In recent weeks, one of the most debated topics on the Net concerns the new top-up rates of 5 and 10 euros introduced by TIM, Vodafone and Wind. We have written about it in depth and in the last few days have also arrived the complaints of the consumer associations (Altroconsumo and Codacons) that have presented a complaint to AGCOM and Antitrust.
A novelty, therefore, that has created a lot of fuss and on which there is also great confusion. Many users are looking for information to understand exactly how the new recharge cuts work and which ones to use for their credit. To understand what we are talking about we must start from the beginning, explaining what premium top-ups are. This is a new top-up cut that in addition to credit activates additional services on the users SIM card. The activation, however, is deducted from the credit provided by the recharge. In this way, a user who buys a top-up of 5 euros, in reality will only have 4 euros of traffic.
What are the new methods of recharge introduced by TIM, Vodafone and Wind
After the querelle of billing to 28 days that finally seems to have come to an end with the victory of consumer associations (telephone operators are beginning to reimburse users), a new argument holds bench in the world of telephony. As you may have guessed, we are talking about the new 5 and 10 euro recharge cuts of TIM, Vodafone and Wind (to be precise, TIM has also created the 17 euro and 22 euro cuts). Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions from users on the subject.
What is the main difference from the "classic" cuts? The new methods can be called "premium", because in addition to providing credit they also activate special services. However, these services are not free. For example, if you buy a premium top-up of 5 euros, the traffic provided is 4 euros and the rest is used for the extra service.
What does this premium service provide? It depends on the operator: in some cases it allows free calling and surfing for a day, while in others it adds GB to the monthly subscription.
Where can special top-ups be purchased? Each operator has decided on appropriate sales channels, but in general they can be found on the app, on the official website or in official stores.
What are premium top-ups called? TIM has chosen the name of Ricarica +, Vodafone of Giga Ricarica, while Wind Ricarica Special.
Why consumer associations filed a complaint
When the new recharge methods started to take hold among the various operators, consumer associations filed a complaint with AGCOM and Antitrust to denounce the new commercial practice. According to Altroconsumo and Codacons, the new special top-ups would force users to activate premium services that they do not need and that they have not requested.
In the press note published on its website, Codacons asks for the start of an inquiry into the new top-up methods because it would seem to be a practice studied by the operators to recover the lower revenues guaranteed by the illegal 28-day bills.
The ploy of the telephone operators is very reminiscent of the fixed cost applied by the operators on top-ups in the early 2000s. It was eliminated in 2007 by the Bersani Decree and now it seems to be back in a different form: premium services.
What are TIM's Ricariche+
The first to launch the new recharge methods was TIM with Ricarica+. The phone operator launched this new recharge method at the beginning of the year and now offers four different denominations: Ricarica 5+, Ricarica 10+, Ricarica 17+ and Ricarica 22+.
Ricarica 5+ costs 5 euros and provides 4 euros of credit, while the remainder is used to activate a promotion that allows you to have unlimited calls and Internet for 24 hours. Same for Ricarica 10+ (9 euros of credit plus one euro for the premium service).
Ricarica 17+, on the other hand, costs 17 euros and provides 15 euros of credit. The remaining two euros are used to activate a promotion that allows you to call and surf the internet for free for 48 hours. Same operation for Ricarica 22+ (20 euros plus 2 euros for the special service).
To meet the needs of users, Tim has activated two new top-up cuts of 4 and 6 euros, all credit. Available in TIM stores and in tobacconists, newsagents and bars.
What are Vodafone's special top-ups
Vodafone has launched Giga Ricarica. Available in two different denominations: 5 and 10 euros.
Giga Ricarica 5 costs five euros and delivers traffic for 4 euros. What's left over is used to activate a mandatory promotion to have 3GB of data to use within a month of the recharge.
With Giga Ricarica 10 the credit provided is 9 euros, while the remaining euro is used to activate the same promotion: 3GB to use within a month.
It should be noted that if in a single day we make two recharges Giga 10, the data of the promotions will be added together, while if we do so on two different days no.
Giga Ricarica is sold in the following outlets: points of sale: bars, tobacconists, newsagents, SisalPay and Lottomatica points and also Autogrill.
What are Wind's premium top-ups
Wind is the latest operator to jump into this new sector and has done so with Ricarica Special 5 and Ricarica Special 10.
Ricarica Special 5 delivers traffic for 4 euros and the rest is used to activate a mandatory promotion that offers unlimited calls and data for one day. Ricarica Special 10 works the same way: 9 euros of credit and 1 euro for free calls and internet for 24 hours. The new recharge methods are available in the following outlets: receivers, newsstands, bars, enabled tobacconists, Wind stores, official website and MyWind app.
Wind has also decided to introduce two new recharge denominations, respectively 4 and 11 euros, all traffic. Initially, they are only available on the app and the official website.
Iliad and premium top-ups: what do we know
Iliad is also ready to launch special top-ups? Absolutely not. And the confirmation comes directly from the CEO of the company, who on his Twitter account published a post on the subject. Iliad users can rest assured that when they top up their credit, no special services will be activated.