Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is your telephone company gouging you?

At the best of times, I don't trust telephone companies.

Recently we said bye bye to Ma Bell after finally being able to get rid of our cottage line now that cell service works. And we got rid of our home Bell service last year which made me extraordinarily happy I must confess. Especially after Bell lied to me about how much they would charge me for a bundled phone, internet and fibe, then wouldn't stand by their promise. (By the way, have you heard those really annoying Bell ads on CFRA lately? I think they run at least 4 times an hour. Sure helps that CFRA is now owned by Bell and therefore probably doesn't pay for the ads. they even have "news" items on CFRA that promote Bell products. Can you say conflict of interest?)

Anyway, the other day I went to use my cell phone which is with Telus. Lo and behold, I had no time on my phone. Which was odd since I had a one year pay as you go plan with Telus. Which I paid $10 a month for; which includes free incoming texts and 2500 outgoing texts. I pay 15 cents a minute for every phone call, but I have hardly used a couple of minutes of talk time. The plan started on March 29, 2014, so that should be less than $40 used on my original $100.00.

So I looked at my usage online (no bills anymore so more difficult to check which sucks but sure good for the tel co) and discovered that I was being docked every single day for data usage. Data usage I don't use. In fact when I originally signed up with Telus on a contract over three years ago, I specifically told them to block the ability to use data on my phone. Seems when I switched to a pay as you go plan, that guarantee went away. Or maybe it was when I returned from out of country, and all of a sudden I saw "3G" appear on my phone, which hadn't appeared before I left. Who knows?

And all that's not the point anyway. (Of course I also called Telus and obviously they reversed the charges of $64.50).

But my point is, what if I had been using data? Would those charges be over and above what I was using/paying? Do people pay for their data PLUS some kind of "convenience" charge or something?

I don't know and I didn't ask, because I was talking to some guy at Telus' support desk who was obviously talking on a super annoying cell phone, and I couldn't understand him anyway, and we kept speaking over each other. Now he was very polite, I'll give him that.

So back to my point: you may want to check your cell data usage people. And make sure that what your tel co is charging you is right. And that they're aren't adding little itty bitty charges that you don't realize. And the thing to note is that the charge each day was always different, so there was no pattern. (see pictures below for my data usage).

Sounds like a great way to squeeze out some more dollars from poor unsuspecting customers. I don't put anything past a tel co.

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