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3 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 96872 5-Feb-2012 23:22
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For five months now it does appear 2degrees have been overcharging. They also can't manage a simple task like getting my address onto my invoices. Lets begin...



Background First
I'm on a monthly plan of $29 that gives me 60 minutes + 100 bonus minutes (160 mins). Having exhausted these minutes I'll get billed at $0.44 / min. This is a pretty good deal.

I also get 50MB of data of which additional usage is charged at quite a heafty $0.50 / MB.

Having looked on the 2degrees website and calling their customer service team to confirm, best I can tell is that my included minutes are to any NZ mobile or landline.

The rest of this post relies on this background info.



Example
In my september bill I was charged $24.64 for the additional minutes used over my included minutes.
Looking at the bill, I used 193 minutes. (I rounded part minutes up to get 193). Lets break it down

   193  talking minutes
-  160  included plan minutes
______
    33   additional chargable minutes

33 mins x $0.44 = $14.52

Last time I checked, $24.64 != $14.52.



Where are we at now?
The reason I detected this discrepancy was in trying to understand my bills. They didn't make much sense to me and I couldn't get them to add up. On my current bill I called a CSR to confirm charges and thus confirmed there was an issue.

I called back and spoke to a different CSR. I explained the problem, walked through the logic with him and he agreed. He then pulled out a spreadsheet that is available to the CSR's for working out this very problem and he got the exact same result as I did.

He said he'd send the problem to billing. That is the last I heard of it. It has now been over a week. During this time I decided to review all my previous invoices and whenever the data or minutes exceed those included in my plan, the same discrepancy arises.

The only communication I've had with 2degrees over the last week are constant threats about discontinuation of service unless I pay my bill. Just for the record, my bill is in dispute! Furthermore I don't know how much to pay.

IF my service is suspended due to an overdue overbilling I am going to be exceeding angry! This is my business phone and I cannot tollerate this type of rubbish service.



Where lies the problem?
Either the system can't add or the invoices are reporting incorrect information. Neither situation is acceptable.

Either they are overcharging or their invoices are arguably a non-compliant tax invoice as defined under section 24(4)(d) of the Goods and Services Tax 1985 Act.

I actually suspect I know where the problem lies which is the information being reported on the invoice. Nevertheless, the invoice clearly states that I am being charged for x minutes on a plan that charges $0.44 / min and therefore, according to the 2degrees invoice, I am being overcharged.



Address Woes
When I signed up to the plan I only agreed to it on the condition that I could get the invoices addressed to my company. I was adamant that this was a necessity! I was absolutely assured that this was fine. It was not. It still is not. The 2degrees addressing system is quite incompetent and actually will not accept my address! The system will only recognise addresses that it knows about. You cannot enter an address into it that doesn't exist in their database. My address has existed for over 30 years however it doesn't appear in the typical address databases. You cannot, cannot, create a system that is 100% reliant on it having all possible information. Dumb beyond comprehension!

The CSR's response to this addressing problem was to go into a 2degrees store to try get it resolved and that would probably involve changing plans. Go to a store? change my plan? To fix up an address? Ummm, shoudn't have to! kinda busy!

Broken promise 2degrees! Not ok!



What next?
I'm not paying my bill until I can get some answers. If they cut me off then they will lose a customer and I'll take more with me! This will not be the last forum by which I express my disatisfaction! I'd also like my last 4 months worth of bills reviewed. Basically, according to my invoices, I am owed about that by 2degrees which I owe 2degrees.

I'd like someone to actually do something about this. I've wasted over 3 hours of my time on this matter. I will not waste any more! It is not my job to tell 2degrees where the errors lie in their billing system. If they want that then they can pay me for the 3 hours it's taken me to determine this.

So:
a) I'd like a refund for the overcharging.
b) If you conclude that your invoices are wrong and that you haven't overcharged me then you must issue me new invoices.
c) Fix my address on invoices!
d) Compensation (a token of sincerety) for my lost time and expense for the hassles not of my own making. Currently this is over $300 and climbing. (No, I don't expect cash)
e) Tell me how much I owe on my current invoice. (After (a) above, I calculate about $3.19)

Prove to me, 2degrees, that you can be competent.


