Like most sane people, and professional miserablists, I hate Christmas, so it was nice to escape to Elche in Spain to see my Uncle Tony and Kim who I’ve not really seen for fifteen years. A lot of catching up was done (as well as lots of wine drinking).
To facilitate the fact that I cannot live without the internet these days, prior to the trip, I phoned O2 up to add a 10mb data abroad bolt on to my tariff. Being only away for five days, I thought it would cover most of my usage, but obviously I knew that I would spend some extra.
Cut to billing day, and what’s this? I’ve received only 3.3mb free. Out of the paid for 10mb. What? That means that the I’m paying (through the nose as well) for the rest of the 20mb I actually used, which equates to about 45 of your English pounds and that’s on top of the roaming call charges (but that’s a separate issue).
Not happy with this I phone up customer services and speak to a nice bloke called Matthew, who doesn’t normally work on O2 business customer services, but was nicer than most of the people I speak to when I ring them up (and I have to ring them up at least once a month as there is a problem or a query with my bill).
Matthew knows instantly what the issue is here – O2 bill pro rata with their data bolt ons. What does that mean in real terms?
I phoned up on the 22 December. The data bolt on is not for 10mb starting from that date until you’ve used it, but rather it’s for 10mb over the course of a month, i.e. 0.33mb per day on a 30 day month. As my billing date is the first of every month, for December I received ten days worth of that 10mb, or 3.3mb. Hmm.
Now, I could reluctantly (very reluctantly) accept that if I’d known. However, I wasn’t told this at all when I phoned up to get the bolt on added and I couldn’t find mention of it on O2’s website under business data bolt on terms and conditions (you may have to view source to actually see them, as I did, if you’re on a Mac, Safari or Firefox).
Like I suspect a lot of people, I phoned up a day before going away expecting to be able to use my 10mb until it ran out on holiday, but what actually happens is I get a third of that, and get stung for the rest of the data I use. Further, I am left with a frankly useless 6.66mb for the first 21 days of January when I am not actually away. Thanks. For. That.
What this actually means is to use it properly in this case, I’d have had to phone up the day after my bill was issued (in my case the second) and get them to add the data bolt on then. But for short notice trips (i.e. a lot of business users) there’s usually no way of knowing how often/when you’ll be going away in a month, let alone how that relates to your phone billing date.
All of which strikes me as very sneaky, especially as I was only told about this today and I’ve added data bolt ons a few times (all must have worked reasonably well in terms of the alignment of when I went versus when my billing date has been).
Most of the time, I’ve been extremely happy with O2 (that is until I switched to a business tarrif), but this just goes to prove the that in the end, they’re all a bunch of money grabbing charlatans (© Luke Scheybeler circa 2001).
Thankfully Matthew has/is arranging for a credit to be attached to my account as I wasn’t informed of the way they actually utilise the data bolt on. I’ll wait to see if it actually get’s applied.