Pricewatch: Readers’ queries

This week’s consumer concerns relate to a huge broadband bill and a hotel refusing to accept a voucher

‘My trouble began when I received a bill from Meteor for €740 as I had exceeded my broadband limit,’ a reader tells us

‘My trouble began when I received a bill from Meteor for €740 as I had exceeded my broadband limit,’ a reader tells us

Mon, May 5, 2014, 01:00

CUSTOMER DISTRESSED BY MOUNTING BROADBAND BILL

Lisa is a mobile phone customer with Meteor. She pays her bill by direct debit and until recently “always found their billing reasonable”. She added mobile broadband with Meteor several months ago and agreed a fixed price with them of €25 per month.

“My trouble began when I received a bill from Meteor for €740 as I had exceeded my broadband limit,” she writes. “I queried this bill with Meteor, as I felt that we could not have genuinely used this amount when we had been doing nothing new during this time, as all previous bills had been around €25.”

She also asked that she be contacted via email if her account approached its limit in the future and this was agreed by Meteor. “I requested to speak to a supervisor to have it explained to me how my bill had exceeded my limit so drastically. I was refused my request to speak to a supervisor,” she says.

She contacted ComReg, who agreed to look into the issue. “As a result of ComReg intervening, Meteor agreed to deduct €500. This would have been very acceptable except that same week a new Meteor bill arrived for €1,800 in total with €500 deducted as a ‘gesture of goodwill’. No email to advise me we were approaching our limit was received at any stage”.

Then a breakdown of charges arrived in the post. “As I went through these charges a number of issues came to my attention, namely on one of the dates where we apparently had high usage there was nobody in the house, as we were all in A&E with my son. Also, some of the charges were in the middle of the night. Again impossible, as we switch off our wifi when we are going to bed.

Again she tried to discuss these issues with a supervisor and was promised a call back, which she never received.

“I am still disputing the total amount with Meteor, but in the meantime they have disconnected my phone and I can no longer use my number. This number has been mine for about 15 years. It was brought with me to Meteor and also is my business contact number.”

As she was in dispute over the first bill of €740, she wants to know why she was not alerted to the fact that she was exceeding her limit again, and why she was allowed to accrue more excessive charges while trying to come to a resolution regarding the first bill.

“I am a struggling start-up business, otherwise I would have attempted to set up a weekly repayment plan with Meteor in order to retain my number, as it’s an advertised business number.”

We contacted Meteor. A spokeswoman said the company wished to apologise to our reader for her customer-care experience, but it maintained the charges were valid. However, it said it had applied “a significant credit” our reader’s bill “as a gesture of goodwill”.

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