To any customers of 2degrees, check your invoices. They are probably overcharging you too!



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 577696 5-Feb-2012 23:47
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You say you added all your overage minutes up to get 33 additional minutes but I don't think it works like this. They charge $0.44 per minute(or part minute).

So for example:
You had two calls that were 30 seconds each. So what I think you have done is added those two calls to get one complete minute @ $0.44/minute so under your working you are charge $0.44.

But in actual fact 2degrees bills it as two minutes. they don't add the minutes up. so you have one call lasting 30 seconds charged @ $0.44/minute so you are billed $0.44. Then you have another 30 second call and are billed another $0.44. So in total you are billed $0.88 for those 2 calls.

I believe this is how it works and what may have happened to you. Or I could have read and misunderstood your situation wrong which means I could be completely wrong.



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 577703 6-Feb-2012 00:48
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Hi,

I agree! With the calling issues that is. This is what I'd already figured. Nevertheless this does pose some problems with regards to invoicing. I'm not sure how they'll justify the data overcharging since this presumably is cumulative over the entire month.

The billing issue
If I make a phone call for 30 seconds and get charged for 1 minute then I should get an invoice showing that I've been charged for 1 minute. Not an invoice that shows me I've used 30 seconds but the charge implies there must have been a complete minute in there somewhere. This is further problematic when all phone calls are lumped together into a total minute figure because there is no way of knowing how many part minutes were charged out. This means there is no way of verifying that their charges are correct. Furthermore the total provided is possibly the most meaningless information ever. Either provide a very detailed log of every call (including part minutes) OR just provide a summary of the charged minutes because this is all you care about since it is what you are paying for. It is also what the invoice is supposedly claiming you are being charged for and should thus show.

I'm not being charged for 30 seconds. I'm being charged for 1 minute. A Tax Invoice must show what I'm being charged for therefore, assuming you're correct which is exactly as I've suspected, their invoices are wrong. At the very least they are misleading and confusing. This is evidenced by the fact that their own staff couldn't resolve the issue, instructed me using the same logic I'd applied, used a spreadsheet to determine what the bill should have been afterwhich their conclusion was as mine.

If there was no problem then they should have gotten back to me as promised. But keeping promises doesn't seem to be their strength in my experience thus far.

And what about my data overcharging?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 577704 6-Feb-2012 00:50
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As stated above, 2degree's charge up to the minute.. So a 3 second call is charged as the full $0.44, so it 59 seconds.. a 1 minute 2 second call is 2 minutes. They do state that somewhere on their website/in the terms of conditions etc, so you're definetly not due any kind of refund or anything.

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  Reply # 577708 6-Feb-2012 02:14
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what data overcharging? you need to give some details







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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 577718 6-Feb-2012 04:22
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Seriously? In case the incredibly trivial part minute charging concept was lost on us we have a second explanation. That was lucky! So many.... no I'm just going to let it go and move on...


I’ll address data below shortly. In the meantime I still maintain that what is on an invoice is what you are to be charged and if the information contained therein is incorrect or ambiguous there are considerable problems. It is a legal document after all. Furthermore it is a financial document and all information contained therein should remain in its proper context and thus be financially relevant.

Apparently this concept, unlike the part minute charging, is being lost. To reiterate let’s consider two scenarios: : For arguments sake let’s assume a minute is charged at $0.50.

Scenario one:
If you got an invoice for 200 minutes totaling $100 you might call up your provider and say, "why am I being charged for 200 minutes when my phone log shows I only used 150?". The provider will then say, "yes but you are charged whole minutes for every minute or part thereof". You'd say, "Oh ok, thanks."

