Vodafone has begun notifying customers that they’ll soon begin charging for data usage that customers have agreed to but haven’t previously been charged for.
In a notice to customers — in particular those who will face a higher bill as a result of the changes — the company confirmed the changes which will begin from July 8, will impact both mobile data usage as well as tethering which is where a user connects their phone to their computer and uses their mobile phone for an internet connection.
Three key areas, namely peer-to-peer connections, VoIP and internet services which “require a personal log-in” (Vodafone gives the examples of Hotmail and Internet banking) have not been counting towards or have not been accurately shown in a user’s data usage as a result of a glitch with Vodafone’s system.
That will change on July 8 when Vodafone rolls out a fix for the bug, that may leave some customers caught unawares by the move. So in an effort to reduce the chances of customers who’ve been using these services falling victim to the “bill shock” phenomena, Vodafone has begun raising awareness of the change.
“The TXT messages and emails that have been sent out to customers are raising awareness and let everyone know the changes that are occurring within the data reporting system and to help stop avoid unnecessary bill shock,” Dave from Vodafone wrote in a thread discussing the announcement on Australian forum Whirlpool.
“This [the change] does not mean you are now going to see extra or excess charges, but instead more accurate data usages, as we will be now capturing all data traffic.”
Vodafone is encouraging those who use any of the services that have not been counting towards their usage to check My Vodafone or ring or text 1512 to retrieve the account balance once the change is put in place.