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6434 posts

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  # 590771 5-Mar-2012 16:03
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robjg63: If someone covered this already - sorry, but what kind of charges does someone (for example) who is with a US telco incur for mobile data if they went (for example) to the UK (or elsewhere).

Is this the NZ consumer getting slammed unreasonably or do all the telcos charge massively for mobile data while roaming?


AT&T (USA biggest carrier) charge 2c (US) per KB or $20USD/MB for international roaming that isn;t canada (canada is heaps cheaper).

They do have bigger packs if you commit to monthly amounts, which can work out a bit cheaper if you can plan your usage ahead of time.

http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/affordable-world-packages.jsp#data

and they are not available in all countries   (Cook Islands a notable exclusion since that is where the guy in the OP article went)




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  # 590808 5-Mar-2012 17:12
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Should Telecom credit the $2k bill? In my opinion, no, however, they have offered to credit just under half of it. This based on that being the point in time at which they warned him of excessive roaming charges. Why the customer then proceeded to roam at large is the question that should now be asked.

Are the charges too high? Yes, of course they are.

Are there options for those who do not want to pay those charges? Yes, of course there are:

Turn off phone (you are on holiday, who do you need to talk to?).

Buy local data (SIM) if you really need to get a technology fix. I work in Indonesia, travel via Oz, Singapore, Malaysia and sometimes get to see family and friends at home in NZ. I use multiple SIM cards and have no issues with communicating.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Telecom in any way, apart from having home phone and BB with them. My mobile carrier is 2 Degrees.





Michael Skyrme - Instrumentation & Controls

 
 
 
 


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  # 590836 5-Mar-2012 18:36
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Carriers should never ask their customers to accept unlimited liability.  Data is routed back to the local network, so there is no reason why TNZ couldn't get into the middle of that, presenting a web page asking for permission, setting limits, etc.  2Degrees does that when your prepaid account runs out of money, roaming devices can start in that state (approval needed for access).

If sending an SMS is problematic, they've got a whole call center that is sitting there able to make calls.

There are enough methods for the carrier to contact the account holder.  This problem has been around for years, carriers have just been dragging their feet because it is so insanely profitable.  For every person that complains, there are a couple of dozen businesses who just fork over the money.




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  # 590990 6-Mar-2012 04:23
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While I do agree people should be a lot more careful with their usage (In all variety's) while roaming I do agree both parties are at fault in these situations.

One aspect of it is that the prices are on a website which you have to browse the internet to find, 90% of the time this probably occurs to people once they are already out of the country, Its like putting the price on the inside of the coke label.

At the same time it is incredibly difficult to tell how much you have spent so far and how much you are continuing to spend (In a timely manner), Which is like being handed the gas nozzle at the petrol station with the price hidden and measurement system.

Also with the data being routed in ways that make no sense due to what amount to idiotic business practices it becomes a circle jerk, I would say this would be like DHL posting all parcels to some obscure country for no particular reason before sending them on their way and being charged for the pleasure and saying everyone else does it so its OK.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 590991 6-Mar-2012 04:26
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I would suggest that the FIRST connection made from a roaming phone should be a conformation dialog including all the current roaming charges to that location.

With their idiotic method of routing data there is no excuse for not having such a system in place, The only reason they haven't been forced to do so already is due to the legal loopholes they find their way through.

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  # 590997 6-Mar-2012 07:05
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I flew to HK last year. I turned on my phone and the FIRST text I got was from Telecom telling me about call, text and data charges.
He should pay.

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  # 591002 6-Mar-2012 07:33
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lucky015: I would suggest that the FIRST connection made from a roaming phone should be a conformation dialog including all the current roaming charges to that location. With their idiotic method of routing data there is no excuse for not having such a system in place, The only reason they haven't been forced to do so already is due to the legal loopholes they find their way through.


Imagine the massive support issues with dealing with a solution such as this.

User: "Hello Telecom the email won't work on my phone"

Telecom: "Have you logged into the captive portal with your browser and clicked on the tick box to say you accept our charges?"

User: "I'm sorry you've lost me, I just want my email to work"

<< skip forward 30 minutes >>

User: "Thank you that finally works"

A captive portal is a really bad idea when the user experience isn't uniform. Far better is the fact data roaming is disabled by default on the vast majority of handsets these days, and all carriers do send SMS's advsing of costs when your phone first attaches to a roaming network. If an end user chooses to ignore the SMS, and then proceed to enable roaming data why should the telco be responsible?