Scenario two: (the 2degrees invoice)
If you got an invoice for 150 minutes totaling $100 you might call up your provider and say, "why am I being charged $100 for 150 minutes? Isn't it $0.50 / min?" The provider might say (assuming they even know), "yes but you are charged whole minutes for every minute or part thereof and your bill only shows the actual minutes you've used, not those you're being charged for."  At this any reasonable consumer should say, "What? Why would a bill that exists to tell me what I'm being charged for not tell me what I'm being charged for?!  Why would you list the actual minutes used next to the charge calculated using the $0.50 rate applied to a seemingly arbitrary number of minutes of which I'm not privy to thus making your charge meaningless. What your invoice says is that you are charging me $100 for 150 minutes. In the absence of further explanation of what those minutes mean your invoice thus claims I used 150 minutes! This means, according to the invoice, you are overcharging since it says I'm being charged for 150 minutes and should pay $0.50 / min which comes to $75. $75 != $100."


Do you see the difference?
One says you used 200 minutes and charges you for 200 minutes.

The other says you used 150 minutes but charges you for 200 minutes.  The only reasonable conclusion is that there is an error with the addition. A summary of actual minutes against a dollar value calculated against an unknown minute value is meaningless! It is reasonable to assume that the minutes listed on an invoice against a dollar value are those minutes you are being charged for. Too suggest otherwise flies in the face of logic, context and convention. It is up to the provider to work out how many minutes to charge you for, via rounding or otherwise, and list the financially relevant value on financial documents. The precise/actual usage only belongs in a call log and to provide it as a summarised total in absence of said log is financially irrelevant! To list the actual usage against an unrelated dollar value is preposterous.

Remember: A Tax Invoice is a legal document and the Tax component only exists for the sake of the Tax Department, a department who very much care about what you were charged for!


So although I may not have been overcharged on my minute usage, it is very arguable that according to the legal Tax Invoice that I have been! Nobody in life pays for what they actually use, but only that they are billed for, and rightfully so!

At the very least 2degrees need to review their invoice logic! In its current state the summary is ridiculous and conflicts with itself.



Data

I was working on the data charges but nakedmolerat beat me to the punch. It seems I neglected to mention in my original posting that some of the overcharging is in relation to data as well as the debatable voice overcharging.

On Novembers invoice the data charge was $94.77 
Lets break it down

   213MB   data used
-    50MB   included data
_________
   163MB   additional chargeable data

163 x $0.50 = $81.50

$81.50 != $94.77

So assuming the invoice follows the same logic for data as the voice breakdown (which is implied), the above calculation is the only reasonable conclusion. Nevertheless, even if I try different things like exclude the included data or GST for example it still doesn't add up.

Surely the data is totaled up over the month? The only explanation I can come up with for the charged value is if the data is rounded up to the nearest MB at the end of each day. This seems strange and annoying since a simple application such as imap on your phone would guarantee a 30 MB usage commitment every month. This doesn't seem to be the case however because other months data usage is only 3MB despite the 30 minute mail server polling from my phone. I am therefore, without further information, left to conclude this is an addition error.


An explanation on these data charges would be nice. It shouldn't be necessary however as the invoice should be clear and unambiguous!


(If you are wondering why I spent so much on such a small amount of data I only have my stupid phone to blame. It was originally setup to download email headers which it did happily for the first couple of months. Somehow, deep within the bowels of the phone menus, it changed this setting from headers to full email. Was not impressed when I saw the bill and went investigating to say the least)




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  Reply # 577721 6-Feb-2012 07:00
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Looking at your usage, you are better off with $39 monthly plan:

120 + 100 mins of calls
100MB + 1GB of national data (current promotion)
2500 of txts








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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 577724 6-Feb-2012 07:37
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I'm getting a little lost in the last post, but 2degrees are very clear in their charging. Every call, whether it's in bundle, or out of bundle, is rounded up.

Every telco that has included minutes has to do something with the CDR record for each call when it is rated. Some aren't open about what they do, 2degrees are and openly say all calls are rounded. Neither Telecom or Vodafone openly say what they do with indluced minutes.

