Your consumer queries answered
Other readers signed up to UPC have been in touch to try and find out about the random nature of their bills. “I have signed up to a set package that was supposed to cost €66 a month,” writes one, “but sometimes when the bill comes it is over €68 and sometimes over €70.
“These are small sums but I can’t understand why the amounts vary. It is not like I am using the web all that much, so it can’t be for downloads above any agreed limit. Surely if I have signed a contract to pay a set amount each month I should be billed for that amount?”
In response, UPC said its administration charge had been in place since 2007. A spokeswoman said people could avoid paying the charge by direct debit and she said that 80 per cent of its customers did just that.
We did some maths and if UPC has 500,000 customers, around 100,000 do not pay by direct debt, so the company profits by €4.5m each year from them. That’s more than €20m since the charges were introduced.
In connection with the varying bills, the spokeswoman suggested that changes to the bundle charges could relate to call charges, which fall outside the call pack.
Netsize, a mysterious gobbler of phone credit
Thomas is a pay-as-you-go customer of O2. “Shortly before Christmas I bought €20 credit,” he writes. “This was reduced to €1 within days although I had made only four or five short local calls.”
In the middle of January, he bought another €20 worth of credit, which fell to just €3 within three days, even though he had made only four short local calls.
“I complained to O2 and was told that an organisation called Netsize had accessed my phone on six different dates and that was the reason my credit was reduced.”
The mobile-phone operator said it would contact Netsize and ask it not to access his phone anymore. He also phoned Netsize and got “a recorded message which indicated that they would cease accessing my phone.O2 said they could not compensate me for the loss of credit which amounted to €30-35. I know nothing about Netsize and I have never contacted them.”