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# 142627 18-Mar-2014 23:09
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My mother contacted me today after returning from holiday, to say that her pads 3G connection didn't work the entire holiday. She only uses the 3G connection for email when she is away from a wifi connection, so hardly uses any data. So she only needs to topup once or twice a year. The rest of the time she has 3G disabled, so it isn't even pinging the tower. She signed up to a mobile broadband plan which at the time was marketed for ipad users by telecom a couple of years ago. This was a plan where you just paid for the data you used,  which I believe teelcom stopped signing people up to some time ago. She has shown me the ipad, and all the APN settings are correct, so that wasn't the reason for the problem. I finally manged to find a link to login to check the credit, and it appears she has been switched to another plan without Telecom letting  her know. It appears she has now been put on a plan called a $15 per month data plan, and it has basically gobbled up her credit over the last few months, as she has probably only used about 5MB of data in that time. I don't think this on, and that there has been no communication from telecom to my mother about this change. Has anyone else come across this problem?
What are the choices if she doesn't want to spend $15 per month for something she only uses perhaps 1 or two days a month solely for email I thought that on normal prepay, data was still pay as you use it. I know with Vodafone they have it where you $1 for 10MB for a day, which is possibly what I will have to move her to. Although I would have thought telecom would have a similar current plan, rather than switching her to a monthly plan she didn't agree to. For some reason my mother has been automatically switched onto this other plan without any options of alternative plans which I don't think is good form from telecom, and she has had all her credit gobbled.

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  # 1008594 18-Mar-2014 23:48

Casual rate data on Telecom prepay is actually (still?) $1/10MB then 30c/MB resetting each day it is used. Vodafone used to offer $1/10MB then $1/MB but they have now changed their prepay offering to a flat 50c/MB charge.

 

In regards to the 3G connection working at all, have you tried going to m.telecom.co.nz (in Safari or another browser)? That should work if 3G is connected up all good, even without any $ or MB.

I would try logging into your Telecom account and seeing when and how the $15 add-on was put there. Could well be that she ran out and was re-directed to a page prompting her to purchase more (just guessing). Failing that, you should be able to check data sessions to see when and how much data is actually being used. If you're on iOS 7 then you can try going to Settings > Mobile/Cellular data and scrolling down to see the per-app usage since the last reset.

It would be very surprising if Telecom has actually (sneakily) gone and added a recurring add-on without any user interaction, far far more likely that your mum just forgot she added it or unknowingly added it without realizing the implications.

If still stuck, call Telecom and get them to check the connections history and see when and how the add-on was added (assuming they have that visibility). But yeah, I wouldn't go just assuming that Telecom is in the wrong when you don't have the facts fully ironed out yet. They may be generous and understanding and offer you a goodwill credit even if it turns out to be user error.



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  # 1008602 18-Mar-2014 23:56
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kieran21: 

If still stuck, call Telecom and get them to check the connections history and see when and how the add-on was added (assuming they have that visibility). But yeah, I wouldn't go just assuming that Telecom is in the wrong when you don't have the facts fully ironed out yet. They may be generous and understanding and offer you a goodwill credit even if it turns out to be user error.


Cheers for your reply. That is all what I thought too. I am the only one who manages her telecom connection, so I definitely haven't altered any settings nor changed the plan. When she wants it topping up, she tells me to do it, and she doesn't track her usage.  She wouldn't have a clue how to change anything or what URL to go to to login.  The logs only appear to show  the last 12 most recent activities, so only shows March usage which looks to be a few MB of usage, and doesn't show when anything was changed. I am going to have to investigate this in more depth as to what is going on. On the mobile app,  I am sure it showed it was on the $15 mobile data plann, but after logging into the ytmobile link, I couldn't see any mention of this, and it seems to have disappeared from the app too. I am however positive it previously ssaid it was on the $15 data plan, maybe it deleted itself now that the credit has been used up?
It is possible that each day she has connected, she has been charged $1, even if hardly using any data and that has quickly depleted her credit, but I don't think so. Previously on the plan, she would have only been getting billed 10 cents per MB, but telecom appeared to have moved her off that plan without notification, onto this new more expensive casual plan, which will very quickly go through the credit.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1008607 19-Mar-2014 00:23
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mattwnz: 
Cheers for your reply. That is all what I thought too. I am the only one who manages her telecom connection, so I definitely haven't altered any settings nor changed the plan. When she wants it topping up, she tells me to do it, and she doesn't track her usage.  She wouldn't have a clue how to change anything or what URL to go to to login.  The logs only appear to show  the last 12 most recent activities, so only shows March usage which looks to be a few MB of usage, and doesn't show when anything was changed. I am going to have to investigate this in more depth as to what is going on. Got to love ISPs changing their plans.


