Another Vodacom “lost” “free” minute debacle – Now Vodacom 5, Consumer 0

Posted on July 7, 2011
Vodacom vs the consumer

Who's your daddy

When you renew a contract with Vodacom they don’t carry forward accumulated free minutes to the new contract.  Huh?  How can this be? How come nobody told me this before?

I complained on Twitter to @vodacom111 who quickly asked for me details and had a representative call me. I was really impressed at the response rate (that is something you guys are really getting right), it was much quicker than calling the call centre.

I explained the details to the Vodacom representative who seemed to think I had made a mistake and this can’t be right.

Here is what he could determine.  I was carrying forward a few minutes each month, I used them all in May and had none to carry forward to June. That didn’t sound right to me so I asked him to check for me on the details. How many minutes were carried forward from April to May, and how many did I use in May. (The contract was renewed late May).

It took a while, their system is slow, but he got an answer. There were 87 minutes carried forward from April to May. I was allocated 120 more in May. I used 119  in May (not sure that is right, but won’t argue).  That means the 87 (+1) should carry forward to June. The problem is that the system reflects ZERO carried forward to June.  After seeing this the Representative conceded there was a problem. He logged a call on my behalf, made sure I was SMS’d the reference number, and I received the SMS which states my problem will be attended to within a day. Having heard that before (on previously unresolved complaints) I have my doubts, but we will see tomorrow.

Update : Lesley contacted me yesterday (19th July)  lunchtime, read me some numbers, which seemed to be back to a position of saying I didn’t lose any minutes. Hard to get it all over the phone so I asked for the info to be emailed to me. Maybe I did get this all wrong? She agreed, I waited all afternoon, no email. Then at 5:30pm I received this SMS “Good day Mr Justin Regarding the free minute, i logged your request with our (IT) department to assist with information. will give feedback on e-mail after receiving feedback from them. Kind regards, Retentions and Upgrades and Cancellations Admin Team Lesley ####”. Glad to receive the feedback, let’s see whether the email arrives to provide the necessary info.  As of the 24th July, still no feeedback

While this was going on I had another twitter user (Mandy) send me a message. She upgraded mid-month. They zapped her free minutes, then billed her for the calls she made. 500 minutes lost and a big bill to deal with. This happened about 3 months ago and she got nowhere in trying to complain and get it resolved. I mentioned this to my friendly rep, who suggested Mandy also contract @vodacom111. I messaged Mandy suggesting she does. Will keep you posted on her progress if I find more info.

Seems this poor customer services and putting the customer last is rife. I will update this post with any further progress I get from Vodacom, as well as with the info from any other people who have similar stories. If this all sounds too familiar, please share your stories. The more the better, maybe we can get a positive result here, and at least make more people aware of what is going on.

If you were following my previous post : Vodacom vs the Consumer (Protection Act) – We lose, four nil – for now well, I guess this makes it a good solid Vodacom Five  –  Consumer Nil 

The news today that the consumer commissioner, Mamodupi Mohlala, has looked at the contracts the phone companies are still using and says they are not compliant at all with the CPA is good news. Cell C is closest to compliant but all the service providers need to fix their contracts. This revelation comes as Mohlala prepares to sign consent order agreements this week with the chiefs of each of the companies. If they don’t comply within the agreed timeframes (a few more months) they face fines up to a million Rand. More info here.

Update (4/8/2011) :

Another Vodacom representative from a different department (billings I think he said) contacted me. He explained a few things :

  • My current balance was +-280 minutes
    • this means that if I used none in June and July (which isn’t the case) then there would still have to have been at least 40 carried over from May, which seems to indicate to me that the May carry over had happened.
  • He could not see any lost minutes (and nor could I with the “new” balance)
  • My contract had changed from a per minute to per second billing when I did the upgrade
  • In response to my question on the previous phone calls and discussions and why minutes appeared to have been lost, he did say that sometimes the carryover can take a while to reflect, and that maybe a balance had not been updated on time.
All in all, problem resolved. I am still at a loss as to why it takes so many calls and discussions to resolve a simple matter, and why it is so complicated to have an email showing me the balances, useage and carryover (I still don’t have the email BTW, but it is no longer relevant).

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Categories: Consumer Protection Act, Mobile, Pick On

One Response

  1. Migrating to Cell C from Vodacom, simple and painless |

    […] 16 long years with Vodacom the time had come. After a number of battles  (see here, here and here) trying to get them to respect me as their customer and comply with the Consumer […]

    23.06.2012 11:46 Reply

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