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Account expired while on vacation - lost $90 - no notification from SpeakOut
September 19, 2017
9:28 am
blee
Member
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
September 19, 2017
Offline

Account expired one day after I left for 2 wk vacation. Upon return, there was no indication that anything was wrong except no one could call me. I called customer service and was told that my balance in the account was zero because the balance was removed on the expiry date. I submitted a ticket to have the funds returned, however the request was denied because it was passed their 7 day grace period. $90 gone/stolen with no notification.

Note, they say that a notification was sent to my phone 15 days prior to expiry. However no such notification was received. There is no way to prove them wrong. I notice that other people here have similar experience.

Customer service was rude. Basically just reading from a script. Did not bother to listen what I had to say. It's our way or the highway!

Have already submitted complaint at https://www.ccts-cprst.ca/ however I'm not holding my breath that the funds will be returned. I will be looking for alternatives. Was a long time customer - extremely disappointed with SpeakOut and their customer service.

BTW, I was in Croatia and paid approx $11 for a pre-paid SIM that came with 10 GB of LTE data, 200 min and was good for 30 days!

September 19, 2017
12:00 pm
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
Moderator
Forum Posts: 2032
Member Since:
October 14, 2008
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From the official site:

" My balance expired. How do I get it back?

A top up must be made to the account within 7 days after the account balance was expired to be eligible to retrieve the account and any remaining balance."

If your account was close to the expiry date, you should have topped up before going on the trip. You cut it too close. Even the minimum top up amount would have avoided this mess. It is not up to SpeakOut to remind you when to top-up. There are easy ways to find out when your account/balance expires.

Another one post wonder...

September 20, 2017
9:48 am
blee
Member
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
September 19, 2017
Offline

Thank you so much for explaining the rules. Now that I know the rules, I feel so much better.

Seriously... They just stole $90 from me + the HST I paid on that (total $101.70) with no notice. That should be against the law regardless what convoluted rules they post on their official website!

September 20, 2017
11:18 am
southsloper
Burnaby, BC
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Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
November 12, 2010
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My sympathy of losing the $90 balance. And that they didn't believe you did not get the reminder text message.

Unfortunately they have an "out" in their terms of service, which has wording indicating any communication (i.e. like the [alleged] reminder text they said their system sent you (automatically presumably)) is deemed to have been received by the customer (you) 3 days after it was been sent [allegedly] :-(

I'm wondering if part of SOW's business plan involves customers not checking their balance/ expiry dates, a "trap" that you may have fallen into :-(

BTW, my family has 3 SOW #'s (365 day top ups). Used to be 4 but I switched my phone to a Fido $40 promo last year because I use my phone/data a lot more than the spouse & kids. In fact, I gotta top up one of the kid's which has a nearly depleted balance today!

September 20, 2017
6:19 pm
dennismiller
BC
Member
Forum Posts: 316
Member Since:
January 18, 2009
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I feel for you and understand. I have no idea what phone you use but my wife failed to get texts on a basic phone because of not enough memory. Perhaps you might calm down(not sure if I would) and then look at the overall cost even with the balance gone. I think SO would still be cheaper than most.
Your call of course.

Of course the rates in Croatia have no bearing on Canada and the cost of doing business in our country.

September 21, 2017
5:24 am
blee
Member
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
September 19, 2017
Offline

I have a very good smartphone with 64GB of RAM. I have had no issues with receiving other text messages from SpeakOut (like the $10/mo data renewal), but there was no message about the balance expiring. When I spoke with customer service, they said that the expiry notice is not a text message but some other kind of notice sent to my phone. I have no idea what that is because I never received anything!

Yes, their terms of service have lots of "traps" that put the burden on you to keep your account in good standing. Some of these things should be illegal. At the absolute minimum, the CRTC needs to mandate a reasonable grace period for having your (stolen) funds returned. 7 days is ridiculous as many people take vacations longer than this. It should be something like 45 or 60 days!

One other thing I want to say... and if you are under age 35 you will not understand. As you get older it becomes more difficult to remember and manage things like keeping a minimum balance in a bank account so you don't get dinged with service fees. The reasons for this are that as you get older you have more things to manage at a time when your cognitive abilities start to decline. Companies know this and that's why they put in "traps" to essentially cheat you out of your money. Some of these practices need to be banned.

September 21, 2017
5:57 am
blee
Member
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
September 19, 2017
Offline

As an alternative to SpeakOut, I was looking at PC Mobile.

  • $100 top-up lasts 365 days
  • There is no monthly 911 fee in Ontario (annual savings of $17 vs. SpeakOut - $1.25x12 + 13% tax)
  • 20 cents/min local calling (SpeakOut is 30 cents although this is Canada wide)
  • 100 MB data is $10/mo (same as SpeakOut)
  • 1 GB data is $35/mo (not available with SpeakOut on anytime plan)

I'm thinking this is much better than SpeakOut especially if you use data. I think I will be switching soon.

September 21, 2017
6:17 pm
iamdrumming
Niagara Falls
Moderator
Forum Posts: 2032
Member Since:
October 14, 2008
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If you want to discuss PC Mobile, (or any other competitor) please discuss it in the "Other carriers" forum. Everything has it's place.

Thanks