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Tesco Mobile - 1,363 bill for 350Mb Data on UNLIMITED data contract!


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Old 21-01-2011, 13:54
GeorgeBR
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I have just been charged 1,363.47 by Tesco Mobile for going over their arbitrary "fair use policy" on their UNLIMITED DATA contract by just 350Mb!

While I appreciate a "fair use policy" is necessary, Tesco Mobile's 1Gb/month limit is lower than almost all the limited contracts. This fair use limit is just plain old dishonest selling. IF the fair use policy was there to protect their network then they could have restricted my access - but at 4/Mb that means I could be paying nearly 600 for an App update!

The store sold it to me as a truly unlimited data contract - nothing was said about a fair use policy (let alone a particularly small one!) Likewise, I asked the store if I could use the SIM in an iPhone and they a said I could use it in any device.

It's time Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority got some teeth and did something about these companies. If I advertised "gold" but put in very small letters that it could actually be plastic they wouldn't accept that!
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:05
JulesandSand
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Bloody hell - I've just taken an account with Tesco on an 'unlimited' data tariff.

Are you able to check your usage online?
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:13
jswift909
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I have just been charged 1,363.47 by Tesco Mobile for going over their arbitrary "fair use policy" on their UNLIMITED DATA contract by just 350Mb!

While I appreciate a "fair use policy" is necessary, Tesco Mobile's 1Gb/month limit is lower than almost all the limited contracts. This fair use limit is just plain old dishonest selling. IF the fair use policy was there to protect their network then they could have restricted my access - but at 4/Mb that means I could be paying nearly 600 for an App update!

The store sold it to me as a truly unlimited data contract - nothing was said about a fair use policy (let alone a particularly small one!) Likewise, I asked the store if I could use the SIM in an iPhone and they a said I could use it in any device.

It's time Trading Standards and the Advertising Standards Authority got some teeth and did something about these companies. If I advertised "gold" but put in very small letters that it could actually be plastic they wouldn't accept that!
I would imagine you would have a very good case against them. They should have sent you warning messages when you reached your limit and disabled Internet access, or did the same as T-Mobile and prevented downloads.

CEO addresses are available here: http://www.connectotel.com/marcus/ceoemail.html

You should certainly make sure they don't try to take the money until the matter is resolved - you should ask to have this put in to dispute.

I'd probably register a complaint with OfCom http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/

There is also Consumer Direct - you can register a complaint there.

I don't know if the regulator has already issued guidance to companies that they should advise you if you go over your usage allowance.
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:14
davethorp
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Welcome to the forums

The ASA have actually investigated complaints about unlimited deals with limits before and I think the general consensus is that as long as a fair use policy is clearly defined and said policy only affects a minority of users then the ASA are happy to allow the use of the word unlimited even when it isn't the dictionary definition

That said, did you not have any form of contact warning you that you were approaching a limit. Most networks normally will call you or send a text to warn that data could become chargeable. Also some networks will throttle traffic rather than cut you off or start charging you

Ultimately you me be better putting what you have put in your OP in a written complaint to tesco mobile, adding if you didn't receive any kind of warning that you were going to be charged. You may get lucky and tesco may refund some or all of the charges, however this would likely be done as a gesture of goodwill rather than any form of obligation on their part
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:20
Red Arrow
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Didn't the EU pass some sort of law to prevent people from getting huge bills such as this? That the mobile operator needs to cut the user off after a set limit?

Anyway, one thing that does amaze me these days is people still think when they are told they have an unlimited plan, that it really is unlimited. There has been so many horror stories such as the OP's one that you would think people would look into it before going 'wild' on their phone. Sorry OP not meaning to have a go at you, I just find it amazing people still end up in this situation. Oh and 1GB is actually a lot more than what most companies offer these days.

Have you called up Tesco to explain this to them? Most people who have done this in the past have had there bills reduced normally.
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:23
booie
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I thought tesco mobile had a 30 limit meaning if you go over your so called "unlimited" limit then you carnt run up a bill bigger than 30.
Im sure somthing should of flagged up well before you reached anything like that amount of debt.
Keep us updated how you go on with this one.
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:24
jswift909
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If someone cannot check how much data allowance they have used, how could they possibly know they've gone over it.

