The double bill syndrome is usually caused when the correct information isn't passed on at the start of phone contracts. This is how it works. All mobile phone networks bill your line rental in advance of the next month. Now, as you are not presented with a bill at the time of purchase the first month's line rental is carried forward.
If the first bill is received 4 weeks after the contract begins then there will be 4 weeks line rental up to this date and also a charge for the next month's line rental. If the rental is £30 per month then this bill would have come in at £60 plus any usage outside of the free time.
Billing segments on phone contracts
Mobile phones at the moment have 3 segments of general billing and these are phone calls, text messages often referred to as SMS which stands for short message service and internet usage.
Understanding these areas is key so let's take a look at each one.
Phone calls - This is easy to understand and if you have previous phone contracts you can look at an old bill to see how much you use. If not then simply estimate your time by multiplying the time you spend on the phone each day by 30 to get a rough idea. If you still have a working phone then take a look at your call logs and this too will provide you with the needed information.
Text messages - Again are simple to work out. Simply multiply the number of texts you send each day by 30.
Internet usage - Well, this is where we enter the realms of pulling out a figure from thin air. This area of phone contracts is billed by the information that is sent or received over the internet. All of the text, images and videos you may see add into this area and are measured in megabytes (MB) and gigabytes (GB) where a gigabyte is made up of 1,000 megabytes.
We can see below the average amount of data that is used by doing the following:
Watching a 1 hour TV show = 60MB
Watching a YouTube video = 4MB
Browsing Facebook for 1 hour = 0.8MB
Sending or receiving 10 emails = 0.25MB
Using Google Maps for 10 minutes = 6MB
Making a Skype video call for 30 minutes = 40MB
Out of free usage charges
Mobile phones and their contracts are great until you venture out of the free time your tariff offers. Today for example it will cost between 30p - 40p per minute for a UK phone call outside of the free time. Imagine running out of free time 10 days before the end of the month and making a 10 minute call every day: 10 days x 10 minutes x 40p per minute = £40.
Because of this it is better to overestimate your usage. There are also unlimited deals on the market for each or all of the billing segments and if you should find yourself in the situation described above then call you billing provider and request a tariff that offers more free time. There is no problem in doing this and it will save you money.
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