http://telecom.co.nz/ytmobile is the best page to go to on the iPad over 3G - it even works with no credit allowing you to topup via credit card etc. The $15 pack has 2 options, one that renews each month and the other that doesn't so it is likely it was actually renewing. This does show on the ytmobile page for future reference allowing you to stop it from renewing each month.

most people with iPads have a monthly subscription as the iPad has the ability to use a tonne of data via Casual so there is logic with Telecom loading this on. Using the ytmobile page you're able to add your own extras etc or just download the Telecom NZ app and show your mother how to use it.






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  # 1008610 19-Mar-2014 00:41
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michaelmurfy:
mattwnz: 
Cheers for your reply. That is all what I thought too. I am the only one who manages her telecom connection, so I definitely haven't altered any settings nor changed the plan. When she wants it topping up, she tells me to do it, and she doesn't track her usage.  She wouldn't have a clue how to change anything or what URL to go to to login.  The logs only appear to show  the last 12 most recent activities, so only shows March usage which looks to be a few MB of usage, and doesn't show when anything was changed. I am going to have to investigate this in more depth as to what is going on. Got to love ISPs changing their plans.


http://telecom.co.nz/ytmobile is the best page to go to on the iPad over 3G - it even works with no credit allowing you to topup via credit card etc. The $15 pack has 2 options, one that renews each month and the other that doesn't so it is likely it was actually renewing. This does show on the ytmobile page for future reference allowing you to stop it from renewing each month.

most people with iPads have a monthly subscription as the iPad has the ability to use a tonne of data via Casual so there is logic with Telecom loading this on. Using the ytmobile page you're able to add your own extras etc or just download the Telecom NZ app and show your mother how to use it.


Thanks , is there a way to go back further in the logs, to see when/if that was added by telecom. The logs only go back about 14 days.



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  # 1008614 19-Mar-2014 01:08
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Well phoned them up and after a lot of work with the offshore call centre, eventually got to the bottom of what happened. 

I was shocked to discover that Telecom DID actually subscribe my mother to their $15 data plan, and deducted their existing credit without their authorisation. 
Telecom told me that what they did, was on the 13th Jan, they gave all customers on this plan, a free 500MB addon worth $15 which would last until the 13th Feb. Telecom set this up to automatically renew and deduct credit from the customers account for the next month! So it was a 'free gift' with a sting!  It was done without any communication from telecom to my mother.

So on the 13th Feb it autorenewed, and telecom deducted $15 from the account, for a plan I never subscribed to, or even knew that telecom had subscribed my mother to.
This was done without authorization from the customer, and call centre staff agreed that it was without their authorization. So as a result, they say they have reversed the last $15 charged for the last month. Although it has yet to appear in their account, they said it should only take 10 minutes. Hope I don't have to ring them again and go through it all again to get it back.

They did also say that they sent announcements prior to the plan they signed it up for without authosirsaion, renewing. I presume these were via txt message, but ipads don't receive txt messages. So my mother has had zero communications from telecom about any of this stuff going on with her account, and that they have also increased the casual per MB rate from 10 cents up to what appears to be 30cents? Shouldn't these prices be going down not up?

I just can't work out why telecom can't either email these announcements,  or send it via the mobile app. Not all devices have TXT messaging these days, in fact I never use txt myself these days.

But not happy at all that Telecom did this change without authosrisation, and my mother was without the use of her ipad during her holiday as a direct result of Telecom doing this. I would suggest people check their plans and  that they are not getting add ons added without their knowledge.
Looks like my mother also missed out on the use of that free $15 credit for 500MB data they gave to all their customers.

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  # 1008877 19-Mar-2014 11:49
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If you setup the Alternate Mobile Number in your usage alerts / notification: https://pwm.telecom.co.nz/selfserv/alert/online

Then that number gets a SMS alert when you go over your credit or any other notifications (with the exception of being able to recieve the password used to login to Mobile Self Service)

That's under Manage Services -> Alert Notification. I assume that hadn't been setup?



