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Topic # 94904 21-Dec-2011 13:46
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Long time reader, first time poster...

I have recently made the switch from a terrible android phone on Vodafone to a new iPhone plane on Telecom. I knew i wanted that phone, but was tossing up between the plans and subsidy levels, and eventually decided to go with the $80 plan, offering 300 txts, 200 minutes and 2GB of data according to the sales assistant. I thought that was a good plan, with the data being the main concern for me with a smartphone (and not being sure how the consumption would go over the next two years that I was in a contract). I signed all of the paperwork, which covered all of the plan details I outlined above, but when I received my first letter from Telecom and first bill the data allowance had been reduced to 1 GB.
I called the XT help line and they never got back to me, after saying they would have to look at the paperwork before they could say any more.
I called back again a few days later and the next assistant said that I would have to talk to the retail outlet, that they could not deal with that kind of issue.
I called the store, and they said that a mistake had been made, that the plan was only for 1 GB and there was nothing that they could do to change the plan, but if I let them know what I wanted to do they would try and help me.

I understand that mistakes are made all the time, but one of the reasons for going to that tier of plan was to get the additional data (and also for the phone subsidy). Is this a case of a mistake that means I just miss out? I don't know what other options are available - though the store assistant offered to help he didn't offer any potential solutions.

Other than this I like the phone and the network!

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  Reply # 560260 21-Dec-2011 13:48
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I would work out the cost of the extra data, and ask them for a 1 off concession on your account to cover it, though 1GB is plenty for 95% of people I would imagine.

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  Reply # 560272 21-Dec-2011 14:10
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It's really only a bait and switch if it was intentional. In this case it was human error. As networkn suggested, try and come to some one off payment settlement with then. Who knows - it could work in your favor as you may only use 1Gb or less a month.

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  Reply # 560277 21-Dec-2011 14:25
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If the one off concession is not something they are willing to do then the only other option would seem to be for you to cancel your service and for them to refund what you've paid for the phone.

gzt

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  Reply # 560303 21-Dec-2011 15:10
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what would the value of that additional data be on that plan?



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  Reply # 560313 21-Dec-2011 15:31
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I'll admit it doesn't technically fit the "bait and switch" label, it appears to have been an accidental mis-stating of what the plan contained in discussions and the documents prepared for the contract. It seems that although the plans are pretty concisely defined, much of the in-store system is manual and that can allow errors to propagate and not be picked up before the customer is out of the shop.

To get the 2 GB I would have to move up to the next tier plan, which is an additional $20 per month for a 24 month contract. It also comes with additional minutes that I would not use. There doesn't appear to be any other way to top up the plan to 2 GB.

To be honest I don't see myself currently using the full 2 GB every month (I have home broadband which I can do the majority through), I just felt that it would be sufficient headroom that I would not have to worry about data caps from month to month, and if I did need to use more than 1 GB then I would be able to without worrying about massive additional data charges. 

Like I said, I am happy with the phone, and the service so far as a whole (aside from finding out that the data allowance is not as big as I was lead to believe). I don't want to cause a big fuss, but I also don't want to miss out on something I was offered.




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  Reply # 560316 21-Dec-2011 15:35
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Perhaps the topic title should be amended to make reference to the accidental nature of the bait and switch, as it has been noted that it was not intentional.

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  Reply # 560362 21-Dec-2011 17:47
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JasonNemesis: I'll admit it doesn't technically fit the "bait and switch" label, it appears to have been an accidental mis-stating of what the plan contained in discussions and the documents prepared for the contract.

Does your printed contract actually say 2 GB?



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  Reply # 560367 21-Dec-2011 18:03
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Yes, it does. Well, the piece of paper that they have asked me to sign (4 copies) is denoted as a tax invoice, which outlines the plan, phone and sim details. That is the only document that was signed and makes reference to any plan details, the other is a general mobile services agreement which outlines more general arrangements with telecom as a provider, and the number porting authority slip.
The store has acknowledged that the contract was entered with a 2 GB data provision.

ajw

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  Reply # 560406 21-Dec-2011 19:50
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Surely then if it is in writing they have to honour it.

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  Reply # 560436 21-Dec-2011 21:08
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Hold them to it, they made the offer, you signed it, it is now legally binding.



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  Reply # 560462 21-Dec-2011 22:05
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Apparently the store doesn't have the power to change the plans/packages that Telecom set out.

I would have thought they would say "okay we messed up, but here is your additional data anyway", knowing that 80% of the time I would probably be under even 1 GB usage per month. More so given that I have just jumped from Vodafone after 10+ years with them.

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  Reply # 560468 21-Dec-2011 22:15
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This is the point where you point out to the store manager that legally it is their responsibility.

If they can't/won't honor the terms they offered you then it's time to cancel the contract, I think asking them what the termination fees would be at this point if you cancelled the contract and that would make a good starting point for them to pay you. I'm sure that they would have no problem enforcing termination fees if you wanted to cancel the contract, get everything in writing. If they don't want to pay termination fees, the ask to make a formal complaint, noting that you will take it to the TDR if they either do not conform to the written terms of the contract or pay the contact termination fees.

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  Reply # 560569 22-Dec-2011 08:53
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Ask if they can put a note on your account that you will not pay for any overage between the 1Gb and 2Gb. As you say, you will probably not break the 1Gb too often (I use less than 500Mb on mine and I consider that I use it a fair bit). Try and get some sort of written note saying that they will credit any data charges or something. I don't know if telecom sotres can do this, but I do know that Voda sotres can do this sort of thing.

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  Reply # 560596 22-Dec-2011 10:03
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JasonNemesis: Apparently the store doesn't have the power to change the plans/packages that Telecom set out.

I would have thought they would say "okay we messed up, but here is your additional data anyway", knowing that 80% of the time I would probably be under even 1 GB usage per month. More so given that I have just jumped from Vodafone after 10+ years with them.


not surprising really, billing and provisioning systems would be a nightmare if it was possible to adjust any of the plans on the fly like that

What they might be able to is move you up to the next plan, and credit you the difference between the two for the length of the contract ($20/month), or alternatively, allow you to move down a plan to the $60 plan (whihc stiull has 1GB of data) without paying the early termination fee, which, if I understand you right, is what you would have bought had you known the $80 was only 1GB.

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  Reply # 560605 22-Dec-2011 10:36
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Telecom has a responsibility to either honor the contract or allow you to break it at no cost to yourself. If you have written documentation stating that you have 2GB allowance then thats what you need to receive.

If you dont get a result from the store then I suggest you follow their formal complaints process. It can get through to the TCF but most likley a complaints specialist will find some resolution for you.

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