Mobile & Telecoms

Customers accuse Vodacom of dubious campaigns


JOHANNESBURG – MOBILE network subscribers have queried the authenticity of campaigns and promotions Vodacom, South Africa’s biggest firm, have embarked on to enhance communication.

Subscribers complained that most of the mobile network operator’s promotions were active at night when majority of its customers were asleep.

Several Vodacom subscribers in Johannesburg expressed concern to CAJ News Africa about most of Vodacom’s campaigns.

Emily Shivambu of Alexandra, said she was “upset.”

“Each time I buy Vodacom airtime for R12 or R29, I always receive notifications for gifts ranging from free data for a certain period of hours.

“Apart from free data offered, I have also received lots of free data bundles, free SMS and free airtime but most of these benefits are done at night when almost all of my friends, relatives and neighbours are sleep,” charged Shivambu.

Thokozani Ngcobo of Tembisa in Ekurhuleni, said since the “purported” Vodacom campaigns for November and December started, he never benefited from most of them except the credible one called ‘Power Hour’.

“The Power Hour is the only genuine campaign because it happens during daytime but I have noticed that again, Vodacom have shifted the goalposts for its subscribers or customers.

“When the Power Hour started, Vodacom were charging R5 only, but a few weeks down the line, it now costs R6. This is the cheating and untrustworthy tendencies that I’m complaining about. They could have notified their (Vodacom) customers about such changes instead of ambushing us, ” Ngcobo said.

Echoing same sentiments, Runesu Mugwagwa of Braamfontein, accused Vodacom of being “untruthful” in its dealings with customers.

“Every month I buy fixed data for 3Gigabyte for 30 days, but surprisingly, that data does not go for the said 30 days. The data only works for 28 days, and I have been wondering what will be happening to the other two days of the purported 30 days,” queried Mugwagwa.

He said he made this observation since May 2014 until December.

Ifoma Okonkwo of Hillbrow said she came to know about Vodacom ‘s “cheating tricks” some time in August 2014.

“Since January, I used to buy monthly promotional data for 3 gigabytes, but it (data) always runs out before the 30 days paid for.

“Well, since I use lots of data, I thought maybe the 3 gigabytes, though I don’t download anything except reading news and ADS online, were not enough before increasing my data purchase from 3 gigabytes to 10 gigabyte,” he said.

“It became worse in that my 10 gigabytes could not even reach the destined 30 days as shown by the Vodacom sms notification assuring of 30 days. From August until December, I came to the conclusion that Vodacom is a great cheat,” said Okonkwo.

Refiloe Ramaphosa of Soweto, said she had since stopped purchasing the Vodacom offers brought in the form of campaigns and promotions arguing that the mobile network reaped unsuspecting customers.

“The only campaigns that made me trust were the ones by other operators! I use three different mobile lines, but I established out that campaigns or promotions from other networks are genuine, straight forward and truthful as opposed to the Vodacom,” said Ramaphosa.

She said Vodacom’s rivals, comprising MTN and Cell C campaigns were accurate, reliable and truthfull.

“I use three different mobile network lines, but I have since established that campaigns or promotions for MTN and Cell C are genuine, straight forward and truthful as opposed to the Vodacom ones.

“Apart from being expensive, they (Vodacom) cheats, or rather say rob its customers in a daylight robbery. As for my other networks, if I purchase a R10 airtime voucher for MTN, whenever I make phone calls for R6, I’m given additional free airtime for R50.

“I closely observed that the MTN campaigns are straight forward, reliable and honesty as opposed to the Vodacom Ones,” said Ramaphosa.

Several other Johannesburg residents interviewed by CAJ News said they knew that Vodacom was great “Thief” but kept quiet and subscribed from them on the basis of their widest network.

“The reason why I keep using Vodacom despite their open cheating or daily light robbery is because their network is the widest.

“My business is done mainly in rural areas of KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape, where Vodacom’s network is powerful, otherwise I know very well that Vodacom is a huge cheat,” said Makomborero Muusha of Sunninghill.

There were no immediate response to questions sent to Vodacom’s Head of Communications, Richard Boorman and his deputy Ashleigh Dubbelman.

CAJ News

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