Monday, 23 November 2015

Got that Wrong!

The boat accountant and family chief financial controller was going through the online bank statement several days ago when she loudly exclaimed “What the hell!”  It appeared ID Mobile (Carphone Warehouse) had deducted £113 from our bank account at the beginning of November.  Obviously it’s a mistake as we have a monthly £20 deduction for our 20Gb of internet data. We watch the data closely in an effort to ensure we don’t exceed the data limit and get cut off.

I rushed off an email to ID Mobile querying why this had occurred.  They replied late the following day saying the deduction was correct and that we had probably been billed 10p for every Mb we had exceed over our 20Gb allowance.  On doing more in depth searching through the account I discovered ID showed we had exceeded our allowance in October by 1.4Gb.  This gave me two surprises.  First, that we had exceeded our allowance as I watch it every day and second; that instead of being cut off ID imposed an excess usage charge.  I pulled out the contract and re-read the fine print (two A4 pages) which required a magnifying glass as it’s so fine.  I could find nothing in our contract documentation about a charge for excess usage so I wrote a second email.  ID replied the next day advising the information was on their website.  It can be found in the Help & Advice section under mobile phones.

This is what I hate about direct debit systems.  You are giving the other party permission to rape and pillage their way through your savings.  My guess is that if the ID data usage record is correct then there must have been some type of automatic system update on one of our devices during the night which took us over the limit.  But I do think the 10p per Mb is excessive.

20GB for   £20

1.4Gb for  £93

ID Mobile use the 3 Mobile network.  I checked the 3 website and they charge 1p per Mb for excess usage.  If we had been with 3 the excess cost would have been £9.30.  I would have grumbled but would have been even more vigilant in future. 

Needless to say our contract with Carphone Warehouse is going to be terminated asap. 

We need another internet data provider and this time it would be one that doesn’t have any nasty surprises.  My research thus far is EE simply cut off your data when you reach your limit whilst Three charge you 1p per Mb excess.  O2 and T-Mobile belong to EE.  Vodafone canal coverage is so poor as to not consider it.  


Peter and Margaret said...

I have a direct account with 3 for mobile internet. My own agreement with them is for 5GB of data per month for £10, which does include a pre agreed loyalty discount over what their standard tariff to all comers is, or so I believe. On the odd occasion it looked like I was going to exceed my allowance before the end of the charge period - which has only happened twice, and both due to overnight updates when I had left the phone and tablets connected to the mi-fi rather than turning it off, 3 have always sent me an email warning me of this possibility, and then a second email when I had actually exceeded my allowance notifying me of how much it would cost.

Also with 3, as an aside, I am able to use my £10 a month 5GB allowance while roaming in Spain, and have been doing so now since the end of September.

I think you have been treated unfairly to the tune of £100 or so.

Pip and Mick said...

We swapped from 3 to EE a few months ago. £20 for 15G which just about does us ok although we don't download much telly. Much better speed and 4G coverage. They do cut you off if you reach 15G and you can then buy reasonable add ons if you wish.
10p per meg is a serious rip off.

Carol said...

Hi Tom, if you ring Three they will change your options so that you are cut off when you reach your limit, so no overcharging. Their support is based in India I think, but if you persevere with the language difficulties they are quite efficient. George

Robert Hilsdon said...

Tom, with 3 and phoned them up and asked them to stop data when we reach our limit. So far it has worked well.