Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We're sorry, now pay your bill

Another miscommunication victim in Lebanon has to pay. What happened
was, with the new postpaid reduction tariff, a lot of people have
decided to convert their prepaid lines to postpaid. Everyone is
excited. You just need a bank account for the domiciliation of your
monthly bill.

A person I know, did it, he now has a postpaid line. He's happy about
it. The bill came after 30 days only to find out that it is more than
what he expected. It turns out that for the first bill only, they take
an extra monthly subscription to what he should pay (monthly
subscription + calls and SMS charges, etc...) .

He asked them, how could you have failed to tell me? Their answer was:
"Well you saw, there was a lot of crowd when you came, and we just

I know for a fact that such mistakes are supposed to be corrected by
the service provider, but in Lebanon, they don't, they just tell you,
we're really sorry, now pay your bill...
Welcome to Lebanon.


  1. :-)
    you know, it is actually my job to plan all those things...
    we call them:
    RC (recurring charge)
    OC (one time charge)
    and UC (usage charge)
    you will not believe how much though is investigated in building those things and setting the relations between them.
    (and then planning the discount packs, which is even more complex)

  2. ah so its your fault! :P

    So basically, you do have to let the customer know of the one time charge, etc... right?

  3. yes, of course
    the thing you described above is unthinkable in my place.
    the problem my customers (telco companies) face is that there are so many of them, that you absolutely can't piss off a paying customer.
    the smallest mistake you make - the customer will move to you competitor and he doesn't even have to change his number. we design our systems not to charge money in case of doubts. in the long term it cost us much more to charge and the give a refund and face the chance of losing a customer.
    returning to the original subject of your post - we most be 100% that the customer understand the RC OC and UC in order to avoid conflict. we do that by telling the CSRs how to explain the plan, and by providing a very easy to understand bill.
    what you detailed above is 100% wrong and unthinkable.

  4. lebanon has anyway one of the highest use of cells and one of the lowest churn ratio du to a monopolistic game.
    so prepaid or postpaid, it gives the same in the end, they have to check out how much min/month they are consuming before making the choice.
    In 98, postpaid was better then prepaid after the 400 min of monthly consuption, knowing the average monthly consumption was @ 700 min.

    This is why I m usually advising people to tk postpaid lines