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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:41 AM
David Chapman
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Default Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.


FOR DISCUSSION:

Having seen the BBC Watchdog programme about excessive mobile phone
charges when a phone is lost or stolen and the loss cannot be reported
quickly to network operator for some reason, I contacted both Vodafone
and O2 (being a customer of both) to see what they could offer me by way
of extra protection if one of my phones went 'walkabout'.

Both networks were able and willing to (a) block any calls to premium
rate numbers, and (b) block any International calls made from my mobile
(if in the UK) whilst still allowing me to call back to the UK if I was
travelling overseas.

I then asked both Vodafone and O2 if I could nominate a monthly
financial limit such that any calls (other than emergency ones) made
using my phone if that limit was exceeded would be automatically
blocked.

Vodafone said that they could set up my account do this automatically,
whereas O2 said that with their network it was not possible but I could
check my bills on-line anytime to see how much I had spent - a really
useful facility if I'm on holiday in the back-of-beyond and away from
the Internet!

The O2 representative then pointed out to me that the Watchdog
programme had fallen short of giving the FULL story (no surprise there -
the BBC can't let FACTS inhibit the making of an entertaining programme,
can they?) and that O2 had cancelled the call charges for the person who
lost the phone and had made every attempt to try an report the loss to
them.

So, anyone in this NG got any comments to add or experiences to
relate?


--
David C.Chapman - (dcchapman@minda.co.uk)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:56 AM
Bob Henson
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Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.



On 12/10/2012 11:41 AM, David Chapman wrote:
>
> FOR DISCUSSION:
>
> Having seen the BBC Watchdog programme about excessive mobile phone
> charges when a phone is lost or stolen and the loss cannot be reported
> quickly to network operator for some reason, I contacted both Vodafone
> and O2 (being a customer of both) to see what they could offer me by way
> of extra protection if one of my phones went 'walkabout'.


> So, anyone in this NG got any comments to add or experiences to
> relate?
>


You don't mention which phones you use, but a program such as Avast! for
Android has the facility to block your phone (and much more) in event of
loss or theft, by SMS from another phone. It will send text messages to
nominated phones if anyone attempts to change the SIM - so you can then
block the phone, even if you didn't know until that point that you had
lost it. You can locate the phone under certain circumstances, or wipe
it completely if you fear it is lost forever.

Approaching the potential problem this way, you aren't reliant on the
network operator, and you can act much more quickly. There are other
programs too, so I'd look around first - but this strikes me as the best
way around the problem.

--
Bob
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK


I went for a medical and asked the doctor, "How do I stand?" He said,
"That's what puzzles me too!"

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:38 PM
Theo Markettos
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Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

David Chapman <dave@minda.co.uk> wrote:
> So, anyone in this NG got any comments to add or experiences to
> relate?


Virgin have the ability to apply a credit limit to contract accounts, but
the minimum limit is £50. I don't know if it's subject to the trouble that
some credit cards have in that the bank will arbitrarily allow you to exceed
your limit for no reason if they feel like it, which is something to watch
here.

Theo

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2012, 04:30 PM
Someone Somewhere
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

On 12/10/2012 16:38, Theo Markettos wrote:
> David Chapman <dave@minda.co.uk> wrote:
>> So, anyone in this NG got any comments to add or experiences to
>> relate?

>
> Virgin have the ability to apply a credit limit to contract accounts, but
> the minimum limit is £50. I don't know if it's subject to the trouble that
> some credit cards have in that the bank will arbitrarily allow you to exceed
> your limit for no reason if they feel like it, which is something to watch
> here.
>

I think that theoretically Virgin treat all their subscribers as if they
are pre-paid (although those who are actually contract are given a large
limit).

This means that each and every chargeable event will be treated in
real-time so they can quite easily allow you to have a cap.

Normal mobile phone contracts have long lags between the chargeable
event and it being applied to a bill (for all sorts of tiresome and
archaic reasons) and therefore it's far harder for them to know if your
usage pattern dramatically changes until sometime after the event (could
be minutes, hours or a handful of days).

As a counterpoint normal contract usage is cheaper in a lot of ways for
the network operators and also allows a wider roaming choice though.



