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Topic # 136606 3-Dec-2013 10:18 Send private message

It was time to upgrade.

As everyone knows I'm keen to support 2degrees where I can.  You all know I consider it important to give the small guy as much support as we can because I feel if we don't then we just stay with the duopoly that we've all spent many years complaining about...

...but fair suck of the sav guys!

This morning I get yet another text telling me that I've hit my call spend limit.  I'm guessing this means I now can't access my voice mail again.

Last weekend I popped out to the farm and got told that I needed to add a 1Gb national plan to my mobile so it would work there...

The weeks before I had to call up after my $40 plan ballooned out to $450...

I will grant that buying a new phone, I had no idea what data it would really use and I accepted that I would need to put a 12Gb data block on it as a sensible way of managing costs on it.

But sorting out my stupid mobile is getting out of hand and I'm grumpy again!

Mr 2Degrees, you've got some really kewl billing features but it's all got way to complex now and out of control and the list of agitations  is just getting bonkers!

Earlier in the year I had to sort out a poor guy who got the wrong information from your shop staff because the plans are now so complex that they're failing to keep up with product knowledge.

Earlier in the month I tried to pay my "account" in the local shop and had to wait 30 minutes while they did what ever it was that they needed to do just to find out what I owed (which in the end she couldn't and I ended up just paying what I thought was owning, which transpired to only be 10% of what was being asked for.)

As some point last month two of us attempted to report a coverage issue at 121 and 123 Joy Street, Shirley, Christchurch.  OMG the hassle with doing that!  Seriously Mr 2Degrees, you can pull one over the shop staff who know nothing about how 3G radios work and one over my mate who only just knows how a phone works.... but you and I both know that the phone and cell site can both see what the signal strength is and all you actually need to review performance, is the offended mobile phone numbers!

But getting back to my spend....  I was paying $20 a month on prepay on my little LG P450.  It was getting a bit long in the tooth and time for a little upgrade so Samsung S4 here I am... but $450 bill, $172.66 dollar bill this time and the phone complaining that I have exceeded call spend!

I know why the call spend was put there... it was to stop more bill shock from the data (and given that I used my phone on Wifi 95% of the time, don't even get me started on that one).

I've spend what seems like way to much time talking to staff trying to make sure I'm on an ok plan as I questioned if my plan choice was to light (but really 'again', I doubled my spend!)

Guys you might have the worlds leading Oracle based billing system and it might have some of the coolest features in it (that could be dreamed up), but it's got out of hand and now it's just made me grumpy.

D

Ps:  Wifes bill is $199 this month to, and she was just trucking on with a $20 Vodafone top up. every 2 months, on her little 2G mobile... she also signed for a $40 plan (four times her previous spend per month). 

Question:  How is attempting to support the 'small guys' making me look?





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  Reply # 944586 3-Dec-2013 10:42 Send private message

Yes, the 12GB pack is only valid with 2degrees coverage. There is a 3GB national data pack as well as the 1GB one, if you want some sort of compromise between the two.

It does seem to be a fairly common problem that when someone gets a cool new phone they use a lot more data than they thought they were in the first month. Also note that until your first bill day you only have a pro-rated amount of stuff (including data) so in your first week you don't actually have (say) 1GB, you only have about 1/7th of that (we split the bill days so there was roughly a week between them).

We appreciate this is frustrating. That's why the Spend Control option is there. :-)




iPad Air + iPhone 5S + 2degrees 4tw!

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.

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  Reply # 944592 3-Dec-2013 10:45 One person supports this post Send private message

hesus freaking cripes! Something is terribly wrong with either your phone setup, the price you're paying for data, or both.

Personally I think if you're exceeding 12GB of data there is a serious problem.

I have a Telecom plan with 150 odd minutes some stupid amount of SMS and 500MB of data for the fairly reasonable price of $29/m. I truck along just fine on that, and the very few times I've come close to hitting the data limit, I've been warned.

I'm not saying you should move to Telecom, I'm just providing a comparison.



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  Reply # 944616 3-Dec-2013 11:12 Send private message

andrewNZ: hesus freaking cripes! Something is terribly wrong with either your phone setup, the price you're paying for data, or both.

Personally I think if you're exceeding 12GB of data there is a serious problem.

I have a Telecom plan with 150 odd minutes some stupid amount of SMS and 500MB of data for the fairly reasonable price of $29/m. I truck along just fine on that, and the very few times I've come close to hitting the data limit, I've been warned.

I'm not saying you should move to Telecom, I'm just providing a comparison.


Andrew I think the data only jumped to 3 GB, which they did counter with a couple of $20 dollar data packs, then we added the 12Gb plan.

Salty missed the point, each problem is getting fixed, but some of these problems just shouldn't exist.

I also have no idea what the call spend was set to, but when it stops my voice mail access from working then someone did something else wrong. 

With respect to Telecom.... my iPhone 5 is on a $20 prepaid sim (which they gave me free), has 1Gb (and hasn't complained at all), is used in exactly the same places (as I put the S4 in my left pocket and the 5 in my right pocket all the time), gives me unlimited national calling until Jan 2014 and unlimited calling to Telecom mobile phones (no idea how I'm meant to know who's on what carrier any more). 