I'm using Network Counter on Android to monitor my usage since the T-mobile fiasco.

But I've just checked my mobile on 150 and it says 598mins left, 500txt left, I have Unlimited Web & Walk allowance based on their 'fair usage' policy.

As far as I'm aware I have unlimited, with the fair usage policy of 3GB for Android users. But it tells me nowhere, how much data I've actually used.

It might be said they were unable to enforce terms which a consumer couldn't reasonably expect to adhere to, because they weren't given data usage info, or warning texts.
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:25
jswift909
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/...unlimited.html

Here is the same problem mentioned by Watchdog, about Internet, using Tesco Mobile.
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:29
jswift909
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Right. Read this. See underlined bit.


Lance Batchelor, Chief Executive Officer of Tesco Telecoms and Tesco Mobile says:

"Tesco Mobile offers great value and excellent service to all our customers, but to do this we have to discourage unusually demanding usage that could harm the network and the experience of all Tesco Mobile customers. Our fair usage policy means that almost all our customers on unlimited tariffs will have more than ample cover for their needs.

"Nonetheless, we apologise to Mr Alderman for his experience. We have written off the amount in question and added a goodwill gesture to say sorry for his inconvenience.

"In fact, even before we heard of Mr Alderman's experience we had already changed our processes for implementing the fair usage policy as we recognised that we needed to do more for our customers.

"The new process means that in the rare instance a customer reaches the fair usage limit, they will receive a text to point this out. We will only ever charge customers if their usage is continued and excessive. We also put a cap on additional costs so that customers are protected from unknowingly generating bills.
"All customers receive details of our fair usage policy in their welcome letter. However in light of this feedback we will also be making the details much more visible on our website."
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:31
davethorp
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Right. Read this.


Lance Batchelor, Chief Executive Officer of Tesco Telecoms and Tesco Mobile says:

"Tesco Mobile offers great value and excellent service to all our customers, but to do this we have to discourage unusually demanding usage that could harm the network and the experience of all Tesco Mobile customers. Our fair usage policy means that almost all our customers on unlimited tariffs will have more than ample cover for their needs.

"Nonetheless, we apologise to Mr Alderman for his experience. We have written off the amount in question and added a goodwill gesture to say sorry for his inconvenience.

"In fact, even before we heard of Mr Alderman's experience we had already changed our processes for implementing the fair usage policy as we recognised that we needed to do more for our customers.

"The new process means that in the rare instance a customer reaches the fair usage limit, they will receive a text to point this out. We will only ever charge customers if their usage is continued and excessive. We also put a cap on additional costs so that customers are protected from unknowingly generating bills.

"All customers receive details of our fair usage policy in their welcome letter. However in light of this feedback we will also be making the details much more visible on our website."
Well that's interesting

Can I suggest the OP includes a quote of that if they write to tesco mobile as I suggested
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:33
jswift909
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lance.batchelor@uk.tesco.com
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:48
jswift909
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If you get in to a dispute between yourself and Tesco this might be a better regulator to contact.


http://www.otelo.org.uk/

Otelo is the Office of the Telecommunications Ombudsman. Our job is to sort out disagreements between public communications providers and consumers using their services.

And Tesco Mobile is listed under their members section.
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Old 21-01-2011, 14:52
IanN
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Actually - the maximum you could be charged for an app update is 80 @ 4 per meg, the app store won't let you download anything over 20mb on a 3G connection.

The charge for going over your limit seems ridiculous, 1 per mb would be amazingly excessive.

So for the first 1gb you pay nothing, for the next 1gb you pay 4000... awful
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Old 21-01-2011, 15:23
sbugg
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Thank **** i'm on payg, what a rip off
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Old 21-01-2011, 15:33
TeeGee
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Thank **** i'm on payg, what a rip off
There is a lot to be said for PAYG. I agree entirely!
Hope the OP gets it sorted.
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Old 21-01-2011, 15:45
alanwarwic
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Assuming the OP is telling the truth it looks like Tesco try the 'cash extraction' routine first so there is some hope for the OP.