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  # 1008919 19-Mar-2014 12:32
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plambrechtsen: If you setup the Alternate Mobile Number in your usage alerts / notification: https://pwm.telecom.co.nz/selfserv/alert/online

Then that number gets a SMS alert when you go over your credit or any other notifications (with the exception of being able to recieve the password used to login to Mobile Self Service)

That's under Manage Services -> Alert Notification. I assume that hadn't been setup?


That still doesn't explain why telecom decided to add a recurring 15 dollar data add on, which gobbled up my mothers credit on her account, without any authorisation. That just isn't right. Nor had any communications about any changes. Surely you guys should he sending out letters, or at least emails with plan changes like that,   My mother doesn't have a cell phone, just an ipad, so she doesn't want another device just to get txt messages for an add on service  that should never have been added by telecom  in the first place.

Just checked and the credit hasn't been added back. Have to make anther call to the call centre to chase it up. Not good at all. 

 
 
 
 




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  # 1008962 19-Mar-2014 13:34
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I am on the phone with a telecom manager, and they are perplexed at what has happened, and initially conflicted what I was initially told yesterday, and currently on hold. A lot of bumbling , but eventually the stories nearly matched. They are not sure why the complimentary plan was autorenewed, but it is possibily a widespread problem. Very frustrating, especially as the logs on in ytmobile only go back 12 entries, so I cant check the logs that they are seeing. I am sure companies can't add and charge you for services that you didn't agree to. 
Also no explaination as to why the credit taken, wasn't readded yesterday as promised, so still without access.

 

Edit: They say they have now added back credit, but they can't explain why it was autorenewing. Just can't get a straight answer, they just said they don't know. Surely someone at the top made the decision to setup this 'free' credit to autorenew and then use up customers credit.

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  # 1008972 19-Mar-2014 13:52
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mattwnz: I am on the phone with a telecom manager, and they are perplexed at what has happened, and initially conflicted what I was initially told yesterday, and currently on hold. A lot of bumbling , but eventually the stories nearly matched. They are not sure why the complimentary plan was autorenewed, but it is possibily a widespread problem. Very frustrating, especially as the logs on in ytmobile only go back 12 entries, so I cant check the logs that they are seeing. I am sure companies can't add and charge you for services that you didn't agree to. 
Also no explaination as to why the credit taken, wasn't readded yesterday as promised, so still without access.
Edit: They say they have now added back credit, but they can't explain why it was autorenewing. Just can't get a straight answer, they just said they don't know. Surely someone at the top made the decision to setup this 'free' credit to autorenew and then use up customers credit.


My personal view is: Mistakes happen, you have been credited the money back, remove the auto-renew plan from your account and move on.

The self service app now means you have much more control over prepaid services both topup and adding / removing of those services either via the Online Self Service or via the app you download from iTunes/Google Play. So really it comes down to ownership of your own account and managing your own credit and end-customer training (that doesn't seem to have been done sufficiently well in store).

If it was a major problem there would be hundreds of thousands / millions of people who are on prepaid unhappy with the fact they are loosing credit without their knowledge but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I think it's the right move to enable customers to manage their own account via online services, so now people just need to start using those services more effectively.



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  # 1009000 19-Mar-2014 14:17
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plambrechtsen:
mattwnz: I am on the phone with a telecom manager, and they are perplexed at what has happened, and initially conflicted what I was initially told yesterday, and currently on hold. A lot of bumbling , but eventually the stories nearly matched. They are not sure why the complimentary plan was autorenewed, but it is possibily a widespread problem. Very frustrating, especially as the logs on in ytmobile only go back 12 entries, so I cant check the logs that they are seeing. I am sure companies can't add and charge you for services that you didn't agree to. 
Also no explaination as to why the credit taken, wasn't readded yesterday as promised, so still without access.
Edit: They say they have now added back credit, but they can't explain why it was autorenewing. Just can't get a straight answer, they just said they don't know. Surely someone at the top made the decision to setup this 'free' credit to autorenew and then use up customers credit.


My personal view is: Mistakes happen, you have been credited the money back, remove the auto-renew plan from your account and move on.

The self service app now means you have much more control over prepaid services both topup and adding / removing of those services either via the Online Self Service or via the app you download from iTunes/Google Play. So really it comes down to ownership of your own account and managing your own credit and end-customer training (that doesn't seem to have been done sufficiently well in store).

