Mobile internet is a great innovation. Of that, there is no doubt. However, mobile internet can also have its down side when we realize that we have got rather carried away with the surfing. KPN/BASE believes that customers are above all on the lookout for a quality service that protects them from nasty surprises, which is why it is taking the initiative with simple but clear and efficient measures that will allow its customers to keep track of their budget. On the emerging mobile internet market, which still has a great deal more in store for us, we believe that it is only natural that we should look after our customers so that they get the most out of the experience.
Mobile internet when roaming
In the wake of a decision by the European Commission, operators have been required for a few months already to send different text message alerts to their consumers when their data consumption becomes too high when surfing abroad. In short, consumers receive a first text message when they reach 80% of the alert threshold, set at € 60. They then receive a second text message telling them that they have reached this alert threshold and that their internet access is now blocked, unless they decide they still want to have access by sending a confirmation text message. If they activate this possibility, they will then receive a third text message, informing them of the price per MB.
The nasty surprise on the bill
These provisions are not yet compulsory at Belgian level. This means that consumers are only warned of their consumption level “thanks to” their bill. And yet we have all heard those scare stories from people around us who have received astronomical bills because they don’t keep track of their mobile internet use, whether after switching rate plan, changing their mobile phone (even from a Blackberry to an Iphone) or discovering new applications. We know that it is difficult to change or curb consumption habits once you get used them. In the bill that transposes the “telecoms package”, one article makes it compulsory for operators to alert their customers when the consumption level that they themselves have set has been reached. But the bill is only passing sluggishly through the legislative channels.
An early alert system
KPN/BASE has decided to take things into its own hands and not to await the adoption of this bill. We believe that guiding our consumers, alerting them of an excessive consumption and giving them means of controlling their expenditure can only be positive. That is why KPN/BASE has set up several text message alerts concerning mobile internet consumption: some of these alerts are active since last Sunday. All rate plans are concerned, whether subscriptions or prepaid cards. These alerts concern both the volume consumed and the price in euros and are sent out when customers reach a certain percentage of their plan or recharge and when they have reached that threshold. Two further text message alerts will also be sent when they reach a further two tiers outside the plan.
KPN/BASE believes that these text message alerts are the least intrusive means of notifying its clients, that they give them a clear vision of their consumption and that, last but not least, that they allow them to make the most of all the advantages of mobile internet, without adding any undue stress.