Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

November 21, 2009

Updated: STC bribes billing system victims with a lot of free minutes

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 3:54 pm

Update: I called STC’s 902 support, the guy was trying to avoid telling me what I wanted to know but in the end he said “you can call for 48 hours and it’s ok”.

STC‘s billing problems have been going on for a long time.

Now STC has announced that they are offering one free month of phone calls starting today November 21st. Mobile (Jawal) and landline (Hatif) can call each other for free. Prepaid (Sawa) is not included.

stc-freee

I have some issues with this promotion:

1. It was mentioned only on STC’s Arabic news page while the English page had nothing.

2. The “press release” claims that it is a historic promotion and no telco has ever done anything like it. Most likely false, then again, not every telco messes up the billing system the way STC did. STC also said that they are “rewarding their customers”.

3. The billing system is still not working, people had their data usage jump from 400MB to 1TB! Arab News is probably the only Saudi newspaper that talked about it: ā€œIā€™m sick and tired of this chaos. My bill limit is SR500. I received a bill after 4 months of delay for SR2,000. How is that logical?ā€. STC is trying to cover up their chaotic billing system by bribing customers.

4. This offer is actually limited. You have only 24 hours of free calls (1440 minutes). Assuming an average of 0.35SR per minute, that’s only 504SR! Remember: people were overcharged more than that! In this article someone was charged 2,000SR and their credit limit was only 500SR!

5. You know I’m picky about websites, especially for giant companies such as STC. So here’s an example of bad design: This image linked in the news post is named “freee” and it is actually a BMP file with a JPG extension. That’s annoying!

Many customers were over charged more than 504SR and STC until now did not issue their usual detailed phone bills. They also never announced that they had a billing problem. What I want from STC is: admit and apologize for their mistake and issue honest bills!