Everyone is touched by technology these days – more than 90% of adults now have access to the Internet in Jersey! (Jersey Annual Social Survey 2014). The way in which we communicate with one another has altered beyond all recognition and our reliance on the ever-evolving world of telecommunications grows almost daily. We present a range of useful posts and articles to help you understand this complicated consumer area and optimise your use of the array of telecoms devices, whilst avoiding the many pitfalls.
Both Jersey Consumer Council and Citizens Advice Jersey have received numerous telephone calls and emails from concerned landline only JT customers in relation to the costs being introduced for paper bills and payment choices, other than direct debits.
Your heartfelt comments, frustrations and anger have all been shared with managers from JT. It has to be recognised that we cannot stop the tide of change but we can help consumers to move with the tide as much as possible.
Over the last few days we have been talking to JT on a daily basis to sort out some steps to help the vulnerable and land line only customers who are overwhelmed and frightened by the proposed changes.
The JT team are sympathetic and have listened to all of your questions, comments and criticisms. The following options are being offered to help;
- JT Prime talk customers with no other products on a monthly Bill can switch to a quarterly bill to reduce bill charges
- JT customers with multiple bills can arrange to have all their products on one bill to avoid duplicate charges
- JT will contact selected Prime Talk customers with more information on Direct Debit payment options
- You don’t have to print your bills – if you have an iPad for example but no printer you can still opt to pay using traditional methods i.e. cheque or cash (albeit at a charge) you will need to write down the Account number
JT have assured us that they ‘always abide by the direct debit guarantee and distribute bills at least 5 working days prior to a direct debit taken out.’
We are still talking to JT, as consumers continue to contact us with ideas and initiatives to help our community.
Dominic Vye, JT’s Head of Commercial Development, said: “The new billing structure aligns JT with the vast majority of our customers, who receive their bills online and pay by Direct Debit. As their numbers have grown so has the cost of paper billing and administering non-Direct Debit payments.
“But we were always conscious that some customers would be affected, which is why we are working closely with groups such as the JCC to make this transition as smooth as possible”.
If you still have concerns please telephone the Jersey Consumer Council on 611161 or leave a message.
4G Data Usage…How MUCH?
Peter Zunino, Head of Marketing, Airtel-Vodafone.
The introduction of 4G data services has totally changed the way mobile data is being consumed, as well as the amount of data. For example, one of our sites now takes more data traffic than the whole of our network did before the launch of 4G!
The quicker 4G experience means you can do much more online in the same amount of time. This uses more data, and can lead to unexpected charges if users are not aware of this. We have done a lot of work to help educate customers around data usage and here are some of the key things smartphone users should be aware of.
- Consider the activities and Apps that use lots of data, ie video streaming and downloading – think about doing them over a Wifi connection. Netflix for example can use 1GB of data per hour
- Most smartphones have built-in systems which track your data for you. These are not 100% accurate but will give you a fair idea of how much data you use
- Apps are constantly adding functionality. Facebook for example will auto play data hungry videos if this setting is not turned off
- Be wary of using your mobile device as a hot spot so your friends can connect to it, and watch videos for example – this uses a huge amount of data
- Contact your provider and ask them to review your plan – you may not have a high enough data allowance for the newer, faster 4G experience. You can bolt on extra data if need be
For a comprehensive guide to managing data, including step by step instructions on different smartphone operating systems, please visit our site
10 Top Tips
GET YOUR PHONE SORTED TO AVOID DATA ROAMING BILL SHOCKS
Check roaming prices and bolt-on solutions
with your mobile network
before you travel
Most operators will offer these, but check when it
it cannot be retrospective
Telco Contracts – when does ‘Fixed Mean Fixed’?
When you sign up for a mobile phone, telephone or broadband contract you know you’re going to be committing to a fixed length contract, usually 12, 18 or 24 months.
You also know that the terms of that contract – including how much you pay for it – should be fixed over that period. The consumer is tied into that contract unless they pay an early termination charge (“ETC”) to leave before the end of the minimum contract period.
