More Mobile Data Dischord

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post, recent industry news proves the point that customers may not understand, or be happy with, how they get charged for data. AT&T has been hit with a lawsuit saying that customers get charged for data even when, as far as they can tell, they are not using any data services. Read the story here (hats off to Tony Poulos for spotting this story – how does he get the news so quickly?) My superficial reading leads me to feel the suit is without merit, and that AT&T are probably charging for data which is transmitted just because that is how their services work, with no intention to cheat anyone. But it illustrates the point – data does fly back and forwards without customers being clear about what data is being sent or why. That means customers are not clear about what they are paying for – and possibly the telcos are not clear about this either. We live in a world where there are innumerable customer protection laws and regulations designed to make sure customers pay only for what they get and understand what they are getting. The principle applies to so many things – everything from the weight of cornflakes in a box to the electricity recorded at the meter. Why should data communications be different? Because data services are complicated… but that justification will only the take the industry so far.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.