If it was a major problem there would be hundreds of thousands / millions of people who are on prepaid unhappy with the fact they are loosing credit without their knowledge but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I think it's the right move to enable customers to manage their own account via online services, so now people just need to start using those services more effectively.


Mistake by who at telecom though? My mother has had this prepay account for nearly 3 years, well before telecom had any apps, and this is the first time I have had this type of problem, getting signed up to a plan and using up credit without authorisation.

Even the manager I spoke to was confused, and they can see all the logs. The problem is the self service system only displays limited logs. Certainly I didn't add the data plan, and the Manager admited that telecom added it, although he kept bumbling with the dates.  The Manager has basically said that it was a problem at the telecom end, but they can't explain why the free addon they gave some customers on old plans, was setup to be renewed, rather than applied as a one off.  I suspect there are more people who are affected by this, but it was an old plan, this supopsed free 500MB data plan was only given to a few people. So there may not be many that were signed up to the dataplan, and affected by it, and maybe people have more credit on their account so haven't been cut off yet. Or maybe they haven't twigged that that has happned, as once the credit is used, there is no evidence that the data plan was even subscribed to , as it reverts back to a casual plan, with no logs showing the dataplan. This is also what confused the telecom manager. Maybe it's a technical problem. If it is a genuine mistake, as a business owner, I expect problems to be investigated to find why they occurred, rather than to say, ' Hey mistakes happen....', without looking into the problem. I am still none the wiser as to whether it was a mistake or intentional, and the cusomter shouldn't have to go into remove something that shouldn't have been added in the first place.


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  # 1009004 19-Mar-2014 14:23
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mattwnz: Mistake by who at telecom though? My mother has had this prepay account for nearly 3 years, well before telecom had any apps, and this is the first time I have had this type of problem, getting signed up to a plan and using up credit without authorisation.

Even the manager I spoke to was confused, and they can see all the logs. The problem is the self service system only displays limited logs. Certainly I didn't add the data plan, and the Manager admited that telecom added it, although he kept bumbling with the dates.  The Manager has basically said that it was a problem at the telecom end, but they can't explain why the free addon they gave some customers on old plans, was setup to be renewed, rather than applied as a one off.  I suspect there are more people who are affected by this, but it was an old plan, this supopsed free 500MB data plan was only given to a few people. So there may not be many that were signed up to the dataplan, and affected by it, and maybe people have more credit on their account so haven't been cut off yet. Or maybe they haven't twigged that that has happned, as once the credit is used, there is no evidence that the data plan was even subscribed to , as it reverts back to a casual plan, with no logs showing the dataplan. This is also what cionfused the telecom manager. Maybe it's a technical problem. If it is a genuine mistake, as a business owner, I expect problems to be investigated to find why they occurred, rather than to say, ' Hey mistakes happen....', without looking into the problem. I am still none the wiser as to whether it was a mistake or intentional.


I agree with you here, and if you email me "pl at telecom.co.nz" with your mothers mobile number and I can get someone to investigate further.

In regards to finding the root cause, it really comes down to "how many" people were impacted, if it was less than say 100 it's probably easier to credit and to fix them one off rather than spending 2 months to fully investigate every system end-to-end to find out the root cause. Finding out the root cause can take hours or days or weeks, so it then comes down to a call about which will cost less. And then I refer back to my previous statement of if everyone was affected by this there would be far more posts on geekzone/facebook/... about it. However there isn't as your post is the first I have seen (and I have been doing this a while) hence why I am of the view of "mistakes happen, it's fixed, move on"

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  # 1009009 19-Mar-2014 14:33
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But surely isn't the root problem that the plan was moved from one of the old plans (where credit didn't expire every month like it does now) to one that renews every month (along with the associated loss of any remaining data) irrespective of if any data had been used?  I had one of those old plans and there where fantastic for casual use.  The SIM cards with the plan on used to sell on Trademe all the time.  And from the OP's comments are perfect for his mothers situation.

Have Telecom released a new casual (data) plan that doesn't renew every month?  Or are we still stuck with monthly top-ups and add-on's?

As a side note - I used to work at Telecom and as far as I know there is only one system involved in Prepay subs, so it shouldn't be too hard to track down the root cause for the changes.