Remember that the Telco providers’ terms and conditions usually allow for price increases and variations to your contract during this term.
Thanks to a licensing condition called ‘fixed-means-fixed’ imposed by the regulator in April 2014, if your provider decides to increase prices part way through your fixed term contract, you should be given two calendar months’ written notice before the price rise and an option to end the contract penalty free. For example, if the amount of data included in your contract is reduced, you may end up paying more than originally agreed. As a result of change to licence conditions, you can exit the contract without penalty if the provider increases the cost of their deal.
This right only relates to changes to products within the list of services paid for by the recurring fee / subscription charge. If your deal includes a number of free services, the key point will be whether those were included in the original offer. If they were not, even if they were free originally, the operator is able to introduce a charge for them in future. It also does not apply other ‘out of bundle’ prices such roaming charges.
Please be aware that the protection afforded to you under ‘fixed-means-fixed’ only covers price increases ‘in-bundle’. In other words, your monthly allowances.
‘Out of bundle’ costs, being the amount you pay for exceeding your monthly allowances or new charges introduced for something which was originally free are likely to not be caught by this protection.
Our advice is to make sure you fully understand what is ‘in’ or ‘out of bundle’ when you sign up to a new contract and be aware that prices can change.
KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
If you wish to stay in touch with friends and family either in the UK or overseas, here are some tips/information to help you through the various options of how to make the call as cost effective as possible. It no longer needn’t be expensive.Read More
Telecommunications –Buying the Right Mix of Services
What are bundles?
Bundles include a mix of mobile; fixed line and broadband services. Having a bundle will in most cases require you to sign a contract for at least a year; or perhaps longer. Breaking a contract if you subsequently find that the service is not suitable or does not really give you what you wanted, may be expensive. In this article we consider only bundles associated with contracts and not Pay As You Go offers, which will be considered separately.
The main bundle types include:
It’s time to spring clean your internet connected devices…
Jersey Police, Airtel-Vodafone, Sure, JT & Digital Jersey endorse the ‘Get Safe Online’ campaign for us all to spring clean our computers, laptops, tablets & phones, to help prevent you from becoming a victim of cybercrime.
This follows recent research revealing over half of Brits have experienced an online crime – it seems that people are not taking the necessary precautions to protect their technology. Just one in four puts security software on their mobiles or tablets (26% and 25% respectively), putting them at a significantly higher risk of spyware, spam, viruses and fraud.Read More
Be-Safe top tips: Think before you post! Beat Cyberbullying!
Parents and youngsters are advised to regularly talk to each other parents about their youngster’s digital and online experiences. This should include experiences on all devices such as phones, texts, apps and game consoles. Encourage youngsters to talk to either parents and/or teachers about any bullying that may encounter online, and to avoid retaliation, keeping any evidence of the conversations or posts. Remembering to always keep passwords private.
The ‘Postcard Test’ is a useful example to use – youngsters are encouraged to think before they post and assess their messages, deciding whether they would be happy for anyone to read it, like an open postcard… if not… they don’t post the message!
Youngsters are in control of their digital footprint and ultimately they are responsible for pressing that send buttonRead More
Top Tips – How to get the best from your BroadBand
What can I do to improve my broadband experience?
There are many factors that can have an adverse impact on the speed of your connection; a problem with your service provider’s network itself is only one.
If you feel that you are not getting the broadband speed that you are subscribing to you should first use a speed test to measure how your connection is performing. You can compare this to the service speed to which you have subscribed.
Here are some tips for improving your broadband experience
UPDATE your web browser or try a new one.
LIMIT the number of devices in your home – the more devices you have online at once the more likely they are to slow each other down.
Apps and Age ….
Like movies, apps have age restrictions to ensure content is safe and appropriate for our children. This information is displayed clearly on the app before it is downloaded; making the age rating one of the first things users see when deciding to download.
Also check to see if the App requires ‘In-App’ purchases as this can quickly add up unwanted costs. Make sure you are fully informed before you download.
However in some circumstances, like watching movies, you may decide to let your child download an app above their age limit. If you find yourself in this difficult position, always…