HOW COME DOES CELL PHONE COMPANIES STEAL YOUR DATA AND GET AWAY WITH IT?

 

 

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Article posted  by: White Nation  correspondent Tennesee USA  June 19 2017

 

 

 

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HOW many times have you received that dreadful message from your cellphone provider per sms- informing you that your ” 100Mb data has expired”- just to find out that the data you have purchased legally- bluntly has been taken back (stolen) by the service provider? Calling the provider meets you with umpteen bureaucracy and no answers at all bar “ It is the system- sorry we cannot help you.”

By now most of us are accustomed to the way mobile carriers price their data plans. We typically drop $20 to $50 each month on a few gigabytes. If we use more than our monthly data allotment we’re hit with inflated overage fees, but if we don’t use all of our data it expires! The next month the cycle starts all over again, whether we had remaining data from last month or not.

But why does data expire at the end of the month? It certainly can’t spoil like the gallon of milk in your fridge. The gigabyte you bought on March 1st is just as usable on April 1st. So why do most mobile carriers expire your data or offer complicated rollover plans rather than just doing away with data expiration?

Sending complains to your provider are met with dead silence or no reaction at all. They simply stay mum and ignore you. Complaining to your friends are met with ” They all do it.- there is nothing you can do…”  Going to your nearest outlet also is like jumping into a black hole and the staff stares at you with that dumb expressions like a pack of dogs taking a crap on a lawn.

NOWWhat would happen if say Pick ‘n Pay came into our houses at the end of the month, and took away all the groceries we bought that month but had not yet used? What would we say if our car’s fuel tank emptied itself every 30 days? Should we let our employers take back all the unspent salary every month on the 24th? That would be unacceptable, right? Then why does your cellphone provider take away all my unused data and minutes every month? YOU legally paid for that! Why do they get to reach into YOUR phone, and reset YOUR data? Why does the data you paid for ‘expire’? Why do we let them get away with that? How is that fair?

These cellphone providers are taking the public for a ride. No-where in any agreement did you sign that they can take your data which you legally purchase away like they want to. It boils down to illegal theft and racketeering. Thus – they take 100 Mb data away from you- and RE-SELL that data you already paid for- to another customer again. AND they are doing it to MILLIONS of customers. How much money do they make this way? How fair is that? Is this not stealing from one to sell to another? Where do they get the right to do that? So- if you purchase a car- and do not drive enough kilometers per month according to your retailer- he simply pops around and take the rest of your fuel every month- would we stand for that? No we won’t. So why are we allowing this scrupulous cell phone companies to get away with it- simply because ” they all do that?” If they “reset” your cellphone- and you still had say $10.00 data left- you loose it. AND on top of it- they force you to again purchase more data. So on the one hand they milk you to purchase more from their company- and on the other hand do they steal your left-over data for reselling it.Just how much profit DOES these notorious companies milk out of the ever suffering public?

When you think about things that expire you usually think of perishable foods, not technology. Maybe coupons or credit card reward points come to mind. But expiration dates on discounts or freebies are logical. Expiring data each month doesn’t make much sense. It’s not going moldy. So why do mobile carriers do it? For the same reason mobile carriers bundle their services together, they expire your cellular data. In the mobile industry it’s called “breakage”. The term describes any service that a customer pays for but doesn’t use. So when you buy 5GB of data but only use 3GB in a month, the unused 2GB you paid for is “breakage”.

Mobile carriers carefully design data plans to maximize the amount of expiry breakage that occurs. They offer plans that are right on the cusp of an average subscriber’s monthly usage in order to push you to buy more data than you really need. In recent studies from Cisco and Mobidia/Ovum , researchers found the average mobile device user consumes about 2GB of data per month. Both T-Mobile and AT&T just so happen to offer 2GB data plans. But the next tier jumps up to 6GB and 5GB respectively. If you only want 2.5GB each month, too bad. You’ll have to buy at least 5GB or risk overages.

 

cellular data usage on smartphone vs. tablet 2014

To make matters worse and to further push you towards bigger plans, carriers don’t prorate data overages. It doesn’t matter how much data you consume above your plan’s cap. You are charged for a full gigabyte of data when you go over by even the smallest amount. For example, AT&T currently offers a 2GB plan for $30 per month. They charge $15 per GB for overages. So your monthly bill will be $45 if you go over your 2GB data allotment by any fraction of a gigabyte. AT&T’s next data tier is a 5GB plan which costs $50 per month. And that bigger plan is perfectly priced to convince you to pay $5 more for overage “peace of mind”.

