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Prepaid: Base Plan Expired / Amount Due Issues

  • 19 January 2021
  • 8 replies
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Generally I don’t have any issues with the 2 phone lines I have through Koodo (one a plan, and one a prepaid), which is fantastic. Being a deaf customer, I relied on both phones being consistent, and hassle-free allowing me to pay each bill online without worrying about having to contact support or enter the Hearing world and place calls to worry about anything. 

Both the plan-based phone and the prepaid phone are on a text-based plan (naturally - seeing as mine is a deaf household), which is exactly what I and my daughter need, and the ability to top up or pay the monthly bill online every month enables us to use the texting-features of the phone without worrying about having to hear to keep our services. 

However, when something goes ‘wrong’, Koodo becomes one of the worse service providers I have to deal with. It’s shocking how a phone company doesn’t have a phone number you can call to help solve an issue. How such a popular and well-known service provider doesn’t have a publicly-accessed customer service team is beyond me. Instead, they rely on a robot-programmed chat feature that can provide answers to those that are just too lazy to look them up on the site, but never really help if it’s a ‘problem’, merely provide common-based Koodo information. The chat-bot doesn’t solve problems, it simply provides service-information. To solve a problem, Koodo seems to rely on the free service of the general public - here. So… I’m here. Looking for help from Koodo’s ‘free workers’, the rest of you. 

My daughter uses a prepaid text-only plan from Koodo. I top up this plan every month around the 20th because it comes due every month between the 20th and the end of the month. I’ve had no issues with this for the last few years, since she got the phone. However, this morning when I logged in to top up her account, I was greeted with big red letters stating “Base Plan Expired”. 

I had no idea why her plan would be expired. Plans are supposed to expire if there is no activity within 90 days (I thought), and I had just paid it last month - a payment they took out. Not knowing why it said this, or what to do, I just proceeded to make this month’s top up. 

The system accepted the payment, and the ‘due date’ for the next payment changed from this month to February. 

However, in her account, it now states “Amount Due: $15” (which is the cost of her prepaid plan). For the life of me, I can’t understand why she still owes $15, when I just topped up, they accepted it, and the due date changed from January to February. If I topped up for the new bill, then amount due should currently be $0 until the next top up bill comes out. 

I tried looking for help in understanding this, however I was lost among the matrix of Koodo’s ‘help’ guides. I was directed to the robot-chat, and from the robot chat was directed to dial *611. The phone call sent me to a text message. The text message sent me a link back to the chat robot. That chat robot was for the ‘plans’ koodo, who sent me to the chat robot for the prepaid chat robot. And around and around we went, until eventually I ended up here. 

Any advice? 

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Best answer by Sophia 19 January 2021, 17:40

I just checked my own prepaid account. I am on auto top up so really it should be “all paid up”. It shows the following:

What does yours say there?

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Userlevel 7
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There might be a very easy explanation: Koodo prepaid website has a weird bug where a plan shows as expired but in actual fact it's not. This should last only one day, the next day everything shows as normal again. Can she still use her plan, eg send/receive text messages?

She can. Her phone seems to be working fine (I used it and texted myself and that worked fine), so I assume the whole “Base Plan Expired” part worked itself out when I topped up. I’m more concerned with why she has an “Amount Due” balance. Even though it’s not a lot, and I could easily pay it, I’d rather know WHY it’s there, and what I’m PAYING for, first - since I already paid her $15 plan and topped up for January-February, and the next ‘billing due date’ isn’t until February. 

If I just literally topped up, shouldn’t her “Amount Due” be $0? 

Userlevel 7
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I just checked my own prepaid account. I am on auto top up so really it should be “all paid up”. It shows the following:

What does yours say there?

Thank you so much for taking the time to do that, Sophia! By comparing your image to what I see in my daughter’s account, I’m coming to the conclusion that “Amount Due” automatically displays how much the next payment is going to cost you, not how much is ‘currently outstanding’. 

 

If yours is auto-top up, then it stands to reason that despite the fact that the due date for expired base plan (thus when the next bill is due) isn’t until Feb, that doesn’t mean that the Amount Due is ‘outstanding’ it just means that it’s the next payment amount (minus whatever is currently in your balance). And since I never have anything in her balance extra, as I only ever top up the exact amount, that’s why it shows the full ‘plan amount’ in there. 

And here I was thinking it was an ‘outstanding balance’ as in I still owe it. That doesn’t seem to be the case, it’s just letting me know that’s how much it’s going to cost me come the ‘due date’ for the base plan expire date. 

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your personal day to help me with this! 

Userlevel 7
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I’m so pleased that answered your concerns! I agree with you that the prepaid self serve portal is a bit of a confusing mess… but apart from that I really like the service and it works just fine. Proud prepaid user since day one… in fact I have a 4 digit account number haha!

Edit: I have posted a suggestion to our Koodo liaison to change the wording from “Amount due” to “Amount needed for next renewal”. I think it would be much clearer that way. Let’s hope it can be done :)

Userlevel 7
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The self-serve portal for prepaid has not been updated since most of those who designed it graduated from secondary...

People who rely on calendar dates can also get surprised because prepaid is “per 30 days” not one month, so the due date will dance around the calendar a little depending on whether the current month has 28, 29, 30 or 31 days.

Once you are accustomed to the vagaries of the log-in systems, you will appreciate that it is relatively bulletproof, even when roaming in the US.

Hats off to Sophia, the patron saint of prepaid hopeless causes.

Userlevel 7
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@podgenie thank you so much for bringing this up. I have some really good news: Koodo confirmed that this was indeed very confusing wording and are working on making it clearer. They also asked if you guys have any further recommendations for tweaks or other concerns about the self serve portal - so @BobTheElectrician here’s your chance to make a difference :grinning:

Userlevel 7
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Laundry list for prepaid self-serve:

1. Account status: Active with auto top up should be displayed when appropriate. Gives you a chance to pop-in an “enroll in auto top-up and never have to worry about missed payments again”.

2. Don’t scare folks if they log in during renewal. A simple banner stating that “during the account renewal cycle, it can take a few business days for top ups to be posted. Your service will not be interrupted if you have topped up manually or thru auto top-ups”.

3. Base Plan and Booster Add-ons tab shows Current Baseplan accurately but Current Booster Add-on(s) only shows what you want to sell, not what is currently active in the account. Makes no sense.  Doesn’t jive with welcome page at all. Show what is displayed in View Booster Add-on Usage with perhaps a button to “Purchase again” beside each category.

 

Altogether Prepaid is a very fine service. Just needs a little cosmetic touch-up as advancing age creeps in.