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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2012, 12:16 PM
Harry Stottle
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

On 12/10/12 11:41, David Chapman wrote:
>
> FOR DISCUSSION:
>
> Having seen the BBC Watchdog programme about excessive mobile phone
> charges when a phone is lost or stolen and the loss cannot be reported
> quickly to network operator for some reason, I contacted both Vodafone
> and O2 (being a customer of both) to see what they could offer me by way
> of extra protection if one of my phones went 'walkabout'.
>
> Both networks were able and willing to (a) block any calls to premium
> rate numbers, and (b) block any International calls made from my mobile
> (if in the UK) whilst still allowing me to call back to the UK if I was
> travelling overseas.
>
> I then asked both Vodafone and O2 if I could nominate a monthly
> financial limit such that any calls (other than emergency ones) made
> using my phone if that limit was exceeded would be automatically blocked.
>
> Vodafone said that they could set up my account do this
> automatically, whereas O2 said that with their network it was not
> possible but I could check my bills on-line anytime to see how much I
> had spent - a really useful facility if I'm on holiday in the
> back-of-beyond and away from the Internet!
>
> The O2 representative then pointed out to me that the Watchdog
> programme had fallen short of giving the FULL story (no surprise there -
> the BBC can't let FACTS inhibit the making of an entertaining programme,
> can they?) and that O2 had cancelled the call charges for the person who
> lost the phone and had made every attempt to try an report the loss to
> them.
>
> So, anyone in this NG got any comments to add or experiences to relate?
>
>

Most of the thefts which involve high costs to the phone's owner seem to
involve the setting up of a premium line, and using stolen phones, or
sims. to dial the premium number in order to gain the maximum benefit in
cash returns for the thieves. Now I don't know if I am typical, but I
never dial premium rate numbers from a mobile, and I suspect that a very
high percentage of other users are the same, (especially the sort of
numbers that get a very high return for the thieves).

If bills are being run up of several hundreds of pounds, or even
thousands, by these thieves, then how can the phone companies be missing
these unusual occurrences on a customer's account, and why aren't they
suspending the accounts before the costs soar to such high figures.
Phone companies should be made liable for these charges by law, they
have the ability to stop them, but they seem to be happy in aiding and
abetting the thieves in robbing their customers.



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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2012, 12:25 PM
Roland Perry
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

In message <hYces.314397$4I.309367@fx03.am4>, at 13:16:13 on Sat, 13 Oct
2012, Harry Stottle <this_wont_get_you_anywhere@example.org> remarked:
>Most of the thefts which involve high costs to the phone's owner seem
>to involve the setting up of a premium line, and using stolen phones,
>or sims. to dial the premium number in order to gain the maximum
>benefit in cash returns for the thieves. Now I don't know if I am
>typical, but I never dial premium rate numbers from a mobile, and I
>suspect that a very high percentage of other users are the same,
>(especially the sort of numbers that get a very high return for the thieves).
>
>If bills are being run up of several hundreds of pounds, or even
>thousands, by these thieves, then how can the phone companies be
>missing these unusual occurrences on a customer's account, and why
>aren't they suspending the accounts before the costs soar to such high
>figures. Phone companies should be made liable for these charges by
>law, they have the ability to stop them, but they seem to be happy in
>aiding and abetting the thieves in robbing their customers.


This sort of thing is slap bang in the middle of PhonePayPlus's remit.

By all means heckle them to make them do their job better.

They aren't toothless, but sometimes they don't seem to be proactive
enough.
--
Roland Perry

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2012, 12:57 PM
Bob Eager
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 13:17:58 +0100, Peter wrote:

> Bob Henson <rh547477@gmail.com> wrote
>
>>You don't mention which phones you use, but a program such as Avast! for
>>Android has the facility to block your phone (and much more) in event of
>>loss or theft, by SMS from another phone.

>
> There is a ~£30 prog for my Nokia phone (Symbian) which does that. It
> can even covertly listen to any calls made on the phone and send you the
> details


That facility comes free with Samsung phones.

There's also:

http://preyproject.com/


--
Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org


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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2012, 05:44 PM
Trust No One
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.


"David Chapman" <dave@minda.co.uk> wrote in message
news:WP05fWBPP$dQFwB3@chassis.demon.co.uk...
>
> FOR DISCUSSION:
>
> Having seen the BBC Watchdog programme about excessive mobile phone
> charges when a phone is lost or stolen and the loss cannot be reported
> quickly to network operator for some reason, I contacted both Vodafone and
> O2 (being a customer of both) to see what they could offer me by way of
> extra protection if one of my phones went 'walkabout'.
>


Isn't one method of additional protection to simply put a complex password
on the phone (assuming it is a modern one) and a pin code on the SIM?

The use of pin code locks the SIM after 3 invalid attempts. The prompt only
activates if the phone is switched on or rebooted so you need to combine it
with a password on the phone for maximum effectiveness.

