Feeds

ISP data metering: a warning from Australia

Coming to an ISP near you

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Letter A warning from Australia:-



I read on the Register a while back that some UK ISP's were looking at Data use limits.

Don't let it happen, and if it does happen, this is what you are in for, overcharging by way of "excess usage charge" in most case's here in Australia every extra Megabyte = AU$0.15, not much after all it's only AU 15 cents?

What happens to your monthly limit of only 3000mb when a new or inexperienced user decides to download a few game demos, some music, play online for a few hours? The usage bill on the 3000mb capped plan blows out to 5000mb (and higher of course), and in the next bill the AU$99.00, 3000mb "plan" has a extra AU$300 "pay up or else" charge, so the total bill for a 5000mb monthly use = AU$399.00 (GBP 142.63)

Telstra customers in Australia have to budget downloads as if they were gold. Enter the "Telstra usage meter", a device invented by Beelzebub (no one else could have pulled this off).

This meter must account for half the mental health problems in Australia, when Telstra introduced "capped" download plans the Usage Meter was a online check to view your downloads.

The only trouble is it just plain doesn't work, Telstra customers have numerous problems with this tool of Lucifer's creation...

1. The Meter is always 48hrs BEHIND the actual time.

2. Telstra has a "free" sites area, where you are not charged for some downloads, online gaming (of Telstra's choice, a "we think this is what you need" service), in the past it has charged customers this "free" use, then denied anything was wrong with it, help desk (hell desk), staff have a common line to tell customers, "The usage meter is 100% accurate, so you will have to pay."

3. At the end of the month when you check your 48hr lagged usage, and then try to estimate the downloads that are missing, not counting any "free" downloads (if they counted them), you may be able to get that new 50mb operating system update without paying $7.50 to Telstra.

4. While it is a hassle to budget downloads as outlined in item 3, it gets worse, Telstra's Usage meter can't handle the strain of it's Cable, Satelite and ADSL customers checking their useage and the system crashes 3 days, (and in ALL peak time use) before the end of the month. 5-10 minutes and 10 attemps are common place IF your lucky enough to get on at all. (There is a joke/rumour that the evil device is actualy a collection of 3 X 486 dx4 100 servers).

5. As mentioned before, anytime customers feel Telstra have got the total wrong, they get the "We have tested the meter and it is 100% accurate, so pay up", or when you complain that the meter is not working (no access or it has not updated for the last 10 days) the customers are told "seems to be OK, must be at "your end".

To cap it off Telstra recently sent out 3 emails...
The first tells of a "network configeration" problem, and the meter had reported low readings (not counted downloads), and customers won't be charged for the sudden jump in extra megabytes.

The second backs up the first, outlining the problem, then goes on to tell customers that if they go onto a higher (more costly - higher download) plan, they will not be charged for the overuse.

The third email is similar but tells customers of a bigger problem, the meter has been reporting low for a "few months" and like the second email "encourages" customers to move to a higher plan. They have admitted the meter has problems...and the fix is get on to a higher plan or we will charge you for overuse.

Telstra expect us to believe that this meter is always only faulty one way and has never overcharged anyone, without offering any proof of exact dates or who checked / fixed this system.

The local petrol station couldn't get away with this, but with the support of a out-dated Telecommunications act (courtesy of Sen "Luddite" Alston ), our consumer watch dog ACCC has their hands tied.

Yes I can see it now, just like UK residents hunger for some Australian TV shows, a capped broadband service with this great meter will be very popular.

You may read more here and here

Kim Porter.




®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie sacked in three-way fsck row
Tale of two lads and wannabe game dev makes for great management material
Microsoft to bring back beloved 1990s super-hit BATTLETOADS!?*
* Or maybe not. It is just a trademark filing, after all
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.