Putting the X into Excessive Bills

“Data inputting error”. What a great euphemism. So whoever set up the rates for the X-Factor’s voting line input a rate of 50p per call instead of 35p per call. Easy mistake to make? Perhaps. Luckily a combination of “robust audits” and “close monitoring” ensured the error was identified at “the first available opportunity”, a mere three to five months after the calls were made. What I want to know is this: if the audits had not been “robust” and the monitoring had not been so “close”, how long would it have taken to spot the error? Would anyone have spotted it? And does this mean not a single customer noticed the mistake?

Of course, UK customers can rest assured that their interests are protected by the regulator. The regulators’ exacting standards “guarantee” that no more than £1 in every £50,000 is overcharged. So if somebody made a single error costing customers £200K, it follows that the next £10bn of UK phone bills will be spot on… doesn’t it?

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.