$3000 TELSTRA BILL
A TAMWORTH charity champion has issued a warning to mobile phone users after he was unwittingly slugged thousands of dollars on his monthly bill.
David Evans, who received an OAM in 2007 for his fundraising efforts in erecting the Lighthorse Memorial, has refused to pay the bill, which amounts to more than $3000.
The saga started when the self-confessed technophobe received a new smart phone from a friend and took it into Tamworth’s Telstra Shop to have the sim card swapped from his old phone.
He claims he wasn’t informed the phone could incur heavy data usage charges and the following month received a bill for nearly $1000.
“The first bill came in and I started panicking,” Mr Evans said.
“Then the calls started demanding I pay my bill, which was normally only $60 or $70 a month.
“I hadn’t entered into any sort of new contract and I didn’t ask to have any service I didn’t have before.”
Mr Evans has issued a warning to older phone users to beware of the “hidden costs” in smart phones.
He has reported the issue to the Telecommunications Ombudsman.
Ironically, Mr Evans – the Saturday morning ABC Tamworth presenter – was organising an interview for the Telstra Road to Discovery when his phone was cut off.
Telstra area general manager for north-west NSW Tricia Wilson strongly denied the company had misled Mr Evans.
“Telstra is disappointed that Mr Evans remains upset with Telstra,” Ms Wilson said.
“Telstra is working with Mr Evans regarding the excess usage charge and has again explained to him how data charging works and the tools we make available for customers to check on their current data usage.
“For example, Telstra provides our customers with a range of information and advice about how our charging works and what calls, SMS and data are included in each mobile plan.
“To make it easier for our customers to check on their data usage at any time, all Telstra handsets are pre-loaded with the Telstra 24X7 app so customers can check how much of their data, SMS and call allowance they have used.
“We do understand that some customers will inadvertently go over their data limits and we send them a text message when they are at 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their plans included data allowance.”