Author Topic: Jersey Telecomms ripping off customers ?  (Read 9141 times)

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Jersey Telecoms [still] ripping off customers
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2016, 06:59:26 PM »
I can't see how the continuation of a state monopoly in telecommunications - even a benign, popular, pro-customer orientated service, which we don't have - could ever be justified now given the advances in technology coupled with the simultaneous clampdown in freedom of expression that we have seen in the past decade. Inevitably, people will just try to find alternative new technologies to enable them to avoid having to use the government monopoly (example from the past decade: using public wifi signals or mobile internet provided by Sure or Airtel in order to nullify the need to pay for an overpriced JT monopoly landline connection).

In the extreme east of the island, it is possible to accidentally hook on to a French mobile network. Because of this thing called excessive roaming charges, nobody would currently choose to do so, but if roaming charges eventually ceased to exist and if there was ever a situation in the future where Jersey's internet became so over-policed and over-surveilled in comparison to our near neighbours that islanders didn't feel safe to express themselves freely online, then might we see local dissidents quietly heading up to the cliffs above Rozel every night with their smartphones at the ready...?  :-\

There is a consistent trend towards the ever-greater filtering, censorship and surveillance of all electronic communications. That is controversial enough when governments are trying to force reluctant private internet service providers to do these things on behalf of the state, but could you imagine if our only way of communicating electronically to the outside world in 2016 was via the States of Jersey owned Jersey Telecoms? OK, they are probably going to filter, censor and monitor our internet come what may but I would still rather have a choice of providers nonetheless because that will at least help to keep the tariffs more reasonable.

Re Shortport's enquiry: I can't give a comprehensive answer as there are pros and cons with all 3 networks, but it is worth pointing out that Airtel still charges its PAYG customers just 7p per minute to phone all local mobile numbers, which does not include any additional offers of free data and free calls to other Airtel numbers when you top up with at least £10. See link 1 below:

Link 1:

http://airtel-vodafone.com/discover/products-and-services/pay-as-you-go-plans

By comparison, both Sure (link 2) and JT (link 3) currently charge 25p per minute to phone all local mobiles at the standard tariff (i.e. when your brief period of free calls after topping up has expired).

Link 2:

https://web.sure.com/jersey/mobile/call-rates

Link 3:

http://www.jtglobal.com/Jersey/Personal/Mobile/Handsets-and-tariffs/Pay-as-you-go/Pay-as-you-go-tariffs/

I think that 25p per minute (excluding GST) to phone another Jersey mobile number when Sure only charges its PAYG customers 10p per minute to phone Polish or Portuguese mobiles is totally unjustified. Why hasn't the regulator acted before now? Even if they could somehow prove that 25p per minute is justified and reasonable for Jersey people located within the island to phone other Jersey people who are also located within the island then that raises the obvious follow-on question of why these customers appear to be subsidizing Polish and Portuguese nationals in the island to phone home at an ultra-low tariff that must surely be below the wholesale cost to the network? It cannot be cheaper for Sure in Jersey to connect its customers to any Polish or Portuguese mobile network than it is to connect to its own network! It is also unfair on other ethnic groups who have settled in Jersey (e.g. Romanians) but not in quite as large numbers as the Polish or Portuguese (I suppose Sure's response will eventually be to lower calls to Romania too, which hardly deals with the discrimination issue).

I should also just add that Airtel also provides very cheap tariffs to Portugal and Poland (as well as other countries like Romania, Hungary, Latvia, Bangladesh and Ireland)  but the discrimination issue is far less of a problem because the price is the same (7p per minute) whether you phone a Jersey, Polish or Portuguese mobile (including Romania, Hungary etc.) and it is only 2p per minute cheaper to phone a Polish or Portuguese landline (including Romania, Hungary etc.) than it is to phone a Jersey one. Therefore Jersey residents using Airtel are not paying more than double the price of Polish and Portuguese nationals, as is the case on the Sure network.

Would anyone care to hypothesize whether positive discrimination in favour of certain select ethnic groups in respect of mobile phone tariffs might possibly be unlawful? These mobile companies are not public authorities so they are not directly bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, but the domestic legislation that they must comply with should be compliant with the Convention, as should the actions (or non-actions) of the local Regulator, I presume.  :-\
 
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 07:21:03 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Sure Mobile still ripping off PAYG customers
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2017, 08:38:23 AM »
I notice that Sure Mobile are now charging their PAYG customers (if they have any left) 35p per minute plus 12p connection charge to phone mobiles or landlines in Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, UK and Republic of Ireland when the calls are made outside of the PAYG 'rewards' period (e.g. more than 7 days after you last topped up your credit by £5).

