Vodacom: Double debit glitch hit 200 000 accounts

Johannesburg - About 200 000 Vodacom [JSE:VOD] accounts have been affected by a technical glitch that resulted in customers being incorrectly double debited last week.

This is according to an updated statement from Vodacom on Tuesday, as the company continues processing refunds to affected customers.

On New Year's day Vodacom sent an SMS to customers informing them of the glitch. The company promised to “ensure that refunds and all associated charges are paid by close of business Monday at the earliest”.

In its statement on Tuesday, the company said the “majority of refunds were processed yesterday (Monday)” and that it expects “all funds to reflect this morning”. Vodacom further added that the balance of refunds is expected to reflect “during the course of the day”.

“The incident, which affected approximately 200 000 accounts, was caused by a technical problem with certain payment files that resulted in a selection of accounts being presented twice for funds collection,” said Vodacom’s executive head of corporate affairs Tshepo Ramodibe in an emailed statement to Fin24.

“We have reviewed the incident and associated processes to rule out a recurrence,” Ramodibe said.

The executive further said that Vodacom is working with financial institutions to “finalise the bank charges related to the erroneous debits and would like to assure our customers that these will be repaid to them as per our commitment”.

Several affected Vodacom customers told Fin24 that they had been reimbursed on Monday but had not been paid associated banking charges for the double debit orders.

Mohamed Ismail told Fin24 in an email on Monday evening that he did receive a refund but that he “did not get reimbursed for my bank charges”.

Another Vodacom customer, Santel de Lange, also questioned when extra bank charges would be paid by the company.

“Vodacom refunded my double debit order tonight (Monday night), but not a cent extra for the apparent bank costs they also said will be reimbursed,” De Lange told Fin24 in an email.

“(I) was just wondering if other customers received theirs, not even to mention those who had to endure extra costs for insufficient funds,” queried de Lange.

Vodacom is South Africa’s biggest mobile network with over 30 million subscribers.

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