You may remember in our last blogpost
we told the tale of Matt Buie, a Canadian who got served with a $22,000 roaming
data bill after his young son streamed video on holiday. We’ve followed Buie’s story
with keen interest since then, as it was clear from the start that he was never
going to give in – but at the same time his provider had little reason to seek
Since we first shared the
story, there have been a few developments. The first was that Buie’s provider
offered to cut the charge down to $2,200, but Buie refused. This turned out to
be a shrewd move as the next offer cut the bill to a more palatable $200 in an
attempt to stave off the bad publicity.
More interesting than the
simple settling of the bill though is that Buie has since offered advice to future
victims of these roaming data charges. Mistreated cell phone customers can now read
Buie’s step-by-step guide on how to
deal with your provider in the event of an excessive roaming data bill.
While Buie’s guide is
certainly a handy reference for other suffering customers though, it also illuminates
that the root of these charges is not technological complexity, but a lack of
customer advocacy. None of the steps in Buie’s guides are about technological
issues, after all – they instead focus on how difficult it is for an individual
to deal with a large corporation.
Right from the moment the
story broke, Buie has always admitted he made a mistake letting his son use his
phone while on holiday – he’s only disputed that it was a mistake worth
$22,000. He’s also pointed out that if the provider really had his own
interests at heart then it wouldn’t have let the issue escalate so much. He’s
completely right on both counts.
At Truphone, we believe network
operators must do much more to protect their customers and that it’s only by
treating each other with respect that we can aspire to have worthwhile
communication at all. That’s why we’re redoubling our commitment to customer
services and are currently rolling out updates that simplify our billing
systems and provide free, global access to customer services
We like to think we’d fit in
well with the final step in Buie’s guide – find
a better provider.