Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cell Mafia

Why is it that those stories about astronomical phone bills are always related to Canada? There is this 85000 dollar case, and now this 20000 dollar case. Man, this country needs a consumer uprising. It's because of stories like this, that I stay with my 25 dollar prepaid vouchers. The most an evil corporation can steal from me is 25 dollar.


jacco said...

I stick with prepaid (Pay As You Go) too. Postpaid plans may have better rates, but my main beef is the mandatory 12 month minimum contract.

Currently I pay 5 euro per megabyte for mobile internet access, which is daylight robbery. Roaming elsewhere in the EU it's even 15 euro per megabyte. Can anyone explain the 10 euro difference? Landline transportation costs of a megabyte within the EU should cost operators a tiny amount of money. So it's high time that the European Commission starts pushing down those prices, although some would say that this is interfering with free enterprise. The fundamental question is: do oligopolies work?

Nigel said...

Over 'here' these kinds of things happen too, but not with such high bills as you show us. Maybe cause the phone companies have a sort of responsibility to the customer to protect it from any mallfunction of 'the system', and a telephone bill of 20k USD or more is considered a mallfunction :)

On the other hand, many high priced numbers with nothing more then an answering machine still exist... and many still call these after reading ads or getting calls from these numbers and paying lots of money after returning the calls.

@Jacco: The reason data is still so expensive is that our phone companies had to pay billions of euro's to get a license to use the UMTS/HSDPA frequencies; so in return, the taxmoney our government earned with the selling of the frequencies is being payed... by us offcourse.

Pushing down prices seems a bit unfair if companies just try to earn back investments - or is it no coincidence that most telecom operators have exactly the same prices? ;)

Brasto said...

Ach...die Canadians boffen maar...ze mogen alweer naar de stembus. Alle kansen dus om die providers tot de orde te roepen. Die Vancouverans kunnen zelfs een klok op stoom laten lopen, dus waarom niet terug naar de Indian Readouts ? (i.e. rooksignalen)

Bram said...

Oh, but it is worse than that: it is not a computer error or anything that produced these bills. Those are the actual costs you have to pay for that service. Charging per kilobyte, and not capping it can lead to disastrous results.

The main problem is the speed of the network. If you leave your water tap open, and go on holiday, you will spend a lot on your water bill. But because the water tap has a limited flow, you will be able to pay the bill. Not so with data networks. You pay per kilobyte, but consume gigabytes.... disaster strikes.

When it comes to phone companies, be affraid, be very affraid.

Nigel said...

This afternoon I noticed that my new telephone from the job accidentally opened a data connection after receiving the settings-sms from the provider, resulting in a download of 0,288mb of data. This costs me 5,78 euro this month.

Now, this will not mean the end of my financial existence, but does mean that HSDPA is turned OFF from now on. I feel robbed.