Confusing Tariffs Continue To Confound Customers

from the where's-the-enigma-machine dept

Mobile phone tariffs have never been easy to decipher, with many consumers wondering if operators make things intentionally confusing to drive bills higher. While in the US, most plans have moved towards no-roaming, no long-distance, one-rate structures, Australian operator Telstra is keeping up the tradition by introducing a new prepaid tariff that actually pays users to receive calls. While it's nice to see an operator returning some of the mobile termination charges it receives to users, wouldn't it be better for customers to scrap the "rewards" program and put the savings into making things cheaper and simpler across the board? Contrast Telstra's approach to that of US virtual operator Tracfone, which has announced a new prepaid tariff that's about as simple as it gets: 10 cents per minute. Some incumbent US operators have per-minute rates that low, but also charge per-day usage fees. Operators appear to be surprised when no-frills discount MVNOs steal customers from them, and while some have attempted to simplify their offerings, the vast majority haven't caught on to the fact that most consumers appreciate clarity in pricing.

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  • identicon
    John Gunnarsson, 6 Jul 2005 @ 10:48pm

    Paid to get phoned caused problems for companies i

    In Sweden we have an operator called Comviq. Several years ago they introduced pre-paid card with a bonus you received if someone called you (to call for). The problem was that people used their office phone and called their cell phone and then let the phone call their cell phone all day. The cost for the companies went rocket high. Then the companies put filters in their phone systems so that you could not call such comviq pre-paid numbers.

    A more recent and interesting thing is that Vodaphone has a fixed price to your cell phone as long as you in a country where Vodaphone is present. The price is the same as the national minute cost. Very good for me when I go to Japan and can phone home for about 11 cents a minute instead of approx 2$ (I use Swedish Krona, but I guess you all know the value of a dollar :-)

    Sincerely
    John

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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