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295 posts

Ultimate Geek


#90337 20-Sep-2011 06:36
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Have been puzzled as to how on earth Telecom do the billing for a prepaid phone and the extras which you can add.

Our Daughter has a Prepaid with the TXT ANYONE extra of $12/mth, for which the conditions of are rather light on detail:
http://www.telecom.co.nz/help/content/0,8751,206533-204568,00.html

We have had a couple of occasions where her credit has run out mid way through a billing "month" and until now we've topped her up (eg $20) and carried on.  Recently however she started topping up with just $12 as it always seemed that she was paying more than what she "could/should".

Final straw was yesterday when, after 2 weeks, her balance was $0.10 but had used 58 TXT's with 1442 TXT's remaining.  She was unable to send any TXT's because of insufficient balance.  So her TXTs had been costing her 20c and had also been part of her allocation.

Topped her up another $12 and got her to send some TXT's to me, and sure enough each TXT was costing her 20c, but at the same time her 2500 credit was reducing.

After talking to Telecom appears this is the deal.

* You have to send 60 TXT's to a Telecom mobile BEFORE your TXT2500 gets activated.
* Once you sent those 60 TXT's ($12.00) you can TXT ANY mobile as part of your 2500.

In our daughters case she had sent 60 TXT's (after all ... how on earth is she supposed to know who is on what Network with number portability these days!!) and had run out of credit and was unable to access her 2500 TXT's.

So for this month Telecom have charged us $24 for us to get access to the 2500 TXT's, and Im not impressed.  Going back over the months when we first got the phone for her and I was just adding $20 periodically (as you could only topup a minimum of $20 online), I can now see we have paid significantly more than what is advertised on the Telecom website ... and now Im slacked off!!

Telecom specifically state:
"20c per text charge applies once you've used up your included text allowance per month"
and 
"
  • National person to person texting only
  • Text anyone on any NZ network
  • Excludes texts sent while roaming
  • This Text Extra is not available with any other Text Extra
  • Texts sent above 2500 limit per month will be charged at 20c per text
  • Only available on XT
  • Excludes Gen-I
  • Telecom terms and conditions apply"
and in the online portal
Monthly fee$12.00
Included national person to person texts 2500
National person to person texts (2500+) $0.20
International person to person texts $0.30
By the way, just so you know...All rates are inclusive of GST. For more information visit telecom.co.nz 
Customers cannot be on more than one TXT plan at once. 
Customers can only make one change to their TXT plan per month. 
For Telecom Postpaid mobile customers, TXT plan entitlements refresh at 4 pm on the last day of their billing period which can be found on their Telecom Bill.

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  #523339 20-Sep-2011 06:59

Thats very sneaky. Or a bad oversight.

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  #523348 20-Sep-2011 07:36
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That is really dodgy and must be breaking the Fair Trading Act, surely!

 
 
 
 


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  #523353 20-Sep-2011 07:58
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Something isn't adding up here.

When does your plan renew? Once you have sent 60 texts to any network (excludes short codes, International SMS etc) Telecom will cease charging you until your plan renews.

Alteratively Telecom extras are now billed up front, so in your renewal date your prepaid account will be debited $12. You can buy one off packs or recurring ones but you must maintain a sufficient balance for next renewal to be successful.

You can topup any amount from $10 up via T World on your device, m.telecom.Co.nz/tworld

nzbnw










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Ultimate Geek


  #523356 20-Sep-2011 08:15
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nzbnw: Something isn't adding up here.

When does your plan renew? Once you have sent 60 texts to any network (excludes short codes, International SMS etc) Telecom will cease charging you until your plan renews.

Alteratively Telecom extras are now billed up front, so in your renewal date your prepaid account will be debited $12. You can buy one off packs or recurring ones but you must maintain a sufficient balance for next renewal to be successful.

You can topup any amount from $10 up via T World on your device, m.telecom.Co.nz/tworld

nzbnw


Ca'tn remember now exactly what date he said is the anniversary, and it doesnt show online, but our last topup from a zero balance (or a balance not allowing any more TXT's to be sent) was approx 2 weeks ago.

So literally we did this
* Topped up $12 around the 6th (cant remember exact date)
* over the weekend (just gone) Prepaid account had a balance of 10c (as seen online).
* Online balance showed 58 (or it may have been 59) TXT used and the balance of 2500 remaining 

but ... she was unable to send any TXTs whatsoever.