In the middle of Shirley, the 4G also works just fine. 

I fully understand why the 2D 3G doesn't work well on the boarder of the network, out at the farm, but being told to set a 3G phone to 2G to make it work in the center of a major suburb just up the road from one for cities biggest malls, in an age where we're moving from 3G to 4G?!?!? 

Don't be mistaken, I get that Telecom may be buying customers back with value, and they must be wining back some business.

I don't mind paying a bit extra, but the value curve is now out of hand and I'm grumpy!

...but I'm mostly grumpy at just how much messing about that I have to do to just make stuff work for people!!!

D




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  Reply # 944647 3-Dec-2013 12:04 Send private message

Hey Don. I guess overuse of data is something many new smartphone users have experienced, you have my sympathy. That $450 is almost as much as I spend in a year with 2D and I use quite a bit of data.

If you spent that much then its likely it happened to many others too, so nice for 2D. Maybe they could figure out something with their fancy billing system that spots data spikes and auto-texts the user to warn them. Now that would be customer service. And keeps the phone service live while cutting off just the data :) A valid reason to have those extra complex account features.

Have you considered some app like 'Data counter widget' (free) that can sit on your home screen and will keep you fully informed on your usage?

Control of data use is one of the reasons I don't use the standard ROM on my S3. The one I use lets me have just the apps I want, none of the bloatware that wants to keep updating itself or using data. It also has a simple data counter app which tells me how much of my 1gb/month plan I have used at any time. Its easy to see when I get close to the limit and then I stick to wifi apart from 'emergencies'.



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  Reply # 944666 3-Dec-2013 12:32 Send private message

nickb99: Have you considered some app like 'Data counter widget' (free) that can sit on your home screen and will keep you fully informed on your usage?


Hey Nick,

Thanks for the thoughts... :)

A little more of the full story might help....  Actually we had EQC through the house the same week, it was manic!  This caused our wifi to be off line for about two weeks while things got sorted out as we also had some problems with the radio network in the buildings (still not quite sure why). 

I put the wife on an extra data plan right way as our son was away and she wanted to skype him.  So all credit to the networks these days as it's just amazing that you can skype off a mobile and 'it all just works'.

However, I also took the time to ring the 2D call center to have a chat.  Someone did get back to me about my phone and I did take some time to explain what I needed. 

I suggested that perhaps I was just not on a good plan.  Like you I accepted that moving to the new smart phone might have a bit of an impact...  not as much as it clearly did, but a bit all the same.

But it was suggested that I just add call control and a data pack.  I was also happy enough that they put some data packs on and reversed the $400.

The guy was helpful enough and I did actually email Salty later and express some thanks for the service I got (at least I think I did... I did mean to.)

My grump is that it just hasn't got better...  I'm still getting all these random things hitting me.

$6 for extra data to use the phone at the farm... ya ok, $6 is less than the cost of the petrol to get to the farm now, but it misses the point that if I'm a Telecom or Vodafone customer then I don't have that issue at all.  Let's remember that I'm already paying $40 a month for a Gig of data, a pile of minutes I don't use and texting.

2Degrees did represent more value, but the friendship is being stretched.

On the positive side, I do have to confess the Australian calling is useful, but at the expense of just using the phone.

Seriously....  if I can't access voice mail then it just becomes useless!

Call spend limiting should not impact my access to voice mail!


I also would have been happy enough if someone from 2Deg has just recommended a more expensive plan.  My usage has changed.  I don't consider it unreasonable that needing more use translates to more money, especially when that usage does translate to more income for me(!) 

I would have thought that doubling my spend would be reasonable.  I'm not sure that $100 a month would be reasonable, but currently I'm running at $200 which is 10 times my previous spend and I'm NOT getting anything like the value that my Telecom service gives me for $20 on prepay!!!

I might also point out that Telecom now provide FREE wifi just about every where I go via their 700 phone boxes.

D







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  Reply # 944671 3-Dec-2013 12:42 Send private message

>>reversed the $400

That is good to hear, well done 2D.

Its certainly getting complex these days with data and voice and multiple devices and wifi and whatnot. The comms plans remind me of the utility supplier tariffs in the UK which were endless and complex, which just encouraged users to stick with what they had and spend more unnecessarily - which suited the providers just fine. Ofgem eventually brought in regulation to restrict that.

I can see however that its a complex job for the providers to provide enough features and fine tuning to keep the power users happy while still giving the majority simple, easy to understand plans.



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  Reply # 944680 3-Dec-2013 12:50 Send private message

nickb99: Ofgem eventually brought in regulation to restrict that.


Yes I think you hit a nail on the head for me!

You're right about balance.

You might also be right if you were to point out that in the time I've spent posting about this issue here on GZ today I could have just emailed Salty and likely got someone to sort out a better solution.

But the point here is that I really shouldn't be needing to.  I doubled my spend and purchased a new phone.  That should have been enough to ensure a good result.

