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No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Community Veteran
Posts: 380
Thanks: 6
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Had a call from my sister earlier saying she had an email saying she was going to be billed an extra 5 pounds for going over her user limit and was quite surprised as she hadn't had a warning email that she was getting near her limit and that she only normally gets to near the limit in the last couple of days of her billing month, not halfway through.
On Looking at her account the only ticket reference about going over the limit is the one about automatically billing 5 pounds (189174429), and no sign of any warning notice being issued.
I also find it strange that she managed to use half her months allowance yesterday alone,  but not totally impossible I guess, but we are both sure that there was a limit placed on the account not to bill for extra usage but that seems not to have happened.
17 REPLIES
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Hi Bud,
I'm unable to find the account using the ID you provided (189174429). Feel free to private message me the username of the account and I'd be happy to take a look.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,746
Thanks: 959
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Bud, the number you gave was for a service notice, you need to give a ticket/question number form the account or PM the username as Linn asked.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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cookijj
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-04-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

This has happened to me twice this year.  Whereas before I received a warning, plenty in advance and could then moderate my use.  First time, I thought I might simply have missed the warning email.  It seems warnings are no longer given.  Either a genuine problem, or sharp practice methinks.  Angry
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Hi cookijj,
Welcome to the Forums! Hope to see you around more in the future! Smiley
Sorry to hear you were not sent a notification email informing you that you were approaching your usage limit.
I've had a look into your account and can see that this wasn't sent in January, although, you mention that this has happened to you twice this year and I can only see that it's happened once. Can you advise the second time it happened?
I've arranged for the £5 to be refunded to you for the month that I can see. Please allow 7-10 working days for this money to be credited back to you.
cookijj
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-04-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Many thanks Linn, for your swift action, much apreciated.
The second time was in this billing month, so I haven't yet been charged the extra.  Guessing that's why you couldn't find reference to it.  I received the email yesterday, 9/4/14 @ 12:23, informing me that I had exceeded my limit.  Again, no warning was received on approaching the limit.
Any idea why the warnings don't seem to be being sent?
Thanks again,
Ian.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Thanks for getting back to me with that information.
I've seen the email and this will be getting added to your next bill. I'm not entirely sure why you're not receiving the warning email. I've added this to an open Problem we have for the relevant team to investigate this further for us.
To stop this from happening I'd advise that you check your usage now and again on the member centre to ensure you're not going to go over your usage. Alternatively you may want to consider upgrading to Unlimited so that you don't have to worry about how much you're using.
I'll arrange for you to receive a £5 discount on your next bill to cover the extra charge, however, please ensure you're checking your usage on the member centre to ensure you don't go over the additional 5GB of usage as we wouldn't refund this.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,031
Fixes: 62
Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Alternatively set your usage extra spend to zero
AWM
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎24-04-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

The same thing that happened to cookijj also happened to me- didn't get a warning email last month, and didn't get a warning email this month either- I have not been charged the extra for this yet as I only received the email yesterday.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Quote from: Linn
please ensure you're checking your usage on the member centre to ensure you don't go over the additional 5GB of usage

What use is that advice ?, when VMBU is frequently broken, wrong, or has been taking a VERY long time to update.
Fortunately I upgraded to 'unlimited' so I don't really care,  but it still looks bad when something as fundamental as usage reporting and notification has become so unreliable.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Hi AWM,
Sorry to see you've also been affected. I've added your details to the Problem we currently have open regarding this so hopefully this will be fixed soon.
In the meantime I can see that you regularly go over your usage so I would recommend considering upgrading to Unlimited to stop this from happening in the future.
As I've stated previously in this thread it's worth keeping an eye on this in via the member centre or as Oldjim has pointed out - set your usage cap to 0 so that you don't incur any extra costs for going over your usage allowance.
I have refunded the charges as you weren't informed that you were approaching your limit. Please allow 7-10 days for the refund to be credited back to you. This is outlined on Ticket: 84708272
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,055
Thanks: 4,351
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Quote from: Linn
As I've stated previously in this thread it's worth keeping an eye on this in via the member centre or as Oldjim has pointed out - set your usage cap to 0 so that you don't incur any extra costs for going over your usage allowance.

Quote from: purleigh
Quote from: Linn
please ensure you're checking your usage on the member centre to ensure you don't go over the additional 5GB of usage

What use is that advice ?, when VMBU is frequently broken, wrong, or has been taking a VERY long time to update.

Linn,
Did you miss this observation?  Watching something which is broken (or seriously delayed) is not very productive.
Given that there is a problem with the processes which update the usage meters and notify users that they are in danger of exceeding their allowance, would it be better to have the extra usage cap set to zero on all accounts which have not set an actual cap value?  This then offers a "fail-safe" configuration, where is users exhaust their allowance, they can explicitly choose to but additional capacity, rather than the default being to charge £5 more, regardless of how close the user is to the end of their billing period.
Personally if I'm 48 or so hours off the end of my billing period, I'd rather accept a slower connection than spend £5 on something I cannot consume in the time remaining.  Now if the unused part of the additional bandwidth purchased could be rolled-over into the following month, that would be a different matter.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,472
Thanks: 292
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Here is a typical example of VMBU not updating correctly, posted TODAY -
Quote from: bobboulby
Looks like it's running about 24 hours behind. My usage for Tuesday has now caught up but I'm light for Wednesday and nothing for Thursday yet.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) LinnPlusnet
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 1,686
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

We know that there's been some issues with VMBU taking a while to catch up recently, however, generally it's correct.
The option is there for customer's to set their usage cap to 0 should they wish to do this, however, it's not something that we are going to set as a default.
I appreciate that what you've stated may be your preference, however, it may not be for other customer's so that's why they have the option to set this themselves.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,055
Thanks: 4,351
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: No warning usage getting near limit and billed for extra usage.

Quote from: Linn
I appreciate that what you've stated may be your preference, however, it may not be for other customer's so that's why they have the option to set this themselves.

Linn,
The whole purpose of "good" default options is to be safe / avoid the potential for issues.  For people to set options to prevent unexpected charges they need to understand that the choice is there, where to set it and what the default setting is.
Can you honestly claim that this is the case?  When signing up, there is a lot of detail presented, however I'm not convinced that it includes a warning / guidance that...
By default there is no limit set to the level of additional bandwidth charges
It is possible that you might not see the nearing your limit email before you reach the limit, either due to no email having been sent or your rate of usage (HD TV catch-up consumes around 750MB per hour) consumes the margin before you see the email
Where to find the spending cap control screens
That a blank cap is not the same as a zero cap
Setting the default cap to £0 rather than £unlimited cannot be hard and enforces control before there is a perceived problem.  Prevention us better than cure!
This is not a matter of preference, rather one of common sense.  Some people (as I have done) consider 10G (for example) to be more than they could ever dream of using... Until the step son behind my back goes hammering the Internet stream videos... To say the least there is now a cap on the spends... And after he burnt 1.5G in a single day, he no longer has Internet access by my service!

Kevin