So that's an inflation-busting 10p per minute rise in local calls since I complained about this only last June in my previous post, directly above, when Sure were charging 25p per minute. The price of sending a short 160 character text has also gone up to 15p. In an earlier post written in October 2014, I noted that JT and Sure were both charging 20p per minute for calls to local mobiles and 10p for texts.

Furthermore, Sure were charging 10p per minute last June to call Portuguese or Polish mobiles or landlines. Today that has dropped significantly to just 6p per minute plus 12p connection charge (also including Latvia because there are a lot of Latvians in Guernsey).

https://web.sure.com/jersey/mobile/call-rates

It seems pretty clear that PAYG customers with family ties in Jersey, the UK and Ireland are having to pay disproportionately high call rates to these locations in order to cross-subsidise other local customers with links to Portugal, Poland and Latvia, who are paying laughably cheap rates per minute by comparison.

It would be very interesting to know what the real wholesale cost is to Sure when customers phone these various countries. On the face of it, 6p per minute to phone Poland etc. looks less than the true wholesale cost and 35p per minute to phone another Jersey Sure mobile looks like blatant over charging to me.

Are Sure breaking anti-discrimination legislation or maybe EU or ECHR law? More to the point, is the Competition regulator willing and able to start looking into this?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 08:43:18 AM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline boatyboy

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Re: Jersey Telecomms ripping off customers ?
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2017, 03:32:18 PM »

Gave up sure PAYG  ages ago. They rip off locals and it is the roaming charges which are incredibly high which caused me to change. One expects to pay a little more but they take the p**s.

bb

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: And Jersey Telecoms doing the same!
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2017, 09:24:06 PM »
Just to be fair, I have also checked what JT are charging their PAYG customers outside of the rewards period. As expected, they are continuing their policy of charging whatever Sure charges. So it is 35 per minute for calls to all local and UK mobiles and landlines and an even higher 20p per text. Both Sure and JT charge their PAYG customers 10p per Mb for mobile data.

By comparison, Airtel is still charging its PAYG customers only 7p per minute for calls to all Jersey mobiles and landlines, 7p for texts and only 4p per Mb (+ 1p session charge) for mobile data.

My suspicion is that JT and Sure are jointly trying to kill off Pay As You Go completely and force all their customers onto pay monthly tariffs and I would imagine they must be succeeding. What will happen when the majority of their PAYG customers are safely on Direct Debit? Well they never do anything in the interests of their customers so the suspicion is that they'll then jointly start to increase the charges for their pay monthly clients too. At the moment some of the pay monthly options look quite attractive presuming there aren't hidden catches, i.e. £17.50 per month for 100Gb mobile internet on Sure, but if you only want to pay £10 per month then the tariff choice is a lot less generous, providing only 5Gb of monthly data on Sure. So there are huge variations in the price per Gb of data usage, which is hard to justify.

My real fear is if Airtel merges with either JT (as nearly happened last year) or Sure. For me, that would be the real game changer in terms of competition and choice for the consumer. On the other hand, it doesn't really matter if JT and Sure were to merge because they are effectively acting like a single monopoly already so I don't think the customers would notice too much difference.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 09:25:59 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Airtel kills off PAYG in Jersey
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2017, 07:52:41 AM »

By comparison, Airtel is still charging its PAYG customers only 7p per minute for calls to all Jersey mobiles and landlines, 7p for texts and only 4p per Mb (+ 1p session charge) for mobile data.

What a difference 6 months makes - and not a positive difference either. Airtel have very quietly introduced massive increases to their PAYG tariffs since my last text. To send a short text with as little as 1 word in it now costs Airtel customers 15p according to their website. That is a greater than 100% increase.

The cost for phoning another Jersey mobile has more than tripled to 25p per minute. It is actually the same per minute to make an international call now. I believe they are also charging you to listen to your voicemail messages (but not sure how much per minute), so it helps if people trying to call you hang up before the voicemail kicks in.

So this is what 10 years of competition in the mobile networks sector has finally led us to: 3 networks all charging similar hugely over-inflated tariffs just to contact your friend a few hundred yards down the road, when it would be just as cheap to contact someone on the other side of the world. The first 5 or 6 years was great, particularly for pensioners or people who just needed a cheap mobile for occasional use. Then one by one, they begun to realise that we are just a captive market to be milked for big profits as they wish. Now it is only the middle income families who sign up to the most expensive contracts that they want. The rest of us who can't afford these data hungry options can just go to hell.

http://www.airtel-vodafone.com/discover/products-and-services/pay-as-you-go-plans


The problem for Airtel is that whereas before their customers would go easy on the complaints about their sh*t customer service (because the call and text rates were so reasonable), those customers are not likely to be so forgiving in future about standing in a queue in the Airtel shop for half their lunch hour sweating profusely because of the Indian standards of air conditioning (i.e. none).

