#BillShock: R188 000 in one day

2017-03-14 14:23
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Cape Town - Runaway bills from mobile network providers seem to be a growing concern among consumers.

It has become a common complaint flooding online consumer websites. Fin24 has published several complaints from users about hefty data bills, expensive calls and fraudulent contracts.

READ: 13 tips to help you beat sky-rocketing data costs

Although in some cases network providers responded by slashing these bills, other complaints have left a bitter taste in the mouths of consumers.

After a user took issue about an R18 000 bill for out-of-bundle data usage, others came forward on social media with similar complaints.

"Something similar happened to me," wrote Deon Du Rand on Facebook. He explained that while trying to buy a data bundle via MTN's website, his laptop underwent background downloads.

However, two hours later, he was told to go to an MTN shop to authorise the online data purchases. "R4 000 later the R150, softlock kicked in."

Du Rand said he is still waiting for a response from MTN two months later.

Munzhelele Shuduc Lukie wrote the he once paid R4 000 for data on Cell C contract. "Since then I don't want anything to do with contract data. It took me 12 months to recover that money."

Nannette O'Brien said she had a problem with Vodacom. She phoned the mobile network provider to get a pre-cancellation quote on all her contracts.

She paid the money the day after getting the quote, but still received a statement at the end of the month. After she called them, she was told that the new invoices weren't included in the original quote. "Daylight robbery!!"

Armand Cohn's response was short, indicating he got a bill of R24 000.

But it was Quintin Pinchin who posed the question "beat this", adding a picture of his R188 000 bill from MTN.

He took his complaint to popular consumer website Hello Peter, where he asked how it was possible for a R1 500 per month phone contract to suddenly have a bill of R188 000.

Steve Reimers and Hope-bakhile Lu Velleman wanted to know why these network providers were battling when Telkom informed users about their data depletion.

"How is it then that Telkom data contracts immediately tell you when your data as agreed in your 24-month contract is finished? How can the others battle with this? If Telkom can do it, then it is possible," wrote Reimers.

Lu Velleman added: "Even on prepaid Telkom tells you when you (are) out of data and it stops, but other networks don't even tell. They just continue using the airtime available."

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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