Vo­da­com fails on all lev­els, cus­tomer billed R146 000

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Ju­lani Ma­jola

I HAD a con­tract line with Vo­da­com for more than five years with an av­er­age monthly spend not ex­ceed­ing R2 000.

In Au­gust 2016, I re­ceived a bill of R146 000 after hav­ing been out of the coun­try the pre­vi­ous month.

I went to a Voda Shop to com­plain and Vo­da­com con­ceded to my con­tract line hav­ing been hi­jacked via a fraud­u­lent SIM swop while I was out of the coun­try, which fraud­u­lent ac­tiv­ity Vo­da­com said they were aware of and I shouldn’t worry.

At the time, I was told I could not do a SIM swop to re­trieve my line as my ac­count was in ar­rears to the ex­tent of the fraud, which amount needed to be re­versed by their ac­counts de­part­ment be­fore a bona fide SIM swop could be ef­fected.

Need­less to say, a month went by with no word from Vo­da­com and, upon an­other in­quiry at the same shop in Septem­ber 2016, I found out that not only had the fraud amount not been re­versed, but an­other bill of R76 000 had been added.

Vo­da­com had not only failed to re­verse the ini­tial R146 000, but also failed to block the fraud­u­lent spend as the ac­count was still ac­tive. I was told to sub­mit an af­fi­davit to their foren­sics de­part­ment at Vo­da­world, which I did and never got any feed­back or my line back.

My con­tract had been due for an up­grade in De­cem­ber last year and I could not have this ef­fected as my ac­count was still in ar­rears to the ex­tent of the two fraud amounts.

At some point they re­versed the R146 000 but not the R76 000 and I still could not up­grade or do a SIM swop. I have spent the past 10 months be­tween July 2016 and April 2017 with­out a line while try­ing to get Vo­da­com to re­solve this.

In April this year, they even­tu­ally re­versed the R76 000 and at that point I thought I would be able to fi­nally do an up­grade and SIM swop and get my line back but no, wait for it… Vo­da­com wanted me to first pay for the ac­cu­mu­lated monthly sub­scrip­tion for the 10 months I did not have my line.

I protested that this was a ser­vice I could not use through no fault of mine and their com­pro­mise was that I pay for the hand­set.

I even­tu­ally paid for the resid­ual on the hand­set in April un­der protest, and at that point still could not do an up­grade or SIM swop as they now needed to do a port­fo­lio re­view be­cause the ac­count had been in ar­rears for so long.

And then they de­cided to ac­ti­vate a new con­tract as an open line (which pack­age I never had in the past nor asked for) and promptly billed me for April and May – in the mean­time, no up­grade has been done or new SIM is­sued. It’s a fancy pack­age I couldn’t use.

For 10 months, I have been with­out my line. To this day no ex­pla­na­tion has been of­fered and there’s been no apol­ogy.

And I was made to pay for a ser­vice I could not use in the 10 months since this fraud­u­lent SIM swop through Vo­da­com’s sys­tem fail­ures.

Vo­da­com now ex­pects me to pay for April and May sub­scrip­tion on a pack­age I did not ask for nor able to use as they still could not give me an up­grade or do a SIM swop.

In de­spair I have asked for the ac­count to be closed and con­verted it to a pre­paid line.

Georgie: I sent the com­plaint to Vo­da­com two weeks ago and was as­sured it would be “es­ca­lated”. Noth­ing fur­ther.

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