Rip off, rip off, rip off!  >:(

« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 09:32:58 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline shortport

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Re: Jersey Telecomms ripping off customers ?
« Reply #35 on: October 20, 2017, 02:19:56 AM »
I,am also an Airtel pay as you go customer and I don't know if its my imagination but my internet connections always seem much slower than anyone elses at work,even people who are with Airtel on contract.I'm sure its not my phone as its less than a year old.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Airtel kills off PAYG in Jersey
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2017, 02:51:58 AM »
Are you perhaps being connected to the 3G network rather than the faster 4G and if so, why? Maybe that might be a reason for it but I'm not sure. I don't think Airtel have been the most popular network in the past for data download speeds from the little I know but unless users openly share their own experiences on forums like this then it is hard to know for sure.

The Airtel tariff hikes are already starting to alter my behaviour. Whereas previously I would just casually send a text to someone and then maybe reply to their reply, doing that now - sending just 2 short texts - wipes 30p off my credit so I try to engineer it so they call me direct and foot the whole cost themselves. The golden age of texting in Jersey seems to be over now unless you sign up to a contract, which everyone will now have to consider doing.

It really makes me angry. There is no longer a reason to have as many as 3 mobile networks in Jersey. I would place a small bet that we'll be down to 2 networks within 2 years, possibly followed by the remaining 2 networks entering into some sort of merger, taking us back to the dinosaur age of the telecoms monopoly all over again. There was a proven need for Airtel before their recent tariff hikes because they were catering for people who couldn't afford the overpriced PAYG rates on the other 2 networks. Now they have just copied the tariff system of the other 2 networks, which means we have 3 networks all priced pretty much the same, where you either take out a contract or get lost. To me, 3 networks offering the same thing is an extravagance that the market won't tolerate indefinitely. It will now come down to things like quality and customer service because pricing won't be so much of an issue (all of them being too expensive), and if what you're saying is at all typical, Airtel could be the first to hit the buffers unless they can revive that deal with JT (which I am totally against, by the way, as there should be no hasty attempts to sell off the JT network without the full, unequivocal support of the Jersey voters in the form of a referendum. Those JT assets are ours - not Lord Maclean's to dispose of as he pleases).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 09:32:11 PM by Jerry Gosselin »

Offline shortport

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Re: Jersey Telecomms ripping off customers ?
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2017, 10:03:33 PM »
I changed from JT to Airtel,i think less than a year ago.At the time JT was charging 25p a minute and Airtel was 7p.Good value I thought so I changed.Now a quick internet search shows me the current rates ( not including any special offers).

JT  calls    39p per minute    texts   25p
Sure         35p per minute    texts   20p
Airtel        25p per minute    texts   15p

Oh how times have changed.Inflation running at 3%.I think not for the telecoms industry.
We are a captive market, ripe for ripping off.

Offline Jerry Gosselin

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Re: Airtel kills off PAYG in Jersey
« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2017, 09:29:31 PM »
Oh how times have changed.Inflation running at 3%.I think not for the telecoms industry.
We are a captive market, ripe for ripping off.

The latest RPI figures for Jersey were published last week and the percentage rise in prices for the 12 months to September 2017 was 3.1%.

https://www.gov.je/SiteCollectionDocuments/Government%20and%20administration/R%20RPI%20Sep%202017%2020171020%20SU.pdf


However, the rise in prices for RPI Pensioners and RPI Low Income were even higher at 3.3%, which were the highest annual rises recorded since March 2012 (five and a half years). I would argue that rises in PAYG call tariffs would have a greater impact on pensioners and those on low incomes because they're probably more likely to be on PAYG tariffs and telephone charges in general would surely take up a greater proportion of their total household income than would be the case in higher income households.

In the RPI survey, 'telephone charges' are grouped together with some other miscellaneous expenses in a category called 'Household Services'. I note from last week's report that 'Household Services' contributed the most (0.9%) to the rise in the RPI over the last 12 months. It says that rises in this group included school fees, postal charges, telephone charges and domestic services. I'm not convinced that the way these different expenses are currently grouped together and weighted adequately reflect the effect of rising telecommunications charges, particularly on pensioners and low income groups but I have to work with the statistics that are provided.

I also note that prices in the 'Household Services' group increased at a greater rate, on average, in Jersey than in the UK.

Meanwhile the local Regulator sits silent and does nothing about it ...
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 09:31:49 PM by Jerry Gosselin »