Hotline: Aikona, says SeCkhona endorser

2011-07-16 09:45

There is hope for a Western Cape businessman who lost R160 000 after ­embracing Cell C’s SeCkhona business initiative.

The National Consumer ­Commission agreed to investigate Sandile Mankanyi’s complaint ­after the mobile operator allegedly locked him out of his business premises and confiscated electronic equipment.

Last week, Mankanyi said he looked forward to bouncing back after finally receiving an acknowledgment letter from the ­commission following Hotline’s intervention.

His tiff with Cell C dated back to 2008 when he registered with the mobile operator as a distributor for its products.

As part of the project, Cell C promised Mankanyi a once-off connection fee of R15 for each starterpack kit activated and a further 6.5% commission on all calls made from the SIM cards.

Mankanyi also operated an ­internet cafe from his ­Cell C-branded outlet.

He expected to receive a monthly revenue of R35 000 after selling Cell C products. In a good month Mankanyi sold 1 500 SIM cards, but only received between R380 and R890 in commission.

Cell C failed to provide him with a breakdown of payments made into his bank account.

In July 2009 Mankanyi received his first report from Cell C and he disputed all the payments.

The mobile operator promised to investigate, but failed to ­provide Mankanyi with feedback. Instead Cell C stopped making payments, despite Mankanyi ­selling the products.

A consultant at Cell C’s ­franchise department explained the SeCkhona project had been suspended, but failed to provide Mankanyi with a letter confirming this as promised.

“Cell C closed all communication ties with me. I cannot recall the number of times I contacted their office and consultants made empty promises to contact me. My business suffered and I was forced to close it temporarily.

“Suddenly Cell C changed the locks and confiscated equipment worth R160 000,” said Mankanyi.

In June, Mankanyi lodged a complaint with the commission and an adviser promised to ­contact him at a later stage, but that did not happen until Hotline intervened.

Hotline also referred the ­complaint to Karen Fourie, public and media relations manager at Cell C, who said “all commissions due to Mankanyi with regard to starterpack and airtime voucher activations were paid in full”.

She added that Mankanyi ceased to operate his business without prior notice, and maintained that the operator “acted in ­accordance with any obligations that it may have had” to him.

» Similar complaints can be referred to the commission via fax or email to 0861 515 259 or ncc@thedti.co.za.


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