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Level 1: Cadet

Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit

I upgraded my plan from $50/mth to $60/mth last month (but no change in data allowance, stayed the same at 1 GB). I received a ridiculous bill of around $1200 on Tuesday for 'data usage' of 583 MB although I was way below the monthly threshold.

 

I rang up Telstra to dispute the incorrect charges and this is where my frustration with the call centre personnel started. The first person to answer my call couldn't do basic maths and kept insisting that 583MB is 5.83GB and therefore I have gone over my limit - when I pointed out that she's doing her maths wrong she put me on hold for over 20 minutes (obviously on purpose) with no response. I rang back again and the second person gave me another number I should contact instead.

 

The third person I talked to agreed that the charges were incorrect but since the amount is too big for her to settle, she needed to assign a case manager and I was promised to be contacted back on Thursday in between 9 AM and 10 AM. Well guess what, I wasn't contacted. So I rang telstra again around 10.30AM at which point the operator (fourth person I was talking to by now) informed me that since I was promised to be contacted back in between 9 AM and 10 AM I should expect a call within a few minutes. I waited and there was no phone call.

 

I got extremely frustrated at this lack of professionalism and constant lies and rang back around 2PM the same day. When I had pointed out to the operator (5th person I was talking to about this matter by now!) that I was promised to be contacted back twice and that I wasn't, she said she'll contact her manager to see what she can do. After putting me on hold for a few minutes, my mobile phone rang - this operator rang my phone and thought it was her manager's number! Unbelievable. Then she put me on hold again of course, and I was directed to her manager who was extremely rude and arrogant, telling me she's the highest authority in the place. She didn't even want to look at what the issues with the bill were and started lecturing me about how I should monitor my data usage and shouldn't use apps that consume a lot of data! I clearly pointed out that I DIDN'T GO OVER THE MONTHLY LIMIT but she was extremely rude and kept saying it's their policy to advise customers to check their data usage upon bill enquires and started asking me irrelevant questions like what kind of phone I have because according to her that's relevant to the data usage billing issues and said all she can do is offer me $700 off the bill!

 

When I pointed out that I didn't go over the data limit and I'm not here to waste my time being lectured about how much data I'm using she gave me a 'first warning' and threatend to hang up on me! Utterly useless and unprofessional, she was treating a customer in Australia like her subordinate in the call centre!

 

I got so frustrated after this phone call that I went into a Telstra shop to ask what can be done about this without having to speak to another unhelpful operator. I received an apology for what has happened but was told the they'll need to assign a case manager to contact me back again, but after speaking to 7 people about this issue I lost my faith in Telstra.

 

What I want to ask Telstra is this:

 

  1. Why was I billed incorrectly in the first place? Pro-rata explanation will not work here because there was no change in the data limit between my previous and new plan, they all add up to 1GB however you break it down and my usage was far below this threshold.
  2. Why do I have to waste hours of my valuable time for Telstra's billing screw-up?
  3. Most of the operators who answered my call were incompetent, couldn't do basic conversions and rude. Where's quality customer service?
  4. Why was I lied to multiple times about being contacted back?
  5. When will my incorrect billing issue be resolved?

Thank you.

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6 REPLIES 6
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Level 23: Superhero

Re: Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit

Pro-rata is an entirely possible explanation. If you changed plans late in the month, and also used the data during that period, then you could easily have gone over the limit.

If you change from a plan with 1GB to another plan with 1GB 27 days into a 30 day cycle you would only have 100MB to use during that last 3 day period.  The system doesn't simply see that they are both 1GB and allow you to use that 1GB for the entire billing period.

In this example if you used 600MB in the last few days, then even though you are below the 1GB total allowance normally included in both plans, the system says you only have 100MB from the date of the change so the other 500MB is excess usage and charged accordinly.

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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit

The plan was changed around 1/4 way into the month and the usage was spread out, there was no sudden deviation in usage pattern. Pro-rata is not the correct answer here as I was charged for all of my data usage at excess rate as if I'm allowed 0 gb per month.

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Level 22: Superhuman

Re: Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit


  1. Why was I billed incorrectly in the first place? Pro-rata explanation will not work here because there was no change in the data limit between my previous and new plan, they all add up to 1GB however you break it down and my usage was far below this threshold.

Actually, it could be due to pro-rata data allowance calculations, although not in the way Kalak described it. (Sorry, Kalak!)

 

You said you:


…upgraded my plan from $50/mth to $60/mth last month (but no change in data allowance, stayed the same at 1 GB).


(which, by the way, doesn't exactly make it easy for others to help you – try using the proper plan names, if you want fellow forum users to be able to pinpoint specifically what you're talking about)

I can only assume, then, that you went from the Every Day Connect BYO Plan $50 to the Every Day Connect Plan $60. The plan change rules for Every Day Connect BYO Plans are given in section 11.33 of Part B – Our Current Consumer Pricing Plans in the Telstra Mobile section of Our Customer Terms, and state that:

 

“In the month that you change your plan, your call rates, included calls and monthly spend will be adjusted on a pro-rata basis to reflect your new plan and you will receive the full amount of your new monthly data allowance.” 

 

That applies from the date on which you change your plan. However, the data allowance for the first part of the bill period, prior to your changing your plan, would be pro-rated. For example,

 

If you changed your plan on day 7 of a 30-day bill period, then you would have 630 × 1024MB of data allowance to use from day 1 to day 6, and a full 1024MB of data allowance to use from day 7 to day 30. That's right, the total data allowance for the month would be 1.2GB. However, if you used 800MB within the first 6 days of the bill period, prior to the change of plan, then upon changing your plan you would be deemed to have incurred 595MB of excess mobile data usage, even though you may only have used 100MB for the remainder of the bill period (when you could have used 1024MB and not incur excess usage charges), and your total usage for the bill period came in at just 900MB.

 

——
Departed from CrowdSupport as of 12 June 2013, when the fun factor for me had finally completely evaporated with all the recent site layout and functionality changes, and the apparent efforts to turn a community goodwill-powered vehicle into something closer to a customer service channel.

The opinions and sentiments expressed above are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect Telstra's views or position. I work at Telstra, but my participation here is strictly in a personal capacity as a fellow Australian telecommunications services consumer, and you can safely assume you are not my customer, client, patron, benefactor or friend when I post in this forum.
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Level 1: Cadet

Re: Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit

I have already mentioned in the reply above that the usage was spread-out and there was no sudden jump in usage pattern in one day. The only logical answer is Telstra screwed up and assigned a monthly limit of 0GB to my data plan instead 1GB when I made the change.

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Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit

Drat's idea makes sense, however try LiveChat just to see if they can make sense of it.

 

B.

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Level 10: Junior Detective

Re: Billed for data charges although below the monthly limit

The answer is when the plan change was processed and the old plan was deleted so the new plan could be applied the data component of the plan did not apply which resulted in you being charged the PAYG (Pay as you go) rate for the data which is $2.00 per MB. 

 

Assume that you did infact use 583MB then you excess charge should be $1166 or there about. 

 

You can easily confirm this by checking your usage through your phone and it wont display the % of used data because you have none. 

 

What you need to do is call back Telstra and advise that you data pack has not been triggered. Have them reprocess the order to resolve the issue. 

 

EDIT: Sorry for clarification, Even though you data allowance did not change, it is still remove and reapplied with the new spend level. As making rules of when to and when not to do it is more work then just doing it all the time. 

Will update with something clever when the brain starts working!

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