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  # 1009118 19-Mar-2014 16:49
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Happened to me too. Was moved from original T-stick non-expiring old plan to new $15 data monthly recurring without notice or consultation. Phoned Tcom and they deleted that new plan from my number and refunded the $15. Apparently some confusion within tcom between mobile phones and mobile data sims as they had given me 30 minutes free calling, from a modem! Checked balance and plan info for t-stick and its back to the original deal = top-up once a year ($20) get 500mb data per month. Really useful in powercuts and when travelling around nz.



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  # 1009217 19-Mar-2014 18:27
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nodrub: Happened to me too. Was moved from original T-stick non-expiring old plan to new $15 data monthly recurring without notice or consultation. Phoned Tcom and they deleted that new plan from my number and refunded the $15. Apparently some confusion within tcom between mobile phones and mobile data sims as they had given me 30 minutes free calling, from a modem! Checked balance and plan info for t-stick and its back to the original deal = top-up once a year ($20) get 500mb data per month. Really useful in powercuts and when travelling around nz.

 

That sounds like the exactly the same problem, and the same old plan, which would indicate that it is a more wide spread problem with users of that old data  plan. I am just trying to find out whether  signing up customers to this new $15 per month recurring data plan was intentional or not, or a genuine error with their system. It is odd that the manager I spoke to today wasn't aware of anyone else who had had the same problem.  Although it appears they have fixed the problem I had, I wasn't switched back to that 500MB plan where you only get billed 10 cents per MB, and only have to top up once a year. It appears that it has instead been moved to a new plan with more expensive data rates. But I think it still only needs topping up once a year. Are you sure that they put you back on that annual 500MB plan? Unfortunately I have waste several hours of time trying to sort it out, and missed out on the 500MB of 'free' data that they supposedly gave to all customers on this plan.



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  # 1009221 19-Mar-2014 18:32
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plambrechtsen:
mattwnz: Mistake by who at telecom though? My mother has had this prepay account for nearly 3 years, well before telecom had any apps, and this is the first time I have had this type of problem, getting signed up to a plan and using up credit without authorisation.

Even the manager I spoke to was confused, and they can see all the logs. The problem is the self service system only displays limited logs. Certainly I didn't add the data plan, and the Manager admited that telecom added it, although he kept bumbling with the dates.  The Manager has basically said that it was a problem at the telecom end, but they can't explain why the free addon they gave some customers on old plans, was setup to be renewed, rather than applied as a one off.  I suspect there are more people who are affected by this, but it was an old plan, this supopsed free 500MB data plan was only given to a few people. So there may not be many that were signed up to the dataplan, and affected by it, and maybe people have more credit on their account so haven't been cut off yet. Or maybe they haven't twigged that that has happned, as once the credit is used, there is no evidence that the data plan was even subscribed to , as it reverts back to a casual plan, with no logs showing the dataplan. This is also what cionfused the telecom manager. Maybe it's a technical problem. If it is a genuine mistake, as a business owner, I expect problems to be investigated to find why they occurred, rather than to say, ' Hey mistakes happen....', without looking into the problem. I am still none the wiser as to whether it was a mistake or intentional.


I agree with you here, and if you email me "pl at telecom.co.nz" with your mothers mobile number and I can get someone to investigate further.

In regards to finding the root cause, it really comes down to "how many" people were impacted, if it was less than say 100 it's probably easier to credit and to fix them one off rather than spending 2 months to fully investigate every system end-to-end to find out the root cause. Finding out the root cause can take hours or days or weeks, so it then comes down to a call about which will cost less. And then I refer back to my previous statement of if everyone was affected by this there would be far more posts on geekzone/facebook/... about it. However there isn't as your post is the first I have seen (and I have been doing this a while) hence why I am of the view of "mistakes happen, it's fixed, move on"


I do agree, although as per above, someone else on the same  plan has had the identical problem. So it is likely to be a problem only affecting us who have been on this old plan. Possibly it is something that either people haven't noticed (yet) or haven't bothered with, and have just removed the plan and taken the loss. It took quite a while to actually work out exactly what had happened, as once the credit goes to zero, there is no evidence in the logs to show that the credit had been eatten by the data plan. Even Telecom staff were confused, as they couldn't see the data plan until they looked back into their historical logs. I will email you the mobile number, as something has gone wrong, and it resulted in my mother was unable to email people while on holiday.

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