Horror Story of the Week: Surprise Pay-Per-Use Charges.

Surprise, Surprise – You Have Pay-Per-Use Charges

Having the right plan for your company’s mobile devices can hugely impact your mobile expense management. The right plan, can help reduce overage charges, or, in the case of features, pay-per-use features. What would happen if the features or plans you had in place, were to disappear?


Here’s the Situation:

While going over your company’s bills, you notice a user who would benefit from a higher messaging plan. You email your corporate rep with the change you would like to make and leave it at that. A couple days later you receive your confirmation from the carrier that the change has been made. 


The next month your receive and open your bill, then nearly die of a heart attack. Where you had expected to see savings from changing the plan, you are now seeing thousands of dollars in usage charges on the same line. Somehow the users data plan had been removed, and has been paying for the 200+ MB of usage at pay-per use pricing!  Maybe it’s a mistake you think.  

You confirm with the carrier that there is no data plan on the line and that it was requested to be removed. Even worse, is that the user has another 200MB of unbilled usage and thousands more in usage charges! 


What to do?

  • Re-Add and Confirm the Feature.

First of all get the data plan back on the line, and confirm with your carrier that all other features that should be on the line are present and are not set to expire on any date. This will avoid any more surprise charges on your bill.

  • Ask for Credits.

Once you get the features added on again. Look up the original email or find any notes you have on the original call (when you called, who you spoke with, what was actually requested). If possible, have an approximate amount you want credited back to you. Clearly state your case, and what has happened, and what should have happened. If you emailed your request in, forward the original email with it to support your case.  It is easier to get credits if you can support as much as possible. Having as much information ready as possible will help you ( which is why it is important to always get the name of the person you were speaking with)

  • Talk to your Corporate Rep.

If you are having trouble getting credits because of the notes that the cellular carrier made on the account, talk to your corporate rep and argue your case again. Advise – that because this user, has always had data, still uses data, and always had used data, then the feature should never have been removed.
If you had actually removed the feature by mistake, then they may be able to help you get a one-time credit or reduce the charges. But if it was truly the Cellular Carrier’s mistake – then they should issue you a credit.

  • Call Loyalty & Retention.

If calling the cellular carrier customer service directly and/or speaking with your corporate rep, has not helped, as a last resort, speak with your carriers Loyalty and Retention department. If it comes down to the carrier keeping your business, they may  be able to issue you credits.


Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation like this one. However – while mistakes like these are hard to plan for, prevention always helps in cases like these.

  • Keep any emails you send or receive from the carriers, and keep notes of any calls you make to the carrier, including names, dates, and what you were requesting.
  • It also helps to know what plan the user was on ( you can use bills as a reference) and what  features they should have on their lines.
  • Not only will this give you a solid argument when calling for billing errors, but knowing this information can help you detect billing errors when they occur quickly, and help you maintain the mobile expenses for your mobile fleet.
What Mobile Expense Management tips do you have to share?
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