Econet slapped with $50k lawsuit
ECONET Wireless Private Limited has come under fire for reportedly ripping off clients through its WhatsApp daily data bundle facility that doesn’t last a day as advertised.
And an aggrieved Harare woman has slapped the mobile network operator with a $50 000 lawsuit for this breach.
The woman, Ms Sihle Maxine Mabuda, has also been cleared by police to stage a peaceful demonstration against Econet in the capital city on November 25.
Ms Mabuda said she purchased WhatsApp data bundles for 30 cents after learning from advertisements flighted by Econet that she would enjoy the service for a full day.
It later turned out that 30 cents bought only 20 megabytes of data which do not last for a day as per advertisement.
When she tried to call her daughter in South Africa via a WhatsApp voice call, Ms Mabuda realised that the bundles were not sufficient to make the call.
Ms Mabuda, in her declaration, contends that Econet is misrepresenting the duration of its data bundles as a marketing gimmick.
“The defendant is misrepresenting the duration of its data bundles, in particular the daily WhatsApp data bundle. Defendant advertises that it is unlimited for 24 hours yet it is limited to 20 megabytes data,” she argues.
“As a result of the misrepresentation by the defendant to its clients, including the plaintiff, the plaintiff was inconvenienced because she failed to talk to her daughter in South Africa through phone,” reads the plaintiff ’s declaration.
After checking with the Econet offices, Ms Mabuda said she was informed the whole issue was a marketing gimmick to lure clients.
“After a protracted argument with the defendant’s customer care desk officials through the phone, she (Ms Mabuda) was asked to go to the defendant’s Livingstone Avenue offices where she had a meeting with Econet’s manager for Chisipite branch and other officials. They told her that Econet daily bundle does not necessarily mean it is supposed to last for 24 hours contrary to their message which is displayed on the phones and Potraz was aware of such a marketing strategy,” reads the declaration.
Ms Mabuda wants damages to the tune of $50 000 plus interest calculated at the rate of five percent from the date of issuance of summons to the date of judgment.
She also wants Econet to be compelled to pay costs of the suit.
Econet Wireless is yet to respond to the lawsuit.
Officer Commanding Harare Suburban Police District, Chief Superintendent Regis Takaitei Chitekwe has since allowed Ms Mabuda to hold a demonstration against the mobile network operator.
The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Dr Joram Gumbo, unveils a plaque at Siziyakhele-Mtshabezi Bridge yesterday. Next to him is DDF Matabeleland South coordinator, Mr Douglas Dube