You might also think the concept of data routing is idiotic, I happen to think it's lucky such a smart person was involved in creating the spec. If data routed via the roaming network's SGSN/GGSN it would create a whole new set of issues and we'd all be here talking about the idiot who designed the roaming model and what he/she did wrong.

 
 
 
 


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  # 591011 6-Mar-2012 07:48
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sbiddle:
A captive portal is a really bad idea when the user experience isn't uniform. Far better is the fact data roaming is disabled by default on the vast majority of handsets these days, and all carriers do send SMS's advsing of costs when your phone first attaches to a roaming network. If an end user chooses to ignore the SMS, and then proceed to enable roaming data why should the telco be responsible?


I think we're close.  Personally, I believe that positive confirmation of acceptance of charges is needed, rather than implied acceptance and possible notification.  That can be done by SMS, call or data session, but it needs to be done.

Price notification and acceptance should be done any time the cost of the service changes dramatically.  Heck, you could say, any time it changes at all, but that might be a little heavy weight.




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  # 591022 6-Mar-2012 08:20
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freitasm: "Price acceptance" via SMS is a great suggestion.



It would be, except there's a lot of devices out there that use GPRS but can't send/receive SMS. :) 




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Master Geek


  # 591052 6-Mar-2012 09:23
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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?

Serious question - why is that?


Why does Vodafone (UK) charge $2,000 a 1G ($10 a day per 25MB) when they operate the network in Fiji.

I suspect the costs are for the backhaul of the data as you know the data is not offloaded locally but brought back to the users country and these smaller islands pay more for backhaul that the easily connected Europeans. Just look at rural costs vs urban costs for broadband ( mobile & fixed. Same principle applies as the cost to get transmission to the rural site is so expensive.

The point that the costs being a magnitude of ridiculousness is true

BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 591054 6-Mar-2012 09:25
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This is crazy and doesn't stack up. Mobile data roaming in Germany is $30/MB and I wouldn't say Germany is not well connected.

I have received an explanation from Telecom, and I am waiting for an answer before posting it here and in my blog.





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  # 591063 6-Mar-2012 09:38
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All these warnings and notifications are missing the point.

You shouldn't have to warn a customer that they're about to use your product.

If you're doing it that way, you're doing it wrong.

Wouldn't a better alternative to "DANGER: You are about to USE our PRODUCT in the manner IT WAS DESIGNED FOR" be to make the pricing more reasonable?

Just a thought.

Paul

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Uber Geek


  # 591066 6-Mar-2012 09:40
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Why do they charge so much?  Because they can.  Because there are enough corporate users who just pay up and pass the costs to thier customers as overheads.

In europe, roaming costs were only reduced as a result of EU-wide legislation.  Given both Telecom's and VFNZ's previously demonstrated willingness to shaft their customers whenever possible - an attitude which 2D seems willing to mimic when it comes to roaming - I see no reason to think this will change until some sort of legislation is introduced

Personally, I think the original customer has no "right" to a refund, but the more adverse publicity is generated by this and similar incidents, the more likely the companies are to stop shafting their customers, eventually.  All the technical details and work-rounds in previous posts just serve to mask the underlying point that this is just one big rort.

BDFL - Memuneh
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  # 591067 6-Mar-2012 09:44
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shk292: In europe, roaming costs were only reduced as a result of EU-wide legislation.  Given both Telecom's and VFNZ's previously demonstrated willingness to shaft their customers whenever possible - an attitude which 2D seems willing to mimic when it comes to roaming - I see no reason to think this will change until some sort of legislation is introduced


Sorry, but "In europe, roaming costs were only reduced as a result of EU-wide legislation." is the same falacy as "there's unlimited mobile data in the US". 

In my blog post (upcoming, as I said, waiting for a reply from Telecom), I explain that EU lawmakers are pushing to have mobile data price regulated across member countries.  This is not in effect yet.

Also, the trans-Tasman agreement is delayed - supposed to have a draft by end of 2011, it's not mid-2012, with final report end 2012.

Blog coming soon.

 




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