Bill Shock Prevention
Comply with regulatory commissions and protect subscribers from unexpected fees and charges through regular communication and threshold notifications
For postpaid data subscribers on a mobile operator’s network, bill shock is a common complaint. Bill shock occurs when a service is used for which additional charges are applied, unbeknownst to the subscriber. One example of this is tethering on a “non-tethered” service plan. Not knowing the cost of specific services has the potential to result in unanticipated massive bills that subscribers are often unwilling or unable to pay. Subscribers contact their service providers, and charges are frequently waived. Service charge waivers result in revenue loss in addition to the operational cost of the customer care calls. In the case of large bills due to data roaming, these revenue waivers and additional service costs are quite substantial.
Prevention of bill shock results in an important customer satisfaction benefit. Service providers may introduce bill shock management on their own accord, or due to regulatory statutes.
To address this, communications service providers (CSPs) worldwide are using Sandvine’s award-winning Quota Manager feature set to introduce innovative data monitoring smartphone applications that provide subscribers with onscreen data usage updates. These applications rely upon subscriber usage data records (UDRs) provided by Quota Manager to deliver onscreen updates in real-time, and provide subscribers with complete visibility into roaming data usage, postpaid consumption, and prepaid availability.
Success Story: Protecting Subscribers from Bill Shock
Telefonica O2 UK is a mobile operator with about 10 million data subscribers. The reality of smartphones and international travel, as well as new regulatory legislation, prompted O2 UK to seek an accurate and effective way of protecting their subscribers from bill shock.
Sandvine’s Quota Manager, a feature set of the Usage Management product, was chosen by Telefonica O2 UK as the most effective solution for preventing subscriber bill shock. Quota Manager delivers carrier-grade services complete with record generation and real-time subscriber notification within a self-contained, single-vendor platform. Sandvine’s on-wire flow evaluation and metering means subscribers are immediately aware of their status, preventing bill shock. This capability allows Sandvine to offer operators the ability to notify subscribers of their current usage by displaying a real-time watermark in the web browser.