As for data each data session has to be rounded and so a CDR ticket can be generated for billing, this is something that is done continually on every network. 2degrees round to the nearest 5.12KB then round to the nearest cent. CDR records will also be rountinely created, so if you maintain a constant data session for a day, CDR records will typically be created every 15 - 30 on mobile carriers, rounding occurs at this time when the session is rated. This is how data is billed by virtually every mobile carrier in the world.

I think your best bet would be to scan your invoice, removing your details, and post it here. It'll be a lot easier for people to explain what could or could not be happening.

z2k

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  Reply # 577735 6-Feb-2012 08:16
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bjr53: He said he'd send the problem to billing. That is the last I heard of it. It has now been over a week.


If you PM me your phone number or ticket reference I'll get your issue looked into asap.

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  Reply # 577740 6-Feb-2012 08:33
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sbiddle: As for data each data session has to be rounded and so a CDR ticket can be generated for billing, this is something that is done continually on every network. 2degrees round to the nearest 5.12KB then round to the nearest cent. CDR records will also be rountinely created, so if you maintain a constant data session for a day, CDR records will typically be created every 15 - 30 on mobile carriers, rounding occurs at this time when the session is rated. This is how data is billed by virtually every mobile carrier in the world.


I understand your point that this is necessary from a technical point of view, but to the best of my knowledge there is no mention of it in 2degrees' terms and conditions. In this case the total data charges incurred are 16% higher than what was reasonably expected at face value, and 2degrees' failure to fully disclose their charging methodology would surely be a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

In my view the per-minute rounding phenomenon isn't such a big deal as it should be possible to download your detailed call log from the online portal and use some simple spreadsheet formulae to determine the correct charging on a call-by-call basis. However what you're describing in regards to data makes me think that it is effectively impossible for anyone to reconcile the data charges shown on their monthly invoice, and this lack of transparency concerns me.

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  Reply # 577743 6-Feb-2012 08:48
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alasta: In my view the per-minute rounding phenomenon isn't such a big deal as it should be possible to download your detailed call log from the online portal and use some simple spreadsheet formulae to determine the correct charging on a call-by-call basis. However what you're describing in regards to data makes me think that it is effectively impossible for anyone to reconcile the data charges shown on their monthly invoice, and this lack of transparency concerns me.


You think it's bad? Try getting this information out of a Telecom New Zealand invoice then, where it shows "data calls" instead of "megabytes used":

 




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  Reply # 577759 6-Feb-2012 09:18
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alasta: I understand your point that this is necessary from a technical point of view, but to the best of my knowledge there is no mention of it in 2degrees' terms and conditions. In this case the total data charges incurred are 16% higher than what was reasonably expected at face value, and 2degrees' failure to fully disclose their charging methodology would surely be a breach of the Fair Trading Act.

In my view the per-minute rounding phenomenon isn't such a big deal as it should be possible to download your detailed call log from the online portal and use some simple spreadsheet formulae to determine the correct charging on a call-by-call basis. However what you're describing in regards to data makes me think that it is effectively impossible for anyone to reconcile the data charges shown on their monthly invoice, and this lack of transparency concerns me.


2degrees detail the 5KB billing tickets and rounding in their terms and conditions.

What they don't say is how often these tickets are generated. Because a data session (PDP context) may remain up continually there would be no way to ever bill unless things were done this way.


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  Reply # 577806 6-Feb-2012 11:36
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Included data is used up continuously while the PDP is up, and if you keep checking your balance you will see it decreasing. The CDR is generated at the end of the PDP for inclusion on the bill. If a PDP is held up over a billing cycle then any cash charge associated with it will be included on NEXT month's bill.

EDIT: iPad autocorrect!!!




iPad Air + iPhone SE + 2degrees 4tw!

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


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  Reply # 577958 6-Feb-2012 20:32
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Just for info, rounding up data and calls for Pay Monthly is detailed in sections 9 and 15 - http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=f2ada226-a7cc-4d19-9267-839c185a5fb4&groupId=10128.

If you PM your 2degrees number, the address you want on your invoices (with a scan of proof of address) we'll look into your issues.

Cheers

^POB

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  Reply # 584921 22-Feb-2012 07:03
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any update?





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