Cancelling a Vodacom contract due to poor signal

Posted on July 15, 2011

In my searching around trying to find out how people are faring with the CPA and getting the cell providers to commit to their obligations under CPA I came across this interesting post in the BlackBerry Forums ( located here.

This applies where you have a genuine case of not being able to get signal in a key location where you need to use the phone/device. It is going to take effort and perseverance on your part, so don’t bother if it isn’t that important to you.  Thanks to Raggie007 for the tips below :

  1. When ever you have signal issues log a call to the call centre 155
  2. Persevere and make sure they don’t just close the call
  3. After the fifth call about poor signal insist on a signal test, this can take up to two weeks even if they do the test the same day
  4. Be there for the test, and take note of the testers mane and cell number if you can get it
  5. Insist that you want a cancellation as by this point you will have had BAD service for 4-5 weeks
  6. Eventually they will cancel but will want the phone back or want to charge you for the phone
This post was dated BEFORE the new CPA came into effect. The CPA should make your case even stronger as you would have a device/service that is not fit for purpose. Goodluck.
Read my previous post on Cellular and CPA here.
If you have a general problem with Vodacom, try tweeting to @vodacom111, he responds quickly and gets someone to call you. Helps a lot.

Vodacom vs the Consumer (Protection Act) – We lose, four nil – for now!

Posted on July 13, 2011

Vodacom and MTN continued their strong financial performance over the last year, and executives from these companies benefited from the higher profits, with the CEOs take home millions as revenues and profits increase in the telecommunications market. Vodacom’s annual report for the year ended 31 March 2011 reveals that CEO Pieter Uys received a total remuneration of R13,190,826 – up from R10,700,571 a year ago. (Article from Mybroadband).

So how are we, the consumer doing? Well, we have a new Consumer Protection Act (CPA) that came into effect from 1st April 2011 to help protect us in our interactions with the big boys who have the money (and lawyers) to make sure they get their way most of the time. Andrew Weeks’s article written back in October, “The Consumer Protection Act and the cellular industry Q&A“, gave me hope that things would change (link here).

Let’s see how things stack up.

Compensation for no service (or service interruption)?

Just a few days ago there was a major outage on the Vodacom network. Customers lost signal in parts of the country (from Cape Town to Johannesburg and inbetween) for most of the day. Many incensed customers let their dissatisfaction be known, thousand of posts appearing on Twitter all day. Pieter Uys, to his credit, ate humble pie and give his apologies on twitter, on Radio, in full page newspaper adverts and in other forums. The question then arose, will customers be compensated, and if so how.

National Consumer Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala said that an apology from Vodacom is not good enough, and that Vodacom should refund their effected subscribers as laid out in the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Mohlala told Radio 702 that if Vodacom’s subscribers can prove loss of income they can claim compensation from Vodacom through the CPA.

Update (25/7/2011) : 7 complaints were received by the Commissioner and forwarded through to Vodacom for comment. Nothing received back yet but this is still under investigation and could result in sanction. Details here  @ Good news indeed for the consumers.


Vodacom vs the consumer

Who's your daddy

Vodacom : No way

Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman said that Section 54 of the Consumer Protection Act does not make provision for a claim for damages such as loss of business or income.

“We will be responding directly to ICASA and the National Consumer Commission with respect to their inquiries on this topic,” said Boorman. (from Mybroadband)


Vodacom 1  Consumer 0

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