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Protecting the Stupid

By Telco2 min read

OK, now I have seen it all. There are certainly moves about by regulators to put the onus on telecomms providers to protect their customers from overspending, or at least making them more aware of charges that are accruing. In principle, this is not unreasonable. But the latest news takes the cake.

A Vodafone customer in New Zealand was charged nearly $50 to call a customer who had ported their number from Vodafone to Telecom NZ. Previously, the call would have been free to her. She suggested that the network should have advised her that the call was no longer free!

I’ve heard of many absurd things in my life, but that one is up there with the best.

The event that caused the price to change was totally out of the Vodafone’s control – one of its customers moved to TNZ. Can we really expect them to advise customer A that customer B has moved away because it affects the call charge to customer A? And if we do, is this not a breach of customer B’s privacy?

This is just another case of “protecting the customer” going too far. At some point, we must draw the line and make customers just a little bit responsible for their actions. What do you think?

This was also posted at [Billing Bureau].

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