Cell C takes flak over BIS

2013-08-21 10:00
BlackBerry Torch. (BlackBerry)

BlackBerry Torch. (BlackBerry)

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Cape Town - The fallout of Cell C's implementation of a fair use policy on its BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) has expanded as customers bemoan the service of the mobile operator.

Cell C implemented a fair use policy of limiting BIS to 2GB and charging for additional use.

Customers, though, have taken to website Hellopeter to express their frustration at the service offered by the network.

In the last three days, the name-and-shame website recorded over 87 complaints about Cell C.

"I upgraded on the 04 August 2013, to one of the older Blackberry's for the only purpose of free and unlimited internet and Bbm. I had my phone for less than 2 weeks and suddenly I received a sms saying that I must now pay 15c per mb after I use my 2G of data, part of the Blackberry Fair Usage Policy. I wasn't warned that this will happen when i upgraded!" (sic) wrote a user called heksiec21.


On Twitter, there were also service complaints.

"I never get why now between 16h00 and 19h00 my BIS does work! #CellC has to be the worse network ever!" tweeted a user called Thongo Lam Vuma (@Mosdaone).

Cell C told News24 that the BIS user policy was fair to all customers.

"Cell C has long had a clause in its Terms and Conditions where it reserved the right to include a fair usage policy. Cell C has now implemented it and has made it transparently available to all customers," said Cell C chief commercial officer Jose Dos Santos.

BlackBerry has also weighed in, saying that it supported quality of service for all users of its mobile phones.

"Our carrier partners set their policies for data usage and service plans, but we support our carriers in providing the best quality service for BlackBerry customers," said the manufacturer.

Cell C justified its policy saying that some customers had been downloading in excess of 100GB per month, but would not divulge exact details of average BIS data consumption.

Data rate

"Cell C cannot disclose that information [data consumption] for competitive reasons. However, it's safe to say it's far below the lowest threshold we have put in place," said Dos Santos.

Despite having the lowest out-of-bundle data rate, Cell C has come in for some criticism on the BIS data policy, and some users appear to be unsatisfied.

"I am not a child to be monitored and told how much data I can use, this was never an issue when the contract was signed," fumed News24 user Samantha Landsberg.

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