2.5 Eurocents per Kilobyte

Telefonica *really* got me on Monday. I was down at my in-laws and called 609 to buy a monthly GPRS credit so I could check my email and use chat from my Nokia 3650 without incurring expensive charges. I usually buy the 20MB credit for 30 Euros. This seems expensive, but months ago I decided it was worth it, and always just get that.

Of course, after 20 minutes on hold, it turns out their system was down so I couldn't get the credit right then. Being the impatient guy that I am, I decided to check my email anyways, figuring that it'd cost me several dollars, but that it was worth it because I was waiting for an important email. It was there, with a 3MB document attached and I grabbed it. I didn't realize until later how big the attachment was, but I knew it was a few megs and wasn't worried about it.

But as soon as I got the email, my GPRS cut out and I received a message that my account was at zero. I use a pre-pay phone and had *just* topped it up to over 70 euros... so I was a bit stunned that I suddenly had 0 in my account.

I called and was ready to bitch, when the woman politely told me that it costs 2.5 Eurocents per kilobyte. Again, that's 0.025€/kb. Do the math on that: ~3,000kb x 0.025 = ~75€. I'm *sure* that I wrote this down on my weblog or somewhere in the past... but I totally spaced it. I thought it would cost me 20€ max.

I will not be making that mistake again. I'd switch providers out of anger and spite and all that, but the three big providers here all in a cabal and have the same exact pricing (competition anyone?) so there's really no use. The only thing I would like is if the credit was automatically debited so I don't have to wait on hold... but hey, the phone companies wouldn't earn as much if they made it *easy* would they?


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