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Reliability of provider based usage monitoring called into question at BT
Wednesday 06 August 2014 10:19:55 by Andrew Ferguson

Over the years we have seen a steady trickle of enquires about excess usage billing with the BT Broadband services, where people are convinced their connection usage has not changed significantly but usage has rocketed. Thus it is good to see BT putting their hand up to a billing mistake that has meant for some people excess usage charges were raised when BT-WiFi and/or FON usage took them over their inclusive usage allowance. In theory the BT WiFi and FON usage should be not be counted towards a users monthly total and while the number who got billed extra may be small, it is possible others have escaped being billed but have seen spikes in their monthly usage figures.

The way we all use our broadband connections is changing, and as simply a thing as upgrading from a feature phone to a smart phone with all the weekly app updates that occur can easily boost broadband usage without people realising the volume of data used. The general advice is to buy an unlimited service or if using a service with a usage limit ensure the provider has robust systems in place to notify you of your progress to the monthly limit and any excess usage.

Mobile phone providers in theory have notification systems in place for when you go roaming, but even with all the pressure from the EU it still appears that the text message alerts on the costs when roaming are slow to arrive or never make it.

Comments

Posted by audioslim over 2 years ago
I think the 'called into question' is a rather tame statement (having read the 'Billing Mistake' thread over at BT.
BT have admitted to the issue, for a select number of customers/area/conditions (they seem to reckon it affects less than 500 customers). The rest of the thread appears to contradict that.

Shocking behaviour from BT and they are still dragging their feet by the looks of it.

Everybody effected should take this to the small claims court. I bet BT wouldnt even attempt to defend the case (considering the scenario)
Posted by audioslim over 2 years ago
How about a headline of 'BT Rips customers off with inaccurate usage/billing).....
I think that's more suitable!
Posted by Unknown101 over 2 years ago
audioslim - less than 500 people who will have it refunded in Augusts bill, It would never reach a small claims court. Article is a bit misleading but again Thinkbroadband loves a negativity toward BT.
Posted by audioslim over 2 years ago
Having read the full thread I don't believe the 500 figure nor the length of time it was occurring. I think BT are being deliberately quiet on the matter and are refusing to answer reasonable questions.
Posted by michaels_perry over 2 years ago
In my experience, BT have been making this billing 'mistake' for more than a year. We had a capped service and were frequently warned about approaching our cap - even in a month when we were away for 4 weeks so usage would have been minimal! So the BT WiFi and/or FON usage had to be the culprit and should never have been included. As we didn't actually exceed the limit we were not billed extra but did get the warning email! We took to turning off the Home Hub when we went away and bills dropped considerably.
Posted by SimonW2 over 2 years ago
Glad to see this story being publicised - I'm the person on the linked thread posting as "SimonW".

BT's exec committee have admitted that the fault was not isolated to this particular occasion and have stated that it was occurring as far back as 2010 (contrary to the posts on the thread).

I suspect that a lot more customers have been impacted. A quick review of the BT Community message boards indicates that customers are still encountering this fault.
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