Bill shock – don’t let it happen to you

Bill shock – don’t let it happen to you

Surfing the great highway of information the other day, I stumbled upon the Wikipedia page for Bill Shock. A term that I have come to know very well, whilst working in the telecoms industry for the last 9 years. I’ve seen clients and colleagues gasp in awe over one line in their mobile phone bill, I too have personally felt this many years ago when I first switched over from my Nokia 6310i to a Sony Ericsson P800i.

I was promised unlimited email and web all for £10 a month, but unbeknown to me this was capped at 100MB (this was back in 2003). So when the first phone bill landed on my door step I casually tossed it aside thinking that it will be a standard £35 a month affair.

A week later I noticed that the network in question had helped themselves to £300 of my hard earned money. Their helpful customer service rep informed me that I had gone over my 100MB allowance and I’d been charged for the excess usage – apparently bandwidth on the network for data usage is worth more than an ounce of gold!

Fast forward 8 years and what I thought would have been eradicated with the networks educating consumers on tariff choices and data usage alas has not been. Just the other day I was explaining to a client why they had racked up a £7.5k phone bill whilst using their data centric device abroad.

I don’t think enough has been done to educate consumers on managing their data plans and usage. Arrow recommends  using Wi-Fi wherever possible and making sure that if you do have a data device other than a BlackBerry that you have an adequate data plan. Finally always check before you travel that you an adequate allowance for data usage whilst roaming.

I don’t think “Bill Shock” will be destined for the telecoms garbage bin anytime soon.

Arrow customers can log into Insight to review their unbilled calls at any time via the website.

Deep Kalsi is one of Arrow’s product specialists