I am a customer of Wind GR (mobile operator in Greece) since late 90s, when I got my first mobile phone (a pay as you go) as a student – it was Telestet then, renamed to TIM after some years and now Wind. Since then I never changed my number nor moved to another mobile operator so I can be considered as a loyal customer. I was never a good one, as I tend to speak as little as I can over phone (including my mobile phone) so I make only minimum consumption of my available credit balance – I am not on a contract but on a prepaid card (Wind F2G).
Talking about credit balance, I managed to obtain a rather high one throughout these years, after some nice offers from Wind which allowed keeping double (and in some cases even triple) the amount you bought as airtime. Combined with my minimum consumption of airtime, I ended up with a credit of more than 150 euros in my account. In the end, I realized that this was not sustainable, so I decided to stop taking advantage of any (and I literally mean any) new offer by Wind – instead I would slowly consume my existing balance, only adding a new amount whenever needed (initially once per year, now twice per year) in order to keep my number “alive” and my balance active.
About 15-20 days ago I received an SMS informing me that a new package was activated for me (costing 10 euros) and for this I received almost 17,5 euros of balance in my account – but with an expiration date of one month only! I did not recall activating any package/offer, so I searched online to see what happened… and I found out: Wind decided (without asking their subscribers for confirmation) to activate this “offer” considering this as beneficial for them, with a duration of 6 months. However, it was obvious that due to the expiration date (of only one month) combined with my limited use of the phone, such “offer” was not beneficial for casual users like me. In the meantime, several affected F2G subscribers had contacted the General Secretary of Consumers (an organization under the umbrella of the Greek Ministry of Development & Competitiveness, as well as the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission, reporting the issue and filing complain forms.
I tried to find a way to cancel this “offer” and get my money back, so I discussed with the Wind Customer Care; despite the fact that the representative was kind and patient, she kept repeating parts from their website text related to the “offer” but she could not assure me that I would not be charged 10 euros per month for 6 months just for having this “offer” activated for me without my consent…at least she was kind enough to let me know that she could initiate the cancellation process. After giving it a second though, I decided that indeed this “offer” was not beneficial for me, so I asked again to have it cancelled. If this would not be accepted, I would have to issue a complaint form about that through the aforementioned services.
Indeed, after a couple of days I was informed that my balance was restored (referring to the 10 euros that I was initially charged) so everything was back to normal. What is not back to normal for me is my trust in Wind as a company; it seems that this was only one of the tricks used for charging pay as you go customers without their consent (you can Google for issues related to charging for internet access / 1 euro per day, when users are not really using internet!).
Big thanks and kudos to the Wind customer support for their help and prompt response (a good example for the Aegean customer support) but Wind, let’s get serious and start being honest to your customers or you’ll be in trouble…