Otelo say they have a limited set of scenarios where they can help yet do not explain what they are. I'd certainly still follow some of what they say but write to Ofcom.

But as far as I am concerned supposed regulators Ofcom are the main cause of all this, almost always being anti-consumer unless heavily pushed
I'd very much suggest writing to your MP too..
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Old 21-01-2011, 15:47
JulesandSand
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The OP hasn't said whether he received comms from Tesco that he was about to, or had exceeded the FUP limit.
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Old 21-01-2011, 15:50
b.lever
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/watchdog/...unlimited.html

Here is the same problem mentioned by Watchdog, about Internet, using Tesco Mobile.
isnt Tesco mobile o2 network just had problems with tesco mobile .bought wildfire phone on pay as you go topped up with ten pounds used the internet once for a short time told me out of credit . rang tesco seems to be some mistake . credited me with 20 pound . now going to change my network provider .
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:11
Confusing
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You should always read the terms and conditions when you enter a contract. It's unbelievable the amount of people that don't.

Personally I recommend 3... if you go on their one plan, you get truly unlimited data.
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:31
nikproffitt
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I have an unlimited data packacge with orange. When I bought it there was no mention of any fair usage policy. However, as I use it as a modem for my laptop and download from itunes I occasionly used a lot of data. I received a letter telling me that if I didn't restrict my downloads they would charge me if I went over a certain amount.

I e-mailed customer services saying that as there was no mention of a fair usage policy when I took the contract they could not do this. I heard nothing back from them, however I have had no further letters or charges when I download a lot of data.

I think I won that time!
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:39
booie
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You should always read the terms and conditions when you enter a contract. It's unbelievable the amount of people that don't.

Personally I recommend 3... if you go on their one plan, you get truly unlimited data.
Yes i think 3 should start using the word "infinite" meaning "no end of" to seperate itself from these other companys having limitations on their so called unlimited offerings.
At least this would make it clear to the consumer.
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Old 21-01-2011, 16:57
Confusing
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I have an unlimited data packacge with orange. When I bought it there was no mention of any fair usage policy. However, as I use it as a modem for my laptop and download from itunes I occasionly used a lot of data. I received a letter telling me that if I didn't restrict my downloads they would charge me if I went over a certain amount.

I e-mailed customer services saying that as there was no mention of a fair usage policy when I took the contract they could not do this. I heard nothing back from them, however I have had no further letters or charges when I download a lot of data.

I think I won that time!
When you got the contract, you would have been given, or linked to, terms and conditions. It will all be in there.

Also, was the letter about going over your limit, or just restricting downloads? Because a lot of networks don't allow tethering, I'm not sure if orange do or not.
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Old 21-01-2011, 17:13
alanwarwic
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Yes i think 3 should start using the word "infinite" meaning "no end of" to seperate itself from these other companys having limitations on their so called unlimited offerings.
At least this would make it clear to the consumer.
A good idea considering wide boy mobile companies have been allowed to get away with ignoring the dictionary,
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Old 21-01-2011, 17:17
eng123
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You should always read the terms and conditions when you enter a contract. It's unbelievable the amount of people that don't.

Personally I recommend 3... if you go on their one plan, you get truly unlimited data.
That's if you can get a signal and a 3G signal that is remotely usable. No wonder they are truly unlimited. It's unusable.
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Old 21-01-2011, 17:38
Confusing
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That's if you can get a signal and a 3G signal that is remotely usable. No wonder they are truly unlimited. It's unusable.
Depends where you live, you can check the coverage maps. It's perfect where I live, very rarely do I find that I have no signal.

In terms of 3G coverage, it's one of best (if not the best) network for it - they claim that they cover 97% and more than any other network. (Although Orange also claim to be the best network, with 93% coverage).

http://www.three.co.uk/Mobile_Broadb..._speed?id=1403

http://www2.orange.co.uk/servlet/Sat...=1096023564458
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