Puakma: Under the hood

I'm Brendon Upson, jack-of-all-trades, master of one or two. I'm talking about life running a small ISV tackling business issues and leaping technology hurdles in a single bound.

webWise Network Consultants is based in Sydney, Australia and develops the groundbreaking Puakma server technology.


Alas 3 mobile....

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 17:46

Some companies just don't get it: Good customer service is king.

Here's my scenario. I am on a 24 month mobile phone contract with 3 (18 months in). I go on a trip to New Zealand and make a number of calls back to Australia. I expect to pay more, no problem. While I'm there I get a call from the lovely Indian call centre telling me I have to pay $500 within the next 2 days as my account has "high usage". Here I am on a PLAN, paying ~ $130 per month and my bill has "blown out" to $500. If I don't pay my phone will be suspended. 

Here's the kicker. In no way can I itemise the $500+ bill to see what I am actually paying for.

So it seems 3 has an arbitrary "high usage" policy, you have no way of knowing before the end of the month what you are paying for and if you don't pay the "excess" charges BEFORE THE END OF THE PERIOD, your "account" will be suspended. 

Call me a slow learner. I was with 3 mobile a few years back and they screwed me over then. Foolishly I signed up with them again.

Here's how it should have gone:

3: Hello sir, we notice some high usage on your account. Are you aware of it?

Me: Why yes, I am in New Zealand at the moment so my international calls will have gone up.

3: Your account is currently $500. Is that Ok?

Me: No problem. Thanks for letting me know.

Instead we have a frustrated conversation with a non-native english speaker, this ends a few days later with my phone suspended and me looking at what other phone companies offer. This poor customer service will cost 3 in excess of $3,000 when I move to another provider. Was it worth it?


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