Hotline battles for Cell C subscribers

2011-06-18 11:47

Hotline stepped in to help three readers in their disputes with cellphone operator Cell C.

Anita Makapela, Lerato ­Sefobe and Thami Peteni all complained about the treatment they received from Cell C after taking out contracts.

The three readers, from ­different parts of the country, were forced to contact Hotline after they tried in vain to have their contractual issues ­resolved.

Last week, Cell C agreed to ­resolve the complaints.

»? In 2003, Makapela, from Joburg, took out two separate contracts with the mobile ­network provider but ­activated only one line.

Cell C billed her on the ­active line for almost a year and she was paying between R250 and R350 a month.

Later in the year, she ­received an itemised ­statement reflecting that she owed Cell C R7 000.

Makapela disputed the ­account and reminded Cell C that she had not activated the second number. Cell C advised her to return the ­unused Sim card and Makapela discovered that she had misplaced it.

A wrangle between the parties ensued and, on advice, Makapela submitted an affidavit stating that she was not responsible for the account.
She also laid criminal charges with the local police against the person who had allegedly been using the number.

“Suddenly, Cell C stopped billing me on the second ­account. I assumed the matter had been resolved but I was wrong. Last month, I discovered that there was a default listing against my name.

“I contacted Cell C and they refused to investigate further, and insisted I was ­liable for the debt. Hotline remained my last hope,” said Makapela.
Hotline referred the complaint to Vinnie Santu, the spokesperson for Cell C, who­ ­insisted that Makapela was ­liable for the debt.

Santu said Makapela failed to inform Cell C that she had ­misplaced the Sim card and that no Sim swap was done on her number.

However, Makapela said she received a call from a Cell C ­consultant who advised her that the matter had been ­resolved.

This was after she provided Cell C with a police case number, she said. Makapela also checked her status on ITC credit bureau and found that the default ­judgment listing had been ­removed.

»? Sefobe, from Free State, changed from a contract to a ­prepaid service after fighting a losing battle with Cell C over the suspension of her contract line.

Cell C claimed that Sefobe owed R100 and she refused to pay the money after disputing the amount in arrears.

A few years later, Sefobe ­applied for another Cell C ­contract, but the application was declined on the basis of an impaired credit record.

Cell C was responsible for her negative listing with the ITC and Sefobe decided to settle the account. But Cell C failed to clear her credit profile and she ­contacted Hotline. Santu has since confirmed the ITC ­clearance.

»? Peteni, from Eastern Cape, has been struggling to cancel a two-year contract she took out in 2008.

Cell C made a monthly ­deduction of R180 from her bank account.

In October, she contacted the service provider and informed them that she would not ­upgrade the contract, but the deductions continued.

When she contacted Cell C for the second time, she was advised to submit a cancellation letter, which she faxed to them in April. But Cell C continued to make deductions from her bank ­account and claimed they did not receive the ­cancellation ­letter.

Peteni contacted Hotline and we referred the complaint to Santu, who agreed to investigate. Santu said the contract had ­finally been cancelled.

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