For the first time all week, you’re sitting down on the couch relaxing. With 20 minutes until your favourite TV show starts, you decide to check your personal emails. As you scroll through emails, you notice your latest mobile phone bill has arrived. But as you look at it, you wonder why it’s more expensive than last month’s bill. Scanning down, you see ‘pro rata charges’ as a billing item.

And if you’re like most of us, you’ll be wondering what on earth pro rata charges are. You know it’s a telecommunications billing term but feel frustrated that you don’t know what pro rata charges are.

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What does pro rata charges mean?

Pro rata charges appear on your telecommunications bill for anything other than the standard recurring fees. For instance, if you sign up for a new service on the 15th of the month, but the billing cycle resets on the 1st of the month, you’ll only be charged for the service you’ve received.

When will I see pro rata charges?

You can expect to see pro rata charges on your telecommunications bills when:

  • You’re connecting to a new service and the newly connected service needs to be aligned with the billing cycle.

  • You change a plan in a billing cycle. In this case, you’ll be charged part of the month for your old telecommunications plan and the rest of the month at the new plan rates.

  • You add a feature to an existing service and the new features need to be on the same billing cycle as the existing service.

  • A telecommunications account owner changes, pro rata charges and credits are used so that the old and new owners only get charged for the period in which they owned the account.

  • You disconnect a service, and you’ve paid for the service in advance you may see pro rata credits to refund the days that your service wasn’t connected.

Here’s a more detailed explanation about what pro rata charges are.

1. Pro rata charges on your first bill

When you sign up for a new telecommunications service, you’ll be assigned to the standard billing cycle. On your first monthly invoice you’ll notice that it’s calculated based on the number of days between your sign-up date and the date of the billing cycle. This is known as a pro rata amount. Your usage allowances and caps will also be calculated on a pro rata basis.

2. Pro rata charges after your service has been changed

You may have pro rata charges applied if you change your plan or add or remove a service or feature. Pro rata charges also apply if:

  • A change of ownership occurs

  • A service is merged with another or split onto a separate bill

  • A change to the billing cycle is requested

  • A service is relocated or reconnected

3. Pro rata charges on your final bill

When you decide to cancel a service, your final bill will include a pro-rata amount. The pro rata amount ensures that you don’t get charged for a service you haven’t used. To match your established billing cycle, the final bill will show a pro rata amount for your monthly spend and the monthly included benefits of your plan.

Got a question about pro rata charges? Contact one of our friendly and helpful consultants.

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