I’ve been hounded by the Vodafone billing department for the last few months. My outstanding is an impressive 8,500…which I’m not actually responsible for!
A few months ago, I bought a Samsung Galaxy S2. I was sent an SMS informing me that I now had a 1GB 3G data plan free, for 6 months. About 3 months ago, I got an SMS telling me that my outstanding was 4000, and that I should make a payment immediately, or lose my connection.
My normal bill is in the range of 700-800, and I make sure to control 3G usage, so I had no idea why the outstanding was so high. When I called Vodafone, I was told that any discount is only applied when the bill is generated. My outstanding was reflecting the actual cost of my 3G usage. When I got the final bill, it was about 600.
My credit limit was increased to 4,500. A month later, it was increased to 6,500. I was then contacted several times and told that my outstanding was now 7K! When I got in touch with actual Vodafone employees (as opposed to the outsourced billing department, who kept calling me), I was told that this was ‘normal’ and that my bill would be much less, when it was generated. My last bill was 710, paid it on October 25th.
My credit limit was then raised to 8,800 and now 9,000. My current outstanding is a massive 8,600! I have been called several times, with people demanding I make some kind of payment to prevent losing my number.
Despite several calls to the Vodafone helpline, no one was able to help me. I finally worked things out myself. They charge 2 paise for 10KB of data, which is 2 Rs. per MB, or about 2,500 for 1 GB. Counting my normal usage, my outstanding should never have crossed 3,000, even if I made use of the FULL 1 GB! Clearly, this is something THEY should have realized months ago! It’s their billing, their system. Surely they know what ‘normal’ bills are like!
When I pointed this issue out, one of their employees was able to find out that I’m being charged 10 paise instead of 2 paise. This makes no difference to the actual bill, as all data under 1GB is free. However, it makes a massive difference to my outstanding. If I use the full 1 GB, my outstanding will show as 12K instead of the actual 2.5K, right until the bill is actually generated.
There are two ways for them to solve this. First, change the billing back to 2 paise, instead of 10 paise. I was told this can’t be done now, only after my next bill is generated. The second option is to raise my credit limit. I was asked to send an SMS requesting this. I did so, on Sunday.
Nothing was done. I was called again yesterday and twice today. After I explained this entire sordid story and requested that my credit limit be increased, I was asked to email one of their managers, who would do this for me.
The catch? I had to include 3 months worth of salary slips! I am extremely appalled by this. I am not requesting more credit from Vodafone. I was merely asking that they fix an issue that they were responsible for in the first place! Why should I have to prove anything?
This entire episode has been very disturbing and has been a complete waste of my time. I truly cannot believe what they have put me through, due to blind adherence to fixed rules. All of this could have been solved months ago, if only someone had shown some common sense.