Australian telecommunications provider Amaysim has been criticised for changing its billing cycle from 30 days to 28 days.
Plans still cost the same per month, meaning Amaysim customers will be paying approximately 8 percent more for mobile data plans – though the company has beefed up the packs.
Amaysim customers took to communications industry forum Whirlpool to complain about the new prices.
"Optus too has moved to 28 days from 30 days. Over 12 months, this equates to a price rise of nearly one month in extra charges to customers on both carriers (2 day reduction x 12 months = 24 days additional cost to customers). Sneaky indeed and a clear price rise by any other name," commented one user.
Another user wrote: “…$26.90 for 30 Days becomes same amount for 28 Days, that definitely equates to a price rise and I agree with an earlier poster it's a ‘sneaky’ price rise and for my usage makes it less attractive (I just don't like such market tactics)."
Not all customers weren't so outraged, as one user commented: "There is always somebody who wants something for nothing. The extra data seems to more than compensate for the extra cost of 28 day expiry.”
The changes were accompanied by the announcement that Amaysim is increasing the cap on its unlimited data plans.
The 5GB plan will come with an extra 2GB of data, the 8GB and 2GB plan will each get an extra 1GB and the 1GB plan will be bumped up by 500MB.
Amaysim chief executive Julian Ogrin defended the change, saying it allowed customers to make like-for-like comparisons to find the best deals.
"We understand the change to a 28-day billing cycle has been unpopular with some customers,” Ogrin told CRN.
“To present the whole picture, some customers have responded positively to the increase in data and international inclusions.”
Ogrin also pointed out that changing to a 28-day billing cycle has become commonplace in Australia. Australia’s three largest telcos – Telstra, Optus and Virgin – all bill on 28-day cycles.
“We are confident that the recent additions to our suite of plans mean they are still among the best value in the market. The appetite for BYO prepaid plans is growing in Australia and as a result shorter billing cycles are increasingly becoming the norm,” said Ogrin.
He added that customers can change Amaysim contracts when they want – though all plans have been swapped to 28 days.
“As we have no lock-in contracts, customers are always welcome to move to a plan which better suits their needs,” said Ogrin.
Amaysim currently has 764,000 mobile subscribers in Australia.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman announced that Amaysim was the least complained-about telco in Australia, reporting 0.7 new complaints for per 10,000 services.