Outrageous Phone Bill from DTAC: Scheming Thai service providers

 

The Siamerican paid his phone/internet bill to DTAC yesterday, and was not happy yet again with the outstanding charges. This time it was higher than had ever been before, a wopping 3,019.15 baht, or about 100 USD.

Considering his plan should only be less than a thousand baht, the outrageous charges for going over one’s plan quota  of talk-time (minimum of 499 baht) and GPRS internet usage (399 baht for 140 hours/month), he is left vulnerable to the profit making telecommunications industry yet again.

This time he was hurt by the excess gprs usage, clocked in apparently at 178 hours, of which each minute over the 140 benchmark is charged 50 satang or 30 baht per hour, the rates of most internet cafes. The phone bill alone was 1500 baht, which has always been suspiciously high considering the Siamerican doesn’t talk more than 10 minutes per day.

He was on an unworthy promotion plan that depended on certain hours for optimal rates, that obviously wasn’t working, but has recently changed to a flat rate plan of 600 baht for 840 minutes per month of talk-time. That should ease the phone charges for talk time, but internet options need to be considered to ease the burden of excess GPRS usage. Usually, it doesn’t go over its limit of 140 hours but recently, the Siamerican has needed to spend a lot of time on internet for work.

In the end, it is his own fault for not specifically keeping records to  have known exactly when to cease usage at the plan threshold, for the phone company has no intent of informing him before, but only after when it’s time to collect the bill.

The biggest complaint here is not the stupidity for overusing, but the inconvenience of DTAC’s greed. They actually offer a automated check system of GRPS usage. In fact, the Siamerican had attempted to use it on 10 different occasions the week leading up to the end of the billing cycle, yet was given a ‘we’re sorry, this service is currently unavailable, please try at a later time’ message each time.

Ofcourse, if it had been available like it should, and one would have known that they were at/exceeding the benchmark limit, surely would have ceased and found other means to cheaply access internet for work. Yet since without clear knowledge, instead continued usage in excess, ringing up the hefty extra expensive charges.

There’s other not-so-good things to report about DTAC service, policies, and tactics towards maximum advantage and profit from its customers–like selective signal control of incoming calls from limited refill card users in order to prompt the unlimited monthly registered user to call back and build charges just to name one–but as of now, it can only be one man’s words and allegations about a corporate monster.  Surely, there is no trustworthy telecommunications company, in Thailand or anywhere for that matter?

First, the Siamerican is openly not satisfied with DTAC and their overall mission. They are rapidly becoming a company that the Siamerican and others are having less and less loyalty to.

Finally, a small warning to others thinking about using modern telecommunications technology, particularly in Thailand. If you’re not diligent to keep and track every detail of your own usage/records, be ready to pay excess fees, for the phone companies have no interest in your well being and ultimate loyalty, but rather your contribution to their maximized profits!

 
Greg says:

I agree. When I had my old RAZR phone, my 1-2-Call balance was disappearing suspiciously quickly. But now – in a twist of fate wherein I was too poor to buy a good phone to replace my RAZR when I lost it – my bare-bones Nokia 800B special is voice only, and I only spend about 500B a month. I’m actually surprised how much I don’t miss having online access on my phone or a low-quality camera. Until I get an iPhone, that is…