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BDFL - Memuneh
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Reply # 590430 5-Mar-2012 09:26
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No he shouldnt be reimbursed.  Firstly it has been in the news a lot in the past in newspapers, on the internet and tv.  For him not to have known he would have to be living in a cave.  Also Telecom offered to reimburse him $977 which is very generous.  Why did he keep using it after telecom sent a delayed text warning him.  the $977 telecom would rii=eimburse was incurred before he received the text.




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gzt

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  Reply # 590437 5-Mar-2012 09:36
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I wonder what Telecom's take of the $30 is? $15?

Email or Wikipedia with pictures off and he would have a much smaller bill.

The ideal solution is capture page popping up during first access advising the current roaming rate and do you want to proceed with that.

Plus a background app that gets this information and displays current rate and accumulated data charges.

The first needs telco support, but the second is likely achievable without it.

gzt

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  Reply # 590439 5-Mar-2012 09:43
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In the article Telecom has a future plan to provide warnings with text messages. No doubt it is the best they can do in the circumstances, but there are likely to be problems with that. The customer in the article claims he got the existing general warning courtesy message after he had already used the data, and there are plenty of circumstances where problems could occur with message delivery.

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  Reply # 590440 5-Mar-2012 09:43
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th3r3turn: i think telecom should have a system of stopping it at a certain point!


from the article:

"This month Telecom will introduce a new service that will let customers set their own dollar limits for data roaming that will stop them from racking up bigger bills unless overridden. It will also text customers when they consume more than 2Mb, 60Mb and 100Mb when roaming overseas."



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  Reply # 590446 5-Mar-2012 09:53
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If the pricing was, as mentioned $6 a chocolate bar and $10 a bottle of water, I'd agree wholeheartedly.

It's not. It's more akin to $20,000 a chocolate bar and $30,000 a bottle of water.

At those prices would you not stand up and say it's wrong?

The cost of 1GB of data on mobile at home is negligible. I get more than 1GB of data included for free with my plan. My expectation as a user is that it's relatively cheap.

Yet in this case his 1GB of data suddenly jumps from a few dollars to $30,000.

You can blame the user to a degree, and yes, I've done it myself. But there's a world of difference between a price point being doubled, tripled or even increased tenfold when travelling and having something increase by these kinds of levels.

The EU has just mandated the wholesale rate for data roaming be dropped to 5 euro cents per MB. That's still stupidly high, ($EU5,000 per GB) but the telcos don't seem to appreciate that charging people at these kinds of rates is just plain wrong.

Cheers

Paul


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  Reply # 590453 5-Mar-2012 10:05
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Just had a look at some websites:

2Degrees Mobile - $20 per GB (you can get it cheaper but that's a nice round figure).
Telecom/Vodafone - $50 for 2GB (again, YMMV - let's call it $25)

So why would any reasonable customer expect to pay $30,000 for the same product just because he's in another country?

Can you think of any product that changes its price that dramatically when you move borders?

Coffee? Beer? Magazines? Books? Funny hats?

Nothing else works like that.

I understand that the customer should have paid attention. Yes, he should. But we should all be angry about the outrageous charges, not about his level of awareness.

There's a difference between charging a premium and rorting the customer - this is dangerously close to the latter.

Paul

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  Reply # 590454 5-Mar-2012 10:08
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Also, as a side note to the whole thing, can anyone explain why Telecom charges $30/MB in Cook Islands when the other telcos charge less, yet Telecom owns a chunk of the Cook Islands' telco?

Serious question - why is that?

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  Reply # 590455 5-Mar-2012 10:12
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Doesn' this go a bit further than just Telecom + Vodafone, but Telecom + Vodafone and the overseas countires carriers?




this is a slap in the face!

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  Reply # 590456 5-Mar-2012 10:12
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PaulBrislen: Just had a look at some websites:

2Degrees Mobile - $20 per GB (you can get it cheaper but that's a nice round figure).
Telecom/Vodafone - $50 for 2GB (again, YMMV - let's call it $25)

So why would any reasonable customer expect to pay $30,000 for the same product just because he's in another country?

Can you think of any product that changes its price that dramatically when you move borders?

