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Vodacom offers 500MB appeasement to disgruntled customers

By Isabelle Coetzee

Vodacom announced yesterday that they will credit customers who were affected by the data and airtime disappearance this week with a 500MB bundle, in addition to refunding them for their losses. 

This came after a portion of Vodacom customers furiously took to social media on Monday evening when their data and airtime suddenly vanished.

Vodacom said this complication was caused by a configuration change on their prepaid and top-up billing system, and on Tuesday they promised to reimburse those who were affected.

In addition to this, their CEO Shameel Joosub said yesterday that, “We wanted to go a step further to apologise and thank our customers for their loyalty, so we’ve taken the decision to give each affected customer a free 500MB bundle which they can use over three days.”

“The error clearly caused inconvenience to our customers and we’ve worked very hard since we picked it up to make it right and refund all our affected customers,” he added.

According to Trevor Hattingh, spokesperson for the National Consumer Commission (NCC), customers have been raising concerns about their data disappearing for some time.

“The difference with yesterday’s occurrence is that it affected large numbers of consumers, and as a consequence there was a massive public outcry,” Hattingh said. 

He said that the NCC will engage with Vodacom for a detailed and plausible explanation in order to ensure that there won’t be a recurrence of this.

Additionally, the NCC might enlist the assistance of their sister regulator – the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) – who has the expertise to undertake technical assessments.

Hattingh clarified that no investigation was launched into this particular matter by the NCC. 

“Consumers should as a starting point raise the matter with Vodacom, and if they do not get any joy with the network then they can approach the NCC with an official complaint,” he said.

According to Joosub, this type of error has not occurred before and it will not happen again.

“We’d like to assure all our customers that this was simply an error caused during a configuration change and nothing more than that. We hope our customers will appreciate the gesture, and our apology,” he stated.

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