What You Should Know to Avoid Conflicts with Your Carrier
Recent statistics stated in the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications (CCTS) 2011 annual report suggests that telecom billing complaints are drastically increasing. The Commission recorded more than a 120% growth in the number of total complaints, in which 62% were related to wireless billing. Only a few years’ earlier, in 2007-08, mobility complaints represented only 31% of all complaints.
79% of complaints filed were related to Billing errors or contract disputes. Bill Shock is a common symptom experienced by many mobile phone users.
Some of the most common causes of Bill Shock often are due to misunderstanding data consumption charges and disputes over contractual agreements. The report also suggests that “over 87% of complaints concluded this year were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both consumers and their service providers”. This suggests that users and carriers are often willing and able to come to a fair and just agreement.
Some of the examples and lessons learned from the report include:
- Over usage of data: The customer’s claim was that he didn’t realize the amount of data being used to download movies and music. While the provider had online tool available to monitor data, the user claims he was not made aware of this.
- Lesson Learned: The CCTS ruled that it was the responsibility of the customer to monitor his data usage. Therefore, be diligent in understanding usage charges.
- Disconnected Service: The customer’s service was disconnected, although her account with the current provider was paid in full, the customer had an outstanding unpaid balance with an affiliate of the provider. For this reason the carrier cut off the customer’s service.
- Lesson Learned: The ruling was made in favor of the customer. Although the consequence was outlined in the contract, the Terms of Service were unclear and therefore are always interpreted against the provider or in favor of the customer. Therefore, be diligent in understanding Terms of Service.
- Fraud Liability: A business’s telecom system was hacked and $20,000 in long-distance charges was accumulated.
- Lesson Learned: The commissioner determined that the company’s usage was uncharacteristic and that there was no evidence of permitting the hackers access. The telecom charges were dropped. The commission recommends that customers be diligent in understanding liability.
The best way to avoid conflicts with your carrier is to be proactive with understanding charges and other contractual terms. A Telecom Expense Management (TEM) system, when implemented can help you understand what you are spending, who is spending what, who has what, and the impact of a change on your network.
Request a free demo of Cimpl today, and learn about how your company can take control of your telecom spend.