Telcos 'unintentionally' overcharging businesses

Stratatel releases discussion paper detailing hidden overcharging by telcos

Telecommunications management company Stratatel has released a discussion paper revealing that companies and organisations are being overcharged for phone services, often unintentionally.

The paper, titled "Wake Up Call: Hidden Overcharging in Telecommunications," claims, "Overcharging by carriers is so commonplace that it is actually more unusual not to find billing errors. It is not necessarily the result of carrier deception or negligence, but of the extreme complexity of contracts and outdated internal processes."

Stratatel believes that research indicates show around 80 per cent of telco bills contain incorrect charges. A particular case study in the draft paper demonstrates how a large transport organisation recouped $225,000 after a telco overcharged it by 24 per cent.

Consumers could also be affected, with an example being Vodafone overcharging iPhone 3G customers in 2008, with one customer overcharged by $1600.

Stratatel stresses that in the majority of cases, telcos were unintentionally overcharging due to the hundreds of users and thousand of assets that a company may be using. According to Stratatel, this is extremely difficult to monitor. "Overcharging is rarely the result of carriers intentionally inflating their charges or negligent or incompetent management by the customer organisation," said Stratatel chief executive Matt Parry.

Stratatel is seeking feedback from telcos on how to deal with overcharging. "Managing expenses, particularly rapidly escalating telecommunications expenses are a critical activity for every organisation and overcharging is not in the interest of carriers or their customers. That's why we are seeking comment from both sides of the fence," said Parry.

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