I wonder how many others get caught in this space and just 'pay the bill'?

The answer in Australia seems to be simple.  Unlimited minute plans with big blocks of data.

Do I need to be writing to my local MP and Amy and asking them to look into industry regulation to sort this stuff out?

Should I really be needing to spend hours on the phone with call center staff to figure out a reasonable monthly spend to not end up with large accounts?

D




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  Reply # 944715 3-Dec-2013 13:39 One person supports this post Send private message

I'm on the $19 prepay plus combo and I get 1GB (was 500MB) per month of national data. If you're paying the casual rate of 50c/MB then $450 only buys nearly a GB of data.

My S3 (and certainly your S4) has the ability to report and limit the amount of data used. Personally, I'd be looking into those options. For someone who professes to know a lot about how phones work, you sure seem to plead ignorance when it comes rest of your issue.

I don't believe any of this stuff is that hard? I'll be honest, most of your post was TL;DR but I gather you're perturbed about your bill shock, or did I misconstrue?

What did 2 degrees do wrong? Seems to me that you're doing it wrong. How much data did you use? Which apps used it?

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  Reply # 944728 3-Dec-2013 13:52 Send private message

 What did 2 degrees do wrong? Seems to me that you're doing it wrong. How much data did you use? Which apps used it?


I agree, if you buy something from a service provider (2D in this case) you need to understand how it works.  2degrees didn't make your phone use all the data for you so not sure what fault is there's in this case.



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  Reply # 944731 3-Dec-2013 13:54 Send private message

bazzer: ... I gather you're perturbed about your bill shock, or did I misconstrue?


Yes you're a bit misconstrued.

bazzer: What did 2 degrees do wrong?


* Allowed me to become grumpy.

* Made so many complex options it is now impossible for me to quickly and simply sort out a sensible plan option for anyone I know.  I've now failed 4 times!

bazzer: Seems to me that you're doing it wrong. How much data did you use?


No idea how much data I used.

bazzer: Which apps used it?


No idea.

You're also quite incorrect about my understanding of this technology.

I know a truck load about lots of technologies, this is not one of them. 

I have little idea about the S4 or the iPhone 5.  I need to know more for work.  That's why I purchased them both.

In the process of purchasing for myself and another, I discovered a whole pile of things which don't leave me very happy.  This has left me grumpy and now wishing I'd just stuck with the POTS.

D





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  Reply # 944736 3-Dec-2013 14:01 Send private message

bazzer: I'm on the $19 prepay plus combo and I get 1GB (was 500MB) per month of national data. If you're paying the casual rate of 50c/MB then $450 only buys nearly a GB of data.

My S3 (and certainly your S4) has the ability to report and limit the amount of data used. Personally, I'd be looking into those options. For someone who professes to know a lot about how phones work, you sure seem to plead ignorance when it comes rest of your issue.

I don't believe any of this stuff is that hard? I'll be honest, most of your post was TL;DR but I gather you're perturbed about your bill shock, or did I misconstrue?

What did 2 degrees do wrong? Seems to me that you're doing it wrong. How much data did you use? Which apps used it?


I understand the major complaint being the complexity of the systems involved, the lack of product knowledge by staff, and the unfriendly way in which parts of the system. 

While I agree that there is some responsibility with the customer, the telco still has some responsibility. Were are at the beginning of a new technology "age", many people just don't understand most of the finer points. You can't see a megabyte, and it's hard to see data being used. The only party who knows for certain how much data you've used is the telco.



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  Reply # 944744 3-Dec-2013 14:11 Send private message

andrewNZ: The only party who knows for certain how much data you've used is the telco.


http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/telecom-admits-broadband-ck-95540

I agree with the rest of what you said ;)

D

Edit:  make the link a link :)  sorry smart phone users :)





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  Reply # 944749 3-Dec-2013 14:21 Send private message

Hey Don,

 Your S4 has a handy data tracking feature. Hit Settings, then Data Usage. You can set a monthly cycle, warning, and limit on your data use, as well as see which apps have been using data. You can jump into each app from this view, and choose to disable background data for some of them. Hope that helps.

DonGould:

The answer in Australia seems to be simple.  Unlimited minute plans with big blocks of data.


Those are a thing here as well. So is Flexi Data. And free voicemail access. :)

Smartphones are basically pocket computers at this point, so it's the same issue as with fixed line broadband - there's a bit of an education gap when it comes to their functionality & maintenance. I personally think the responsibility of telcos to educate their users about those users' devices only goes so far, and another solution is needed. You do make a good point about bill shock around increased usage of products & services in that honeymoon period after getting a new device.

 - Nik




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  Reply # 944763 3-Dec-2013 14:51 Send private message

Hey hit Spend Control. Dial *100*5# to change or remove, you are responsible for your own usage.



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  Reply # 944767 3-Dec-2013 14:57 Send private message

Nik thanks for your input. I'll comment more on that later.

Mr2D I've flagged your response as an answer because that is quite useful. I don't agree with your responsibility statement, but I'll address that a bit later, but thanks for chiming in with the useful dial command.

D




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