Almost unnoticed, a Service Update announcement by @t_will that giffgaff billing metering had again malfunctioned late last month, attracted little attention.
Little surprise, when it was tagged onto an open existing non-compliance investigation by Ofcom, dating from last year.
One ongoing but burning billing issue, that has never been properly addressed is that of queued, next day (midnight onwards) goodybag allowances, being deducted from today's usage, when sufficiently available allowances are still available within the current expiring goodybag (9pm-11.59pm)
Historically we were told that, although this might occur rarely and overnight the billing system would reconcile the allowances and rectify the loss of the new goodybag by reinstating the usage wrongly attributed to the queued goodybag, when allowances should have been deducted from the goodybag due to expire at midnight.
It has to be said that this particular billing error, mainly but not exclusively affects the lower priced goodybags. Examples crop up in Help but the reality is that many members might not ever miss the loss of minutes, texts or data. They either don't check or their ample allowance is not in jeopardy.
One member did check and confirmed they were wrongly billed.
It can't be right that either this happens or we have been misinformed about how allowances reconcile. It is far too easy to dismiss these over billing malfunctions, it is odd that I never see evidence of allowances added in error. So it appears it is a one way glitch
I can't comment on recurring goodybags at the moment, although the suspicion must be that they are similarly affected.
Unless of course you know better?
"One ongoing but burning billing issue, that has never been properly addressed is that of queued, next day (midnight onwards) goodybag allowances, being deducted from today's usage, when sufficiently available allowances are still available within the current expiring goodybag (9pm-11.59pm)
Historically we were told that, although this might occur rarely and overnight the billing system would reconcile the allowances and rectify the loss of the new goodybag by reinstating the usage wrongly attributed to the queued goodybag, when allowances should have been deducted from the goodybag due to expire at midnight"
Were we historically told that the system would reinstate allowances used from the early starting goodybag rather than the expiring goodybag?
I don't recall that
It can't really be described as a glitch or billing error,. It's just a system requirement,
I don't really see what giffgaff could do about that if the early switch over is a system necessity
"Let's say someone had the £5 goodybag, with 20 minutes left. They have a recurring goodybag, and it kicks in at 10:30pm. They make a call for 5 minutes, and it comes off the new goodybag. Then they go to sleep. While they're asleep, the reconciliation happens - and despite their five minute call, it's been replenished back to the full 150 minutes and is ready for them to use again."
@t_will wrote: in 2017 (cut) "we're not in the business of giving people less than they've bought, after all. If they've bought it through recurring or queued, then we can apply it bang on midnight, and we know they're getting exactly the month, so don't need to do that."
I noticed sloz agreed with the member who reported this error, that they might be due a few pounds.
Yet in this thread sloz says in effect that the charging is a 'system requirement'. I doubt that a requirement of the system would get the network off the hook with Ofcom, for charging a member next month for charges incurred the preceding month.
When you buy a subscription for a service that purportedly commences at midnight, you have a reasonable expectation that it will start at midnight and not 2 or 3 hours earlier or 2 to 3 hours later, after midnight. As was seen with the billing error that charged from credit balances during active live goodybag allowances the billing system was flawed and giffgaff issued refunds for the incorrect billing period of around two years. giffgaff claimed that they first became aware last year in early 2018. That is misleading. In 2017, thread conversations with t_will and members had raised billing concerns surrounding reconciliation of airtime balances during the first day of a goodybag currency. That would appear to contradict later admissions that they found out following a 2018 member's complaint.
If my house insurance expires at midnight I expect to be covered for a fire that might take place at 9.30pm two and a half hours before expiry whether or not I renewed the policy with the Insurers or obtsined cover elsewhere from midnight onwards.
If we can't rely on the clock, why stop there, should all kinds of timed commitments be variable?
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@jaymailsays good thread much needed
This issue is exactly why i use vouchers to purchase my goodybags. However because we cannot have £5 topup vouchers my wife gets a £10 topup voucher buys her £5 goodybag and queues her next one.
She doesnt keep the remaining £5 as balance for fear it might get used a litte by mobile data hence queues her next goodybag.
The billing systems does need to be fixed by giffgaff
k89bpa wrote: <cut> If you're paying by voucher and buying goodybags directly then yes, I think that works very well.
@k89bpa Members will queue goodybags using a variety of payment methods.
From airtime credit, vouchers, paypal, bank debit cards and credit cards.
If the queuing action is not acting as intended but is instead reducing allowances on a goodybag today, that ought to start tomorrow, that is a billing error whichever payment option is chosen.
Buying a queued goodybag directly with a voucher will not prevent a billing error as outlined in the OP by @jaymailsays