Huge Mobilink bill after 3G Trial is over

I started this as a Facebook status but I realized it’s going to better fit as a blog post. Here I go.

Rs. 30,000 worth Mobilink bill, that too on a post-paid number that I don’t use much with a Rs.1500 credit limit???

Mobilink Post-paid users out there , if you were enjoying 3G Trial data on your phone, please be prepared, this could happen to you.

This morning, I received 2 different SMS on my secondary postpaid number saying:

SMS1: Your bill is 4500. Your number is now blocked.

After receiving first SMS I thought it’s fine and I paid it (though it wasn’t fine). I paid the bill and they did say that your number is restored but it got blocked again.

SMS2: Your bill is 26500. Your number is now blocked.

Later I realized total credit limit of this number was only Rs. 1500

*OMG*

Please note this is not my regular number and I use it as a backup (not even secondary ) number.

What to do

If this happens to you, do following:

1. Do not panic 🙂
2. Do not pay any of these bills
3. Make sure this huge bill is not cs of ur international roaming or something.
4. Call the helpline with the facts and figures
5. They will try to shun you off telling you have to pay the bill or ur number is not coming back. Politely make them realize that you have a point 🙂 — obviously a small credit limit number can’t go that high on usage.
6. Once you assert and make them realize, they will talk to somebody senior and will get ur case checked.
7. Usually on the same call they will promise that the bill will be reversed and the number will be restored.
8. If they don’t restore the number in next few minutes, call again and follow step 5 onwards again …. till your problem is solved.

 

Why it actually happened?

It’s definitely 3G data usage.

When I use my normal postpaid number, if my usage goes beyond 75% of my credit limit, they block my number, no calls, no SMS and on 90% even the data is gone.

On 3G, I think they have a different billing mechanism and that’s what caused the problem. Please note if you do not have a package offer activated on your number, they’ll charge you Rs. 18 or so per mb, that is whopping Rs. 18000 per GB.

On the other hand, their bundle offer starts from Rs. 200 per GB , you can see the difference?

Apparently they charged me some GBs worth of data before I signed up for the bundle package.

How to avoid it?

If you really want to use 3G data, go ahead and subscribe to their 3G packages. They are not very expensive.

Package 1 : Rs. 200 per GB, can be subscribed again during a month.

Package 2: Rs. 500 per month, you get 3GB of volume, can’t subscribe again within a month, once you get done with 3GB, Rs. 18/Mb is charged.

Package 3: Rs. 1000 per month, you get 8GB of data, can’t subscribe again in a month, and once over-limit, Rs. 18/Mb is charged.

 

Also, keep an eye on your bill and call immediately before they send you a huge bill.

 

Hope this helps.

 

p.s: Mobilink helpline was really helpful in this regard 🙂

 

Warid – Customer service, a never-ending nightmare

I’m an unhappy customer.


This all starts when I mistakenly decided to port my existing number to Warid Telecom. Yes you heard it right. It is MNP request.

Attempt 1 – March 2nd

I simply walked into a Warid Franchise (Balcom Ltd. Main boulevard, Defence lahore) near my house on a busy Monday evening (That ws 2nd March). I was greeted with a few people occupying the counter and not letting me through, though I succeeded in almost shouting and asking “Can I get my number ported in to Warid from this franchise?” and a nod was the answer. Then I was asked to sit down and wait. I sat down and waited and as I had nothing else to do, I started listening to the requests being made. There were 3 customers on the counter, 2 getting some usual stuff done, and the 3rd one was a “Peer” (yeah, peer in urdu). The guy who was talking and helping peer sahib appeared to be the manager or the senior franchise guy, while the other guys were clearly junior.

After a painful wait of almost half an hour on the bench for me, and same for my wife and son in the car outside, I found a chance to come to the counter and talk to the rep. At the same instance, the manager took the peer sahib and his fellow into his cabin and I was the only one on this side of the counter.

Denial of service and a fight back

To my sheer surprise, when I asked the rep to give me the form for port-in request, he simply refused saying “we are out of forms, please come tomorrow morning”. I decided for a moment to simply forget about porting in, but that was just for a moment. The charm of the bundle sms and mms pushed me again to pursue the chance. I simply walked into the manager’s room and complained about the time I had to waste sitting and waiting just to listen that they don’t have the forms. Well, I was a little loud too. This worked, the manager walked out of his cabin, whispered stuff to the reps out there and instantly everything started working fine, the forms were available, the guy started filling my form, I gave him my NIC copy and showed him the original one, paid Rs. 100 (never got a receipt), showed him my current sim and walla! I got the new sim. I was told that it will be active within a week but it may take a few more days than a week too, so be patient.


I walked out of the franchise with this new sim and got busy with my life.

A never ending delay

I was very patient for 2 weeks and eventually on 15th of March, I called Warid customer support to check the status. I had to wait for a long time ( I did’nt use a stop-watch, must be 15 mins or so) and finally my call got answered. I was told that as an SOP it can take around 15 days to port a number in. So I was told to be patient for a few more days.

Waited Further

I went into patience mode again. And then I was too busy for a couple of weeks to pursue that

Attempt 2 – March 28th

On Saturday, March 28th I called the helpline again to check the status. This time I had a stop watch and it took only 17 minutes to get through to a rep and it really flared me up when he told me that they don’t have any port-in request against this number. What the heck? The helpline told me to simply go to the nearest business center, and not to the franchises to get MNP done. I asked about the franchise nearby and if it will be open and available or not. I was happily guided to Gulberg franchise and I was told that it is open for the service till late evening. I decided to simply go to the business center and complain about this franchise, though I complained to the telephone guy too.

Denial of service, yet again! .. and yeah a fight back too.

I drove to Gulberg business center though I wasn’t that angry by then. I was security screened at the door and when I entered, I was greeted by a well dressed person. He was supposed to help and guide me to obtain a queue-ticket form that machine but when I told him that I’m here to get a number ported-in, he simply excused and told me “We don’t entertain MNP requests on Saturdays, you should come on Monday”. What the heck again???

I told him that the helpline sent me in but he continued arguing. Then another guy came in to get something done to his Blackberry. He was sent in by the helpline as well and he was refused service on Saturday too. When he saw himself getting cornered by two guys who were actually sent to the business center by helpline, he changed his mind and guided us both to respective reps.

I got the ticket, waited for a good 15 minutes and I got my turn.

Finally got the service I was looking for

I was greeted by a very helpful young guy. I told him my story and the first thing I wanted to do was to launch a complaint against the franchise. Apparently the guy knew some people at the franchise and he eventually convinced me not to launch a complaint. He was a nice fellow who excused and apologized for the trouble, filled a new form, saw my documents, took the payment and issued me yet another sim. As it was Saturday evening, he promised that it will be activated on Monday or Tuesday max.

Another promise broken!

Even wednesday’s gone, there’s no sign of number port in. Am I fooled again? Am I asking for a wrong service? Is that how a Telco should behave to the new customers (I don’t care if It is a franchise or not)? Can somebody suggest me where I should complain that actually creates a stir?

In short, if you are looking for some good customer service, my experience is VERY BAD with Warid.

I welcome your comments and feedback and please do share if you had a bad experience with warid.

***** UPDATE *******

Then number got ported successfully within 24 hours of this blog post here and within 12 hours of its cross post on telecompk.net

I wonder if it is the blog power or the business center guy really helped? I think its the biz center guy 🙂