Sunday, April 12, 2009

shifty billing practices

What it costs to:
Receive your itemised phone bills by post £3
Not set up a direct debit to pay for bills £3
Pay your bills with cheque through the post £4

So, if you have your bill on paper to thoroughly check it, distrust unscrutinised-for-ever direct debits to clear your bills and like to post a cheque for your bill to keep the little paper-y bit to file, this lovely mobile phone network will be charging you an extra £10 a month plus VAT (note seething sarcasm.) And all these changes happen without them being communicated - these amounts are simply added on to my bills.

It was as if 3 is trying to get customers who don't scrutinise their bills, don't check their finances thoroughly, and discriminate against elderly and business customers who find more security (and comply with paperwork) by paying by cheque. Any other deviation from this standard, 18-30yo money-loose customers will result in the customer in question being penalised for not conforming to their easy-to-deal-with, voiceless customer.

I don't buy into direct debits, given that I like to keep a bare minimum amount on my card (in case of loss or theft.) I like to know exactly when and how much money comes out of my account - i.e. actually making the payment for my bills. When I try to do so online, the system barred me from doing so because my bill and bank account postcodes do not match. Ha! I have asked them to update it almost three months ago, and by stupid reason I was told that the bill postcode is one of last year - when the previous month's bill had been paid exactly in the same manner, and was approved. Out-of-date records? Ha! Your company's fault and not mine. If you had the guts to have overseas call centres to slash costs, at least keep your records synchronised at all times.

And no, I'm not buying into the 'paperless bills save the environment' argument. It's way too blatant they're trying to eke out 3 quid per month by way of green guilt exploitation. They still send me loads of promotional mail, all of them printed on glossy paper, and all of them sent to my current address. If they liked their bill paper so much, they can eat it and not have my contract.

I will rub this on their face. Seriously.
They have the cheek to charge me without proper disclosure!

Somebody can remind me to harass the contract sales guy the next time he gives me a call.

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