Fin24 readers enraged after Vodacom 'data theft'

Johannesburg - An overwhelming majority of Vodacom customers said on Tuesday that this has not been the first time the network has robbed them of data. 

Vodacom’s recent blunder on Monday has caused havoc among customers, and Fin24 is being inundated with emails in response to the network's depletion of users' data. 

“This has been going on for a lot longer than the network is willing to admit,” Fin24 reader Craig Nel wrote.

“A few months ago, I went through these 'glitches' for about a week, during which I bought either 100mb or 250mb daily bundles ALL of which were depleted after only using approximately 20mbs,” he said. 

Fin24 user Charles Maseko said: “This data issue had been going on for over 3 months and I had to log a complaint last Monday and only got connected on Wednesday. Now I am out of data again and it is affecting my operations.”

Bev Delport, who also lost data, said she bought 1GB of data for R149 valid for one month on August 16, then also purchased 'Just for you' 1GB data for R79 valid for one week. Now it's all gone.

Philip Kleynhans told Fin24 that 6GB of data had disappeared from his package on the 11th and 12th of this month. “My modem and laptop was off. I was not even at home during the time the data disappeared. I check my data balance daily. Vodacom mailed me my usage, showing data going off while my modem and laptop was off," he wrote.

Mpumelelo Myende said: “I am unemployed and studying. I depend on the internet to do my research for my assignments. They have reversed my airtime but not my data bundles. I am even thinking of migrating with my number to another network.”

Vodacom earlier told Fin24 its social media team was put to work on Monday, when an initial post by the operator stating it was aware of the data issue drew over 12 000 comments from irate users. 

Even former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela commented on Twitter, saying Vodacom’s massive data depletion could mean lost employment and study opportunities.

She was responding to a post that went viral on Monday, after a Grade 12 pupil purchased a R10 airtime voucher to buy 50MB of data, all of which had been depleted before he could send through an application for a bursary – for which the deadline had been Monday night.

The network operator meanwhile made good on its promise to reimburse customers after the data depletion error, with many users confirming that they have been refunded.

How to get your data back

The company told Fin24 that any customers who have not been reimbursed for their losses can contact the call centre on 111.

The network will then conduct a short investigation to verify the amount of lost data, before refunding the user.

“We thank customers for their patience while the matter was being resolved and reiterate our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused,” Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy told Fin24.

Kennedy encouraged customers with outstanding queries to contact Vodacom's call centre.

Fin24 Facebook and Twitter users also shared their own experiences:

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