After yesterday’s “Service Still Sucks on Curacao” post, reader Ricardo sent an email to remind me of the UTS horror story that he sent us last November. It was definitely worth a post at the time, but the malware issues that we were struggling with kept me from doing anything with it. Until today that is…
Our malware issues have been taken care off and even though this happened almost two months ago, it’s still worth mentioning, if only as a cautionary tale.
Ricardo is a Chippie user who is accustomed to spending Naf. 100 a month on calls. There are months were that amount will drop to Naf. 60 or go up to Naf. 185, but those are major outliers.You can imagine then how surprised he was when he racked up Naf. 350 in call costs during the 4 weeks of November, while basically following his usual calling pattern (no long distance calls, etc.)
After blowing through Naf. 50 of credit in just three days, Ricardo decided to do a little test. He looked at the Chippie rates mentioned on uts.cw and decided to compare those numbers to the rates he was getting while calling.
Here are the rates that are listed on UTS’ website…
|Destination||Rate Per minute (excl. OB)||Period|
|Chippie to Chippieland||Naf. 0,65||Su-Sa 07.00 AM – 11.00 PM|
|Chippie to Chippieland||Naf. 0,55||Su-Sa 11.00 PM – 07.00 AM|
|Chippie to Fixed||Naf. 0,65||Flat Rate (00.00 – 24.00)|
|Chippie to Other Mobile Telephony Operator||Naf. 0,70||Flat Rate (00.00 – 24.00)|
Ricardo made various calls during the day, going from Chippie to fixed numbers, Chippie to Chippie and Chippie to other operators. After checking his balance after every call and doing the math, he found that the rate was varying between Naf. 60 and Naf. 2,90 per minute. As you can see in the table above, rates shouldn’t be nowhere near Naf. 2,90 when making a call to a local Chippie number.
Ricardo told his story to Antilliaans Dagblad, who in turn called UTS looking for some sort of explanation. UTS wanted to talk to Ricardo and said that they would look into the matter. A few days later he got a call from Mrs. Haseth (PR department), who confirmed a technical glitch, apologised profusely and promised that Ricardo would get his money back. The next day, Ricardo got Naf. 350 credited onto his phone, which somehow pleasantly surprises me.
Ricardo asked whether the other people who were duped by this error would also get their money back, to which UTS replied that he was the only one who came forth with actual data. In other words, you snooze, you lose. Well played UTS, well played.
Ricardo is keeping an eye on the UTS ticker and will update us again should the rates mysteriously start to spike. That said, if you have the feeling that your are blowing through credit faster than usual, start collecting the data and get in touch with UTS as fast as possible. And of course, let us know about it so that we can warn others again as well…