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    Posted March 17, 2014 by
    Sth Melbourne, Australia

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    Bill Shock. When does 1.2MB = 2MB? When Some Telco's Calculate Your Data.

    We've all heard of bill shock and some of us have been caught up in it, but nothing brings it home like when it happens to you.

    I'll be the first to admit I use a lot of data. So when I came across Yatango, a subsidiary of Optus and their great rates I signed up.

    Although I thought it a bit unusual that the data was reported in 1MB increments I didn't think there was anything much to it. Except that it was impossible to wade through the report of 10GB of monthly data. I didn't worry about this until I apparently used 3GB over the weekend when my computer was often idle and no large files were downloaded. Something wasn't right.

    On emailing the support desk (no telephone support exists) I started to find out things about my data plan that I never knew.

    Initially I was pretty steamed as I knew there was no way I had used the amount of data they said I had. And after a few emails back and forth it was relayed to me how data was calculated.

    If I downloaded 1.1MB of data visiting a webpage it was rounded up to 2MB. Now the penny was starting to drop. It also explained the 1MB incremental reporting.

    Now this is a pretty blatant misrepresentation of the data I was actually using but what were my options?

    Option 1: Request a credit. As I use on average 300MB a day (although now I'm not sure) and was billed for 3GB over a weekend I requested to be reimbursed 2.4GB. I was offered a one time reimbursement of 500MB. Which I took as I was now being charged through the roof for downloading data.

    Option 2: Call the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) or Telecommunications Ombudsman and report it. That's on the list. But I didn't want to be consigned to just being a statistic.

    Option 3: Vent on the internet and alert any unsuspecting data users how some companies operate. And here we are.

    So what's the takeaway for consumers? Be sure to find out how your data is calculated.

    And what's the takeaway for telco's operating in this manner? Well I don't really know. But if you're going to round up then you should also round down. There is no rounding down in this instance. 1.1MB gets charged as 2MB.

    What kind of practice would you call that?

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