Coffee? Beer? Magazines? Books? Funny hats?

Nothing else works like that.

I understand that the customer should have paid attention. Yes, he should. But we should all be angry about the outrageous charges, not about his level of awareness.

There's a difference between charging a premium and rorting the customer - this is dangerously close to the latter.

Paul

Telecom prepaid is $50 per GB last time I checked - wish you did get 2GB for $50!

Also - pretty sure that on 2degrees you need to have the roaming switched on to use mobile data outside of 2degrees zones (ie when it cuts over to vodafone). So you 'could' get a bit caught if you went overseas with your 2degrees phone and were careless.  

While I agree that people need to be careful - some people would not be aware just how ridiculous the overseas charges for data can be.




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  Reply # 590458 5-Mar-2012 10:20
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The fact that Telecom own CookIslands Telecom means they have to extra carful when setting the price. Cook Islands probably only makes any money at all because of roaming revenues, so for CookIslands to reduce it?s charges to other telco?s probably isn?t going to happen.

But why can?t Telecom charge less since the money is just an internal trade for them? Answer: Commerce commission would probably come down on the practice as anticompetitive. If Cook Islands charges other carriers like Voda and 2Degrees $15/MB for roaming but Telecom only charges, say, 50c/MB to it?s customers then this is anticompetitve because 2D and Voda cannot possibly compete with that price.

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  Reply # 590459 5-Mar-2012 10:20
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PaulBrislen: Also, as a side note to the whole thing, can anyone explain why Telecom charges $30/MB in Cook Islands when the other telcos charge less, yet Telecom owns a chunk of the Cook Islands' telco?

+ data in the CI is charged at 50c MB excess, and the currency is exactly the same.

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  Reply # 590460 5-Mar-2012 10:20
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Telecom definitely offers 2GB for $50, use it for a hotspot.

As for notifications about data usage, I thought the issue was the delay in the overseas operator providing information back to the Sim's origin telco? As in, Telecom would've got notification of reaching said limit, but the delay in real time and notification received would result in further charges above that limit? Then they'd have customers refusing to pay over that limit they set.

Maybe i'm wrong though...

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  Reply # 590462 5-Mar-2012 10:22
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The main reason they get away with it is because roaming involve companies in two different countries, so governments can't just go out and regulate prices - they "have no jurisdiction" over the Other Telco" since it is in another country, would claim Local Telco. "That's what they charge us" they continue - although I haven't ever seen a piece of evidence supporting the latter claim.

You pay local prices for other products when visiting because these are locally sourced and you are paying to a local company - in this case their local government could easily regulate - and they do it step in. Also because people have no quick way to decide you are a foreigner so let's put up the price - this is easily done with telcos and SIM cards though.

What this is in reality is just telcos getting away with some lame excuses, with regulators turning their heads to the other side, ignoring the problem, because it's in the "Too Hard" basket.







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  Reply # 590470 5-Mar-2012 10:33
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freitasm: The main reason they get away with it is because roaming involve companies in two different countries, so governments can't just go out and regulate prices - they "have no jurisdiction" over the Other Telco" since it is in another country, would claim Local Telco. "That's what they charge us" they continue - although I haven't ever seen a piece of evidence supporting the latter claim.

You pay local prices for other products when visiting because these are locally sourced and you are paying to a local company - in this case their local government could easily regulate - and they do it step in. Also because people have no quick way to decide you are a foreigner so let's put up the price - this is easily done with telcos and SIM cards though.

What this is in reality is just telcos getting away with some lame excuses, with regulators turning their heads to the other side, ignoring the problem, because it's in the "Too Hard" basket.





Sounds entirely plausible to me.
Which is why the EU regulates intra-EU roaming, but not roaming inbound to the EU from, say, the USA or NZ.

There is certainly a case to be made for regulating roaming between carriers where the profits made on those revenues are super-normal, (say, between Australia and NZ) but I would be very careful about any suggestion to do so between carriers where they actually rely on roaming to be a profitable business.

I doubt Cook Islands, Fiji, etc could actually have functioning Telcos if they didn’t get a whole bunch of roaming dollars from other carriers when tourists use their phones.

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