Skip to main content

When the Phone Bill on your Doormat is Higher than you Thought

Have you ever signed up to a new phone package at an unbeatable price only to find that when the first phone bill drops onto the mat, the price is simply not anywhere near what you thought you were going to be paying? Welcome to the world of bill shock.
Who is Bill Shock?
No it's not a late night comedian. Far from it. Bill shock is traditionally associated with hundreds of pounds worth roaming charges being applied to your mobile bill when you return home from your family trip to Florida (Fortunately that’s less likely to happen now with the new EU roaming regulations where the concept of roaming has been essentially eradicated). However, a different kind of bill shock is the one where we get suckered into the headline rate of a phone deal, only to find the price on the bill is higher (It's never lower is it? Funny that).
Unlimited internet, calls, money and hugs for 99p per month for life
We’ve all seen them. And we always buy into them. However, the devil is in the detail and you can bet your bottom dollar that weaning your way through the small print will reveal a myriad of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ (aka clauses) that means the final price on your bill is most probably going to change. It might not change today, or tomorrow, but it will.
We’ve seen the classic broadband for £1 per month for the first year (then £45 per month thereafter minimum contract term 3 years). It’s a practice that is absolutely rife in the industry and how trading standards hasn’t picked up on it heaven knows (actually, I do know, most telcos are run off state owned networks). I regularly speak to customers that say ‘yeah, but company X is offering me 1 million calls for 99p a year. Beat that.’ and sure as eggs are eggs, they’ll call us back a few weeks later complaining that they are getting ripped off and want to move to buzzbox. Of course, they can’t do that, they signed the bullet proof 5 year contract that (unfortunately) you will find almost impossible to get out of (you can pay an early termination charge but that’s equally as painful). I can hear them whimpering down the phone as I hang up the call.
Without blowing our own trumpet, we literally have our customers ringing us up shocked, saying ‘wow, when you said it was £5 a month, I couldn’t believe it actually said £5 on the bill’. That’s not right – you don’t go to Tesco’s and find they’ve added 20% to the final bill for ‘trolley rental’, ‘fast track queue’ and ‘in-date products’ but it’s absolutely standard in the telecoms world. One customer was paying £100 a month for ‘handset rental’ and you should have seen the 15 year old, spittle coated crumb encrusted relics they were ‘renting’. The old adage is true, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Keep in mind that wholesale line rental prices hover around the £11 mark no matter who you are, so if someone is offering line rental at 50p a month, they will be sure as damned making the difference up later in the contract.
Where is this going?
OK Stu, you’ve had a good rant, where are you going with this? The long and short of it is change – and it has to start with us. We need ask the telcos exactly what we are going to be paying – record the call if you can – if they quote a price and you tell them you’re recording them, it would stand up legally if you had to take it further when they start billing you more. Secondly, we need industry change, and it probably has to go via OFCOM (they’re pretty sympathetic to this plight but things move slowly over there). And finally - stay sharp and be safe.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brighten up Blue Monday with 20% discount for phone line rental

Brighten up Blue Monday with 20% discount for phone line rental buzzbox Telecom, a leading UK telecoms company that offers fully featured cloud-based phone systems, is helping its potential customers to brighten up their so-called Blue Monday – the saddest day of the year- by offering a 20% discount for three months for business telephone line rental, if they sign up within this week.

If a business phone contract is coming to an end or a potential client is in the process of starting up a new business empire this January, buzzbox can change their existing phone service with a package rich in features (call recording, diverting to mobile, voicemail, hold music, keeping your number), at a fraction of the cost. The offer for this week, until 19 January 2018, will be 20% off a business telephone line rental for three months and thereafter it is a monthly rolling contract, which means that potential customers can cancel their contract at any time.

Stuart Spice, Founder and Director of …

Why Our Love Affair with the Cloud is Changing

There's a new thing called Cloud Repatriation in the computing world. I suppose it's the opposite of expatriation which officially means 'to withdraw oneself from residence in one's native country'. In this context however, the term refers to repatriating your servers and computing power into your office and getting it off the cloud. In simple terms, take all that effort you spent shoving your stuff into the cloud - and reverse it.
'But why!?' I hear you cry. Or perhaps you’re not, since by asking that very question you probably already know full well why. But in case you are still asking 'But why!?', let me jog your memory.
Go Cloud, go go go!
The concept of shoving all of your worldly digital belongings onto someone else’s kit was all the rage some years ago. It was 'safe', 'fast', 'cheaper' and 'convenient'. It seemed like a good idea, for only a few quid per month, I could have the latest version of some software …

Is 5G going to take over the world – and our rusty old landlines?

I’m going to be popping over to the world famous monstrously sized (and ticket priced) Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. There’s going to be lots of exciting releases and stories on the table, but I expect the big song and dance will be made around the forthcoming 5G standard -which promises to boost 4G speeds by tenfold and its reliability.

Of late though, there’s been a lot of talk about how 5G will make the IoT a reality by expanding the size of the already massive internet into something hundreds of times bigger as we connect every device we can think of to it, including fridges, freezers and underpants (I made that last one up, but I wouldn’t be surprised).

But the big excitement for me (and probably because I’m from the country with the worst broadband), is the potential for 5G to replace broadband connections that currently use our landlines. For most of us, broadband speeds are unacceptable and BT and their like have been peddling ‘fibre infinity’ products for yea…