But threat of overage fees isn’t the only way mobile carriers sway you to buy more data than you need. A few mobile carriers have started to offer something called “rollover” data too. Currently AT&T, T-Mobile and some Sprint prepaid customers have access to this “perk”, which is a deceptive attempt to make customers feel like their data doesn’t really expire. T-Mobile and AT&T in particular have spent a lot of marketing dollars to convince you “ not to worry about leftover data “ at the end of each month because you could use it at a later date.

For AT&T subscribers, any unused data from your plan is available to use in the next month, then it expires. While T-Mobile allows customers to “data stash” up to 20GB of unused data for 12 months. Both seem like “fair “ reasons to get a bigger plan, until you realize that you will likely never touch the data they’re so generously stockpiling for you. That’s because each month you have to get through your current month’s data allotment first. AND it is not only this two cellular vultures that does this- other cellular companies like Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C and many other does it as well…it’s like a rolling plague how these companies rob the public.  If a scam works for one- it will not be long before the rest will latch up to the money-making “ATM” scheme as well

If you can’t use your older data first, then rollover data isn’t all that appealing. It doesn’t matter how much data you save each month if you never go through your monthly data allotment. You’re still being forced to pay for more than you need. If you veer towards more than the 2GB average usage, you were probably already forced into a bigger data plan. So don’t expect “rollover “ data to ever kick in, unless you drastically change your data usage habits.

AT&T phone bill

And what about people who can curb their data consumption to less than 2GB, so they can avoid buying the bigger plans? Well, “rollover “ data doesn’t look so great for them either. The AT&T bill above is for a rollover customer that typically comes close to using their whole data allotment each month, so they don’t ever roll over much data. This month they went slightly over their 3GB plan’s data cap, but their small amount of rollover data wasn’t enough of a buffer to actually help. They were still hit with costly non-prorated overage charges.

So while mobile carriers do a great job at marketing their” rollover ” data options, it’s actually only helpful if your data usage is highly variable. Or as the Consumerist puts it, …“rollover “ data is only useful if your data use fluctuates wildly from month to month. For the average user, that’s simply not the case. “Rollover ” data is not a substitute for data without expiration. As consumers we should get what we pay for, and that’s data that doesn’t perish. We don’t accept the “use it or lose it” racketeering model for other utilities like gasoline or electricity. Why do we accept it for mobile data?

Already the South African cellphone companies are charging some of the most expensive tariffs in the world.  Poet and activist Ntsiki Mazwai has called on South Africans to boycott all social media platforms from midnight. The hashtag #datamustfall is currently trending on Twitter where people are calling for an end to high data prices. Mazwai has joined the social media blackout campaign and outlined its aims:

The social media blackout is a campaign that is aimed at lowering data prices. Data costs are obscene and are not affordable for people on the ground. We want to bring attention to this issue; we want to engage government and cellular network companies.” Mazwai says that from midnight people should log off social media. “We don’t buy data for 24 hours, we will meet back on social media the following day to discuss the way forward. Why should data expire after 30 days when you’ve paid for it?”

She has encouraged people to take part in the campaign because it is too expensive to access information. “We keep talking about #feesmustfall but how must students access information or hand in assignments if data costs are so high? This has a negative impact on entrepreneurs and our families because we can’t communicate with them.” Mazwai has further called on the country to unify for a good cause. At the same time, people on social media have shared their thoughts on the matter.(Link) 

 

YOU as the public should start taking action against these cell phone companies. They have no legal right to take your data away- but because nobody ever took them to court or start complaining through mass action against this unscrupulous behavior- it already became an ” acceptable”  culture with these racketeering companies to simply proceed with this theft and now it become a standard practice to steal your data from you. O- they have hundreds of “ excuses”- and when cornered- the old excuse of “ it’s company policy and we cannot change that. All cellphone companies do that- we cannot help you.” That is utter BULLSH*T!” This is fraud in it’s purest refined form.  And they get away with it! They cannot by law- take something you legally have purchased AND paid VAT tax on it-  away from you. They are taking chances and will try to intimidate you or tell you a bunch of lies to keep you at bay because should they get barred from proceeding with this blatant white collar crime – they will start loosing millions in illegal “handling” fees. Stand up- take them on and complain with the Consumer Council – let’s get this thievery stopped immediately!

 

 

 

 

 

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