I'm a new customer to Spark. I've been with them a week and I am regretting choosing them on a number of fronts.
Anyhow, I was driving yesterday and noticed that my phone started getting slammed with text messages. I pulled over and saw a screed of messages from Spark:
- You're at 80% usage
- You're at 100% usage
- You're on casual data
Oh bother I thought, my entire data cap is gone. Some background task on my iPhone must have absorbed it. I started to look into the casual data rates and work out what I was in for:
- 168MB used
- It's 59c a MB - Which seems like $600/GB?
I figured I was surely looking at the wrong page because 59c is insane. Nope.
Then I dug further:
- Spark has the ability to set a cap on casual data.
- They set the cap at $100 by default.
- My SIM had only been active for <12 hours, I hadn't found my way into their mobile app yet.
The rates are outright extortionate and in my view the way it's all configured by default, you're destined to exceed your data cap at least once and be in for a $100 lesson.
Some thoughts for you all:
- Playing devils advocate is there any reasonable scenario under which Spark could incur a 59c/MB cost?
- In a world with 5G, has anyone considered that the 80%->100% of a 3GB datacap can happen in seconds?
- What recourse do I have here? On one hand I'm concerned about the $100 I have to pay, on the other I'm disgusted by this seemingly predatory practice that the likes of my grandparents would so easily fall for and be guilted into paying. Sounds an awful lot like the commerce commission should be looking at this.
Via Spark support they're suggesting that I could have "bought some more data" or "switched to a more expensive plan". Under what world would I have made the conscious decision to use 168MB at 59c/MB?