomorrow.


When XT launched the roaming hub gave Telecom the ability to offer voicemail on all roaming destinations, and also not charge for roaming calls sent back to voicemail as they had a return path. I blogged about this back in 2009 http://www.geekzone.co.nz/sbiddle/6538

This was one significant difference to Vodafone who didn't support voicemail on the vast majority of overseas networks when your phone was turned on. On those networks that did you paid the normal $1 per minute roaming costs for voicemail desposits. Vodafone upgraded things in 2010 to support this and removed this charge.


SBiddle: Thanks, I saw your blog too when investigating this matter. Regret that Telecom has changed, stealthily.

What is more annoying is that their Manila call centre staff, in our conversation, said that "you have accepted the terms & conditions, so why are you unhappy that you are charged." I said, "which terms & conditions?" He said, "it is in the terms & conditions that you will be charged because voicemail is counted as receiving phone calls." I said, "Fine, tell me which T&C, if I see it I will keep quiet"... Then he said, "There is no need to be that technical, about which number it is, there is a T&C".

And he said, "While you are abroad you got a text from Telecom telling you that NZ rates do not apply right?" I said "Yes, I did, in fact I still have the text with me (and read it out to him what the text says)". And he said, did you ring "+6433710866 then? I said no, there is no compulsion to do so, I read the charges on www.telecomroaming.co.nz  - then he said if I did not ring that number it is my own fault.

2 amazing 'arguments' by Telecom NZ Customer Service staff. Amazing, go Telecom for your 'excellent' Customer Service Team training! :)

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  Reply # 708083 28-Oct-2012 19:36 Send private message

This is a pretty massive thing and the fact that this has, as far as I know, never ever come up before on this forum, (except when sbiddle's blog says the opposite is true) suggests that the most likely thing here is simply a misunderstanding and that the charges are for something else. Probably the rep on the phone doesn't understand either and is just guessing, or thought you meant you had put a phone divert to voicemail (so your phone rings, then sends to voicemail, which would likely incur a charge) rather than just switching your phone off, or maybe he thought you were dialling your voicemail to retrieve your messages, which would also incur a charge.

What I am saying is, surely somebody would have noticed this by now if it were standard practice since it would be so easy to rack up $1000s of dollars of fees without doing anything if somebody keeps trying your phone.

we see plenty of newspaper articles about excessive roaming data charges, but I've never seen one where the person incurred loads of charges from simply leaving the phone off

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