Vaya faces data alert headache with system upgrade

An upgrade to mobile reseller Vaya's data usage alert system has seen some customers being told they are using more data than they have actually used.

An upgrade to Brisbane-based Vaya's data usage alert system has seen some customers of the Optus reseller reporting that the company's data usage tracking tool is overstating the amount of data they have been using.

Customers had reported over the last few days both on the company's own forum, and on broadband enthusiast website Whirlpool that the company had been overstating the amount of data they were being charged on their mobile plans.

"The Data Usage graph says i used 175MB on Tuesday, but the itemisation report shows just 7MB was actually used on Tuesday. So having used less than 1000MB all month, (according to the itemsiation report) my graph shows that i have used 2068 (!!!) and have exceeded my limit," one user said on the Vaya forum.

"This is appalling. This is a scam to make us buy bolt-ons."

"They claim I've used 1694MB, but my itemised billing only shows 1058MB. Since I'm only on 1.5GB plan, I've gone over almost each month," another user said on Whirlpool.

Ben Pullen, Vaya co-founder and CEO, told ZDNet that the issue stemmed from an upgrade implemented by an outsourced provider that works between Optus and a number of its resellers including Vaya to provide data usage alerts at 50 percent, 85 percent, and 100 percent of the monthly allowance as required by the telecommunications consumer protection (TCP) code.

He said that Vaya was still determining how many customers were affected, but said he believed it would be affecting between 10 and 15 percent of customers.

Pullen said that Vaya had been affected because the upgrade had been implemented sooner than other Optus resellers that use the same tracking tool, and as a result, some were being told they were using more data than they actually were.

He said that users would not be bill the amount displayed because billing was a separate function to the data alert system.

A solution was expected to be implemented at around 4pm [AEST] today, Pullen said.

Vaya, which resells Optus' 4G mobile services starting at AU$16 per month, said last month that it was expecting to pull in revenues of AU$72 million in this financial year. The company last month launched its National Broadband Network plan for AU$89 per month with unlimited data on the 100Mbps plan.