So topped her up again to $12.00 by adding $11.90.

Whilst on the phone with Telecom he literally said on more than one occasion that she needed to send 60 TXT's to Telecom mobiles BEFORE her 2500 TXT allowance would kick in.

I went to great pains to give him 2 scenarios to confirm my understanding.

I asked him that if she sent 60 TXT's to Vodafone numbers and used up her $12 balance then in theory she would be unable to access any of her 2500 TXT's.  He confirmed this twice as being the case.

I then asked if the best thing for her do, to gaurantee her used of the 2500 TXT's, is to send me (on Telecom) 60 TXT's at the start of her billing cycle ... so that she can gaurantee her 2500's TXTs will be available.  He again confirmed this would be the best approach.

Whilst on the phone to him yesterday I got her to send me 2 TXT's (after doing the second topup) and her online balance went to $11.60 and showed 60 TXT's used of her 2500.  He then stated that she would now have access to her 2500 TXT's.

This morning her balance is still $11.60, and shows 70 TXT's used.

So we paid $12 two weeks ago for 2500 TXTs, of which she had "used" 59.  The remainin balance was unavailable.  We paid another $11.90 yesterday ... so she could send two TXT's and get into the 2500 TXT allowance.  So basically close to $24 to get access to the 2500 TXT package.

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  #523358 20-Sep-2011 08:26
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Here's how it works:

Texts are charged at 20c each until you've spent $12 (i.e. 60 texts). The remaining 2440 texts are then free.

If you send, say, 70 texts then it'll cost $12. 100 texts will cost $12 and 2000 texts will cost $12. However, if you only end up sending 10 texts then it'll only cost you $2 rather than the whole $12.

Personally I think it's good this way because it doesn't cost you the full monthly fee if you only end up sending a few texts, but the price cap is still there when you exceed 60.



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  #523361 20-Sep-2011 08:30
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Behodar: Here's how it works:

Texts are charged at 20c each until you've spent $12 (i.e. 60 texts). The remaining 2440 texts are then free.

If you send, say, 70 texts then it'll cost $12. 100 texts will cost $12 and 2000 texts will cost $12. However, if you only end up sending 10 texts then it'll only cost you $2 rather than the whole $12.

Personally I think it's good this way because it doesn't cost you the full monthly fee if you only end up sending a few texts, but the price cap is still there when you exceed 60.


No ... not quite.

According to Telecom ... those remaining 2440 TXT's are ONLY available IF those first 60 texts were to Telecom mobiles.  

If you only have a balance of $12 and your 60 TXT's use up that $12, and some of the TXTs were to Vodafone/2deg mobiles ... then your remaining 2440 TXTs are unavailable.

This was CONFIRMED by the Telecom guy and was also the pattern we observed after 2 weeks of using up the $12. 

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  #523370 20-Sep-2011 08:42
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I often text Vodafone users and have not run into that.

 
 
 
 


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  #523371 20-Sep-2011 08:43
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I have a couple of friends with kids on this and they have not complained about that happening, and believe me they are the type to complain about anything.

Sure that some of the texts were not going to shortcodes or something?




Richard rich.ms



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Ultimate Geek


  #523379 20-Sep-2011 08:48
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To be honest, I never noticed as I used to just chuck $20 on, every month and forgot about it. It wasnt until we "got tough" :) and shared the mobile cost ... and she decided to put just $12 on ... that it came to the fore.

I can only comment on what the Telecom guy literally told me, which I confirmed with some scenarios, and then he confirmed with our then situation of having ~2442 TXTs available, a 10c balance and not being able to send any TXT's ... because she hadn't sent to only Telecom mobiles at the start ... to get her "60 TXTs sent to **activate** her bundle".

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  #523385 20-Sep-2011 08:55
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thekiwi:
To be honest, I never noticed as I used to just chuck $20 on, every month and forgot about it. It wasnt until we "got tough" :) and shared the mobile cost ... and she decided to put just $12 on ... that it came to the fore.

I can only comment on what the Telecom guy literally told me, which I confirmed with some scenarios, and then he confirmed with our then situation of having ~2442 TXTs available, a 10c balance and not being able to send any TXT's ... because she hadn't sent to only Telecom mobiles at the start ... to get her "60 TXTs sent to **activate** her bundle".


If you started with $12, at 20c a text that would be the 60 requred texts. There has to have been something else charge that was not a SMS to have you at 10c left - like a 30c/50c text or something.

