Beating the data allowance countdown

Beating the data allowance countdown

From time to time I run out of things. I often find myself staring into the fridge in the vain hope of finding a few drops of milk for my morning coffee – having forgotten I had to pick up a carton on my way home from work the night before.

I invariably run out of money when I’m out. I always seem to run out of time. Occasionally I run out of patience.

I have run out of petrol twice. Once wasn’t my fault, I may add. I was taking a company car to get to an interview and the dillpickle that had used it before me had left the needle on empty. And I mean empty. I had barely got the thing out of the car park when I spluttered to an ignominious halt and had to push it back.

The second time was down to me. It was a couple of years ago now and involved a new-ish car I had just got. Amongst all the fancy gadgetry was a gauge that showed how many kilometres the car had left to travel before it would need refueling. I am guessing there was a fancy algorithm in there somewhere that took the amount of petrol left in the tank, calculated how far this would take the car, and came up with a number. Naturally, I just had to see if it was accurate.

So, there I was, driving around town watching the number click down and down. It seemed to dawdle and I almost lost interest. But when it hit the last 20ks I started to get a bit of a tingle, then 15, then 10. The countdown had begun. It was my own little NASA-style launch playing out right on the tiny LCD screen on the dashboard. Three … two … one … and … well, nothing, I kept going … and going … until … errrr, yep, I guess you know the rest.

Therefore, I wasn’t surprised when an email turned up recently warning me in big blue letters that ‘You’ve nearly reached your monthly data allowance’. Yep, I had nearly run out of my home broadband and those nice people at my ISP did not want me to be throttled back to dial-up.

Now, normally, that would be a good thing.Thoughtfulness like this can go a long way towards a happy customer-supplier relationship.

“You’ve used 80 percent of your allowance,” the message explained. “But there is no need to be too alarmed. Once you reach your data allowance we’ll send you another email letting you know.”

As reassuring as this whole process was – and my penchant for running out of things notwithstanding – I wasn’t unduly worried. Actually, I couldn’t really care less. You see the email in question arrived on the last day of the month, meaning tomorrow I would get to start my whole allowance again. If in the previous 30 days I had only reached 80 percent of what I was allowed, I hardly think I would manage 20 percent in just one day. Or, to be precise, the last two hours and seven minutes of the day – as the email arrived at 9:53 pm.

I appreciate the thought … but I’ll decline your suggestion of doubling my data allowance.

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