Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fair Trading?

If you're a Vodafone customer, and you've gone onto one of their broadband plans where you get 20 gbs for a month, and you manage to use slightly more than the 20 gbs (in the latest case because of iPhone upgrades) you are penalised by Vodafone if you want to keep on at broadband speed.  The alternative is dial-up speed, which these days is useless if you work on the Internet to any great degree, as I do.

In order to keep your broadband speed, you have to double your normal usage, and pay a premium for it.  We're on a plan that gives us 20 gbs a month, so that means we have to pay another $20 and get another 20 gbs.  The only problem is, our 'anniversary' date (the date the normal gbs run out each month) is only two days away.   Can we keep the extra gbs we've paid for?   Nope.  They all vanish and we start from scratch again, as though we hadn't paid for anything extra.  

Last time this happened, we had some blow-out because my son and his fiancĂ©e were staying with us, and used a lot of our broadband with uploading videos to the Net.   We bought the extra gbs and I watched some movies online.   However, while this was pleasurable, after a fashion, it was just an attempt to use up something I didn't really want in the first place.

This time, because we have only two days to go in our 'month', there's no way we'll use up the additional broadband.  So Vodafone gets $20 in its pocket and doesn't have to pay for much in the way of broadband to its supplier.   I talked to the customer service woman at Vodafone and she says they get complaints about this all the time, and they pass on the feedback about it all the time.  So far it hasn't made any difference.

I wouldn't object to paying for two or three gbs at a dollar a gb.   That would seem reasonable at this time of the month.  But no, Vodafone has decided that if you go over, you get penalised heavily, or go back to the dark ages of dial-up.   Here's the official line from Vodafone when you pay for this additional broadband:
  • You can only buy one double your data block a month.
  • Double your data blocks are charged on a full-month basis.
  • Double your data blocks expire on your data allowance anniversary date, so make sure you use up all of your data before your allowance gets reset.
  • If you change plans or close your account before you've used all of the extra data you'll still be charged.
 Make sure we use up our data allowance before the reset?   Yeah, right.
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