I think the telecom guy is just wrong, as probably 75% or more of SMSs that the friends kids do would be off network as most kids are with vodafone or 2degrees because of the lousy XT phone offerings




Richard rich.ms

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Ultimate Geek


  #523387 20-Sep-2011 09:02
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 I have always been under the impression  that you need to maintain a minimum Balance in order to use the phone equal to the minimum charge of service you are using. In the case above assuming charging is done on the basis of 20c for the first 60 texts then  remaining texts free would be $12.20. If you were to send sixty texts the Balance would reduce to zero and the system would say there is not enough credit to send the text despite the fact it is zero rated.

Somebody will correct me if I am wrong

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  #523388 20-Sep-2011 09:06
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thekiwi:
To be honest, I never noticed as I used to just chuck $20 on, every month and forgot about it. It wasnt until we "got tough" :) and shared the mobile cost ... and she decided to put just $12 on ... that it came to the fore.

I can only comment on what the Telecom guy literally told me, which I confirmed with some scenarios, and then he confirmed with our then situation of having ~2442 TXTs available, a 10c balance and not being able to send any TXT's ... because she hadn't sent to only Telecom mobiles at the start ... to get her "60 TXTs sent to **activate** her bundle".


I don't believe the telecom guy is correct in this case, a text to any network would be charged at 20 cents a text, and while I was on this plan with telecom I was texting any network up to the 60 texts I needed to reach $12 then they all became "free".

Are you sure she hasn't written a text that is too long? On some phones when you write a really long text it decides to send it as a MMS instead of a text, which would explain a charge not allowing her to reach the 60 required texts. The other situation could be that she went online accidentally on her phone resulting in a small charge for usage.

If you call telecom again, they can look back at her usage and tell you exactly where the charges came from, explain the situation to them and see what they come back with. It'd be less likely to be a telecom issue with charging the $12 text pack otherwise we would've heard a whole lot more people complaining about it by now.

Cheers 



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  #523391 20-Sep-2011 09:15
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Sounds logical.

So to get this right in my mind.

* You go online, click the "purchase TEXT 2500 extra" package and get dinged $12. All good
BUT.
* Your account credit that you get is a "generic" credit and not specifically available for TXT messaging.

So instead of adding $12 to your balance, and then debiting it #12 for he "package" and sending you back to zero balance (eg in theory), its possible to use that $12 credit for Data usage, Phone calls, MMS and compromise the actual package you purchased, instead of "denying" you access to these other services. eg all she might do is check a voicemail message and all of a sudden not able to use the actual package purchased.

So in some sense the Telecom guy was correct. The best way to manage the Extra TXT Package is, at the start of the billing cycle, smack out 60 TXTs ASAP, activate the TXT bundle, have a zero balance (or as near as possible) which stops any extra usage (Data, calls MMS).



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  #523392 20-Sep-2011 09:16
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richms:
thekiwi:
To be honest, I never noticed as I used to just chuck $20 on, every month and forgot about it. It wasnt until we "got tough" :) and shared the mobile cost ... and she decided to put just $12 on ... that it came to the fore.

I can only comment on what the Telecom guy literally told me, which I confirmed with some scenarios, and then he confirmed with our then situation of having ~2442 TXTs available, a 10c balance and not being able to send any TXT's ... because she hadn't sent to only Telecom mobiles at the start ... to get her "60 TXTs sent to **activate** her bundle".


If you started with $12, at 20c a text that would be the 60 requred texts. There has to have been something else charge that was not a SMS to have you at 10c left - like a 30c/50c text or something.

I think the telecom guy is just wrong, as probably 75% or more of SMSs that the friends kids do would be off network as most kids are with vodafone or 2degrees because of the lousy XT phone offerings


From memory, her top up 2 weeks ago wasnt from a Zero Balance (as she had used inadvertantly Facebook  via the non free address) and so when we added $12.00, it was above $12. 

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  #523393 20-Sep-2011 09:23
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thekiwi:
Sounds logical.

So to get this right in my mind.

* You go online, click the "purchase TEXT 2500 extra" package and get dinged $12. All good

I think you're mixing up the two different 2500 text packages.

The one that you seem to be on is how I described above; 20c per text until you hit the $12 cap.

The other one, currently promoted on Telecom's site, takes the $12 up front and gives you 2500 "free" texts in return.

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