The year at a glance

  Ranon's complaint to the TIO

Ramon called the TIO after a problem with his mobile phone service.

A few months before, he had visited a phone dealer to sign up to a mobile plan telling them that he would be living in one country town for a short time and then moving permanently to another country town, so he needed a service for which he would have coverage in both towns. He was advised that coverage would be no problem in either location. On that basis he signed up for a plan and arranged a direct debit to pay the account.

Within days of moving to his permanent address, Ramon claimed the service was patchy and his phone would often roam on to another provider’s network, incurring expensive charges. He told us he contacted his provider’s customer service centre several times about the issues, as he was not told at the dealership that data roaming would be part of the contract. He told us he would not have signed up if he had been aware of this.

During the course of the complaint the provider offered to waive all fees incurred and allow him to transfer his number to another provider if he returned his handset, which he accepted. Despite the offer, he received a bill for $1,400 the following month. From this amount, $700 was an early termination fee – the cost of his handset and the balance for charges incurred when he exceeded his cap.

Ramon called us again when his bank notified him that his service provider had attempted to direct debit his account, but the transaction had been rejected due to insufficient funds. During our investigation, the service provider waived all the fees and cancelled the direct debit action in their system.

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