Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rip off?

I am new to using the internet on my mobile. I have used it on my blackberry for ages, but I am very new to WAP which I have so far only used to check hotmail and train times.

Rocking up at the station this morning I saw I could make an earlier train and so nipped onto O2 Active (that's the mobile internet on my trusty Nokia) to check what impact it would have on the train I would catch from Paddington to Reading.

Having gone through the process of inputting the station names and times (twice actually because someone came on on the tannoy and made me jump) I pressed "yes" or "go for it" or something similiar, expecting the next screen to be my handy train-times-on-the-mobile.

However what came up instead was a PayForIt screen asking me to authorise 50p payment for a single day access to train info, of 1.50 for a month subscription.

Well....

- I think PayForIt is a great idea (I do a lot of work with my clients in the area)
- The screen was certainly clear on the charges so no child-didnt-realise-it-was-being-scammed scandals (I got a text too to confirm I had just accepted the cost)
- I do want to be able to pay for things on my mobile easily. I really believe its the way forward

But one thing riled me about it...

I have used this service before when it was free (a month or so ago, and obviously free if you exclude the data charges) and I can't help thinking that the note to say it was now a premium service with a charge should have come up when I clicked on "timetable info" not after I had gone through the whole input process. Better still, O2 know I have used this service before so why not let me know about the change by text in advance? Why not tell me on last months bill in a pretty box out?

Also, just a note on pricing, I think the split is wrong. If anyone from 02 is reading, might I suggest 20p day rate and 2.00 monthly? I wouldn't think twice about using the service regularly at 20p a pop. 50p is a greater psychological barrier.

Here endeth the gripe.

1 comment:

Rob Nicholls said...

You're in Reading? :)

Must admit, I feel the same way about a lot of online content. I don't mind making a token payment of a few pence for accessing something, but 50p or more is a lot to charge for information (especially information that is available for free elsewhere, albeit in a less convenient format).

And you're right, charges should be presented sooner rather than later.

Perhaps this is why my brother (also on O2) usually sends me a text asking me to look up train times for him.

Hope you had a good journey on the crappy, overcrowded and overpriced First Great Western train :)

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