New technologies have helped many keep in contact with friends and family during the coronavirus lockdown, but those that are not tech-savvy need to be careful not to pay for this unnecessarily.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appYvonne Mckeon, a retired school teacher from Pershore, found this out the hard way when her meeting on Zoom, a video call provider, was drawing to an end.
Use of the Zoom and other teleconferencing websites has boomed during the lockdown as people have sought alternative ways to host work meetings, personal calls and social activities.
The free version allows meetings of up to 40 minutes. After this, users can choose to pay for a subscription, starting at £11.99 per month. During lockdown the firm had, in some cases, been extending the length of these calls for some people free of charge, although this was not guaranteed.
Ms McKeon had used Zoom before and had been given an extension, so was surprised when a sign popped up during a group ukelele lesson announcing her call was due to end.
“All of us were muted as we were practising so I could not talk to them to explain what was going on,” she said.
Around 10 minutes before the time limit a notification is presented to the person hosting the call and a countdown timer starts running on their screen. Should a user click on the "upgrade" button presented to them, they are taken to the Zoom website and asked to fill out their billing information,
In a panic, Ms McKeon paid for a professional licence, which cost her £143.99 to keep the meeting going.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app“This was a knee-jerk reaction so as not to let the others down. As soon as I had done it I knew it was a mistake," she said.
“I was confused; I am a 72-year-old widow who is quite stressed by the isolation in lockdown, living on my own and quite new to all this. It has been very upsetting."
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appShe managed to stop any future payments through her account online, but was unable to secure a refund. “I tried to call and emailed the support lines within an hour of purchasing the upgrade but got nowhere,” she said.
After a week of trying to contact Zoom, she wrote to the Telegraph asking for help. Following our intervention, the company has agreed to refund her payment.
Zoom said it included a number of stages before taking payment during which a user can stop their transaction at any time without cost.
Users who do not want to pay can set up a new meeting after their 40-minute session expires, although this is not given as an option when customers are alerted that a meeting is due to terminate.
Dave Grant, of Zoom, said: “We have always prided ourselves on our customer-first focus and continue to strive to do all we can to ensure that our customers are happy.
"We are experiencing increased demand for support. We recognise that this is an unprecedented and challenging time for everyone, and we thank all our users for their patience and understanding as we work swiftly to resolve any issues that may arise.”
Anyone that has service problems should contact the support email address email@example.com, or for billing enquiries should call 0800 368 7314 or 020 7039 8961.