Posts Tagged ‘mobile apps’

Colonic Irritation: Emoticons Double Text Message Charges

Friday, September 21st, 2012

SmartPhone Text Charges:) :( :) :( Smartphone users could be paying more for their text messages if they use common emoticons that include bullet points.

iPhone and Samsung smartphone users who regularly add a smiling face could end up sporting a frown after it was revealed that some are being charged twice for messages that include colons.

Telstra, Australia’s leading provider of mobile devices and broadband, has admitted that the punctuation caused a coding issue on certain models that reduced the number of characters that a single message could contain.

The terms of service stipulate a set of ‘non-standard characters’, including bullet points, that, when included, incurs greater charges if messages exceed 70 characters in length.

A spokesperson for Telstra said that the problem was caused by the technology used to send messages rather than the handsets. Customers should keep emoticon-laden messages shorter to avoid being charged double.

It is not a handset or a phone company rule but rather the technology used to send messages… Most phones allow customers to see how long their messages are.

Are you a Telstra client with an iPhone or Samsung smartphone? It might be wise to rein in the visuals and save yourself a packet.


Friday, December 16th, 2011

It hasn’t been a particularly good year for banks across the globe.

Many are still being downgraded by credit ratings agencies. Standard & Poor’s, addressed in the last post here, upset leading European figures when it issued a threat of widespread sovereign downgrades on the eve of the European summit.

Many banks and governments alike are struggling to raise funds or to find manageable rates at which to borrow. Those that can, on the other hand, are exploiting every drop of political advantage they can muster.

Many banks are commiting various kinds of atrocities. Many are simply finding ways – even unwittingly – to frustrate their customers.


A number of UK banks have been caught up in scandals involving the elderly. As reported on our sister blog in the UK, a succession of banks have been caught and fined for mis-selling risky investment products to vulnerable consumers. Pensioners of 83 years on average were pressured into investing six-figure sums of their inheritence into long-term risk-heavy products, often when they were not even expected to survive the investment term. Collectively, banks have faced compensation payments approaching £150 million ($233 million).


Near Field Communication strikes Australia. The end of the credit card?

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Mobile Payment - the end of the credit card?The future of financial transactions for the next generation may now be upon us.

With the increasing number and popularity of mobile apps, major financial bodies have been looking towards innovative new payment systems for mobile devices.

The prospective launch of these new mobile payment systems could now spell the beginning of the end for the trusty plastic credit card.

Commonwealth Gold: KaChing!

Last month, Google announced their new ‘Wallet’ app, a system using Near Field Communication technology (NFC) which is designed to make payments easier for consumers while offering retailers more ways to offer loyalty programs.

But they may be beaten to the chase by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, which has launched ‘Kaching‘, an app which allows smart phones / iPhones to connect with cash registers and to make payments by email and Facebook. It will be available before Christmas to iPhone users with operating system iOS4 or above, and makes CommBank the first commercial provider of a mobile payment system.