3/18/2009 11:57:00 AM
O2 broadband in charge spat with price comparison website
O2 has hit back at claims that its charges for exceeding mobile broadband download limits are damaging to consumers.
Last week, price comparison site Broadband Expert criticised O2 and 3 for ‘hugely expensive’ rates.
The site said O2 and 3 charged the most for going over download limits, at 19.6p and 10p per megabyte respectively. Vodafone and Orange charge 1.46p per megabyte, and T-Mobile does not charge for exceeding limits.
Broadband Expert’s commercial director, Rob Webber, said O2 and 3’s policies are ‘excessively expensive for users who may unwittingly exceed their download limit’.
O2’s head of postpay marketing, Jonathan Earle, said: ‘There is no average on O2 pay and go packages launched in December, and this is the fastest growing area of the market.’
He said the operator is ‘transparent on prices’, and takes steps such as warning customers by text if they are likely to go over their usage. Earle added: ‘For the vast majority of customers, 3GB is more than enough data.’
The price comparison site said customers that exceed their monthly download limit by just 1GB – the equivalent of an episode of Top Gear and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on the BBC iPlayer – could receive a bill for over £200 ‘with some providers’.
Webber said providers should make the information relating to charges ‘more accessible’. He added: ‘Information on run rates is not always easy to find
and not obviously visible on most advertising.’
T-Mobile’s head of internet and entertainment, Richard Warmsley, said: ‘With so many new people adopting this technology, other operators should be aware of consumer concerns.’
A 3 spokeswoman said: ‘Very few of our customers go out of bundle on data. Going forward, our 15GB for £15 deal will make it even harder for customers to exceed their allowance.’
A Vodafone spokeswoman said: ‘To keep things easy to understand and simple to budget, if [customers] go out of the bundle they will be charged for a full 1GB at £15. This means they can surf with peace of mind, rather than having to check every megabyte.’
Orange declined to comment.