Data shock: Vodacom calms unhappy clients

Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town - Vodacom has reached out to disappointed customers who turned to Fin24 over their unexpected hefty data bills.

"We have looked into most of the customer queries that were published on Fin24 and can confirm that Vodacom has reached an amicable resolution with Kerosha Naidoo, Anton Swart and Robin Page and that all three customers are happy with the outcomes," a company spokesperson told Fin24.

Swart said he got an account of R1 600 for 1.6GB out of bundle data.

"I have 20 gig day and 20 gig night bundle."

When the day bundle was close to finishing, he wanted to top up but couldn't because there was an error on Vodacom's app.

"I left it because I was busy and when I tried to buy again, same problem. When I phoned, they said that I have used 1.6GB data for R1 600."

After his problem was resolved, Swart said his faith in Vodacom has been restored.

Page explained that when she wanted to buy extra data, her existing data bundle that she received every month was cancelled by the consultant who assisted her.

"So because it was cancelled I was out of bundle charged for almost four months. Because my bundle was deleted I never got a message that I was out of bundle because their was no bundle any longer."

At the time she was away on Christmas holiday, but when she saw her bills in February she nearly "had a heart attack".

"I got zero from Vodacom. They took my money and never took responsibility for the fact that it was their employee's fault for removing my data bundle."

"If I knew data would be the new gold I would have built myself an empire," said Naidoo after getting a R25 000 data bill.

Vodacom added that it is working on tending to the queries of another three customers.

With the festive season approaching, it urged customers to ensure that they have sufficient data bundles and to keep a close monitor on their data usage. The company provided the following tips:

How can customers manage their data?

- If you have a Smartphone your device is likely going to use data. To get the best experience on your Smartphone you should buy a data bundle. A data bundle would ensure that you use data at a significantly lower rate than if you did not have a data bundle.
- Consider changing your social media settings to not always auto play videos or only to auto play in a Wi-Fi area.
- Also consider changing settings for apps and software updates to not update automatically but only when you manually choose to do so.
- When you are watching or downloading videos there is an option to lower the quality
- When you upload/post photo’s or videos on social media you can choose to not use the highest quality
- Vodacom sends you notifications when you are running low on data and when your data bundle finishes please take note of these notifications as they help you keep track of your data balance
- You can find affordable data offers that are tailored to your data spend through Vodacom’s Just For You offering.

How do you effectively manage the rate of data use?

- To stop apps from running in the background you can restrict you background data.  Remember if you restrict background data you will not get the best experience from your apps. For example if you restrict your WhatsApp data, you will only be able to receive your WhatsApp messages when you open the WhatsApp app yourself and not at the immediate point in which the message was sent (the pop ups that you get on top of your screen today).
- Turn off automatic updates over data connections and rather use Wi-Fi for backing up lots of files or updating your apps.
- Check how much data individual apps are using and adjust the settings where possible.
- Make sure you have a quality anti-virus program on your device
- Streaming music and watching movies on your phone uses data very quickly – check your settings. Make sure that you always have a data bundle.
- Constantly check your data balance and buy more data as you need it.

Disclaimer: All letters and comments published in Fin24 have been independently written by members of the Fin24 community. The views are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent those of Fin24.

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