These simple measures should buy you some time to contact the operator if
the phone is stolen

--
Peter <X-Files fan>



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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2012, 06:21 PM
David Chapman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.


>Isn't one method of additional protection to simply put a complex password
>on the phone (assuming it is a modern one) and a pin code on the SIM?


Many thanks to all those who have taken the time to respond and for
their various interesting suggestions.

Yes, password protection is certainly an obvious starting point but I
have to admit that with my (rapidly) advancing years my little grey
cells are past saturation point with remembering passwords.

PAYG is another option, of course, but I think I'll stick with my
contract phones and adopt some of the additional precautions that have
been suggested in the responses.

ATB - Dave.

--
David C.Chapman - (dcchapman@minda.co.uk)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:17 PM
Mark
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

On 13 Oct 2012 12:57:35 GMT, Bob Eager <news0001@eager.cx> wrote:

>On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 13:17:58 +0100, Peter wrote:
>
>> Bob Henson <rh547477@gmail.com> wrote
>>
>>>You don't mention which phones you use, but a program such as Avast! for
>>>Android has the facility to block your phone (and much more) in event of
>>>loss or theft, by SMS from another phone.

>>
>> There is a ~30 prog for my Nokia phone (Symbian) which does that. It
>> can even covertly listen to any calls made on the phone and send you the
>> details

>
>That facility comes free with Samsung phones.


I don't remember seeing anythink like this on my Galaxy S. Where's it
hidden?
--
(\__/) M.
(='.'=) If a man stands in a forest and no woman is around
(")_(") is he still wrong?


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 04:03 PM
Bob Eager
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 13:17:38 +0100, Mark wrote:

> On 13 Oct 2012 12:57:35 GMT, Bob Eager <news0001@eager.cx> wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 13:17:58 +0100, Peter wrote:
>>
>>> Bob Henson <rh547477@gmail.com> wrote
>>>
>>>>You don't mention which phones you use, but a program such as Avast!
>>>>for Android has the facility to block your phone (and much more) in
>>>>event of loss or theft, by SMS from another phone.
>>>
>>> There is a ~£30 prog for my Nokia phone (Symbian) which does that. It
>>> can even covertly listen to any calls made on the phone and send you
>>> the details

>>
>>That facility comes free with Samsung phones.

>
> I don't remember seeing anythink like this on my Galaxy S. Where's it
> hidden?


Read the manual, I think. It's on my S2. No actual software - just
register with Samsung and you get the facility.


--
Use the BIG mirror service in the UK:
http://www.mirrorservice.org


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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 10-15-2012, 08:11 PM
alexd
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

David Chapman (for it is he) wrote:

> O2 had cancelled the call charges for the person who lost the phone and
> had made every attempt to try an report the loss to them.


That's all very well, but we can't all get our story on Watchdog, can we?

> So, anyone in this NG got any comments to add or experiences to
> relate?


It's not in their interest to find ways to avoid charging you, so they don't
want to do it.

--
<http://ale.cx/> (AIM:troffasky) (UnSoEsNpEaTm@ale.cx)
21:09:19 up 8 days, 9:30, 5 users, load average: 0.44, 0.31, 0.30
Qua illic est reprehendit, illic est a vindicatum


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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2012, 08:53 AM
Mark
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Capping mobile phone bills to guard against loss.

On 15 Oct 2012 16:03:24 GMT, Bob Eager <news0001@eager.cx> wrote:

>On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 13:17:38 +0100, Mark wrote:
>
>> On 13 Oct 2012 12:57:35 GMT, Bob Eager <news0001@eager.cx> wrote:
>>
>>>On Sat, 13 Oct 2012 13:17:58 +0100, Peter wrote:
>>>
>>>> Bob Henson <rh547477@gmail.com> wrote
>>>>
>>>>>You don't mention which phones you use, but a program such as Avast!
>>>>>for Android has the facility to block your phone (and much more) in
>>>>>event of loss or theft, by SMS from another phone.
>>>>
>>>> There is a ~30 prog for my Nokia phone (Symbian) which does that. It
>>>> can even covertly listen to any calls made on the phone and send you
>>>> the details
>>>
>>>That facility comes free with Samsung phones.

>>
>> I don't remember seeing anythink like this on my Galaxy S. Where's it
>> hidden?

>
>Read the manual, I think. It's on my S2. No actual software - just
>register with Samsung and you get the facility.


There's nothing about it in the manual. Maybe it was introduced later
on.
--
(\__/) M.
(='.'=) If a man stands in a forest and no woman is around
(")_(") is he still wrong?


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