OVER THE PAST MONTH has received several letters from readers claiming to have been overcharged by MTN for data (Internet) services on their accounts. We took your letters to the network provider and received the following response from Bridget Bhengu, senior manager for PR and communications at MTN South Africa.
“MTN would like to confirm the data charges that have been billed are valid. However, we would also like to inform our customers that we view this matter in a serious light. We promise to investigate these bills individually and feedback to them when the investigation is finalised. We would also like to assure our customers who have queried their bills that we will not execute debit orders other than the normal monthly average pending the investigation outcome. Furthermore, MTN would like to give assurance to these customers that their accounts will not be suspended during the period of investigation.”
Readers also complained of MTN being unresponsive and not returning their communications, particularly after contacting MTN’s call centre. MTN has appointed John Kondowe to take care of the investigations and contact subscribers. He echoes the message put forward by Bhengu. He says MTN is thoroughly investigating the online activity of customers who claim to have been overcharged. “We’re in the process of compiling such details for each case and providing them to the clients,” says Kondowe.
“It would be pleasant to provide timelines to all concerned, but knowing the size and extent of the websites and the Internet the permutations of which sites were visited and for how long, what data or images or other media was downloaded and in the interest of accuracy we cannot do so at this time. We hope to do so in the very near future. We’re doing everything in our power to provide clarity on this issue to all concerned in a transparent manner.”
Kondowe insists there were no errors in MTN’s billing and that the reports being compiled will prove that. MTN declined to comment on the response customers received from its call centre.