Vodacom slashes client's data bill by R20 000

2016-12-28 18:20
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Vodacom. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Cape Town - A Fin24 user is happy that Vodacom has given him some golden treatment with a massive discount on an unexpected costly data bill.

He turned to Fin24 during a spate of complaints against three mobile networks relating to unexpected high bills. The user said that he didn't have the energy to try to challenge Vodacom, but Fin24 intervened and the network provider has been the most proactive, from all the companies involved, in trying to assist disappointed customers.   

"I am happy to inform you that Vodacom has ... given me an 80% discount on my data bill. Within two weeks they had paid R20 000 into my bank account," he wrote.

"I want to thank you sincerely for the action you took. My email to you has surely been the most profitable letter that I have ever written."

He explained that he has a contract with Vodacom, which includes 2GB of data per month for R150 and an LTE router.

However, to his bewilderment, he ran up a bill of R12 000 in one month and R10 000 the following month after losing track of his data usage.

"I do realise that Vodacom is billing according to what was agreed upon in the contract but I am sickened by the fact that Vodacom happily allowed a situation where the bill amount got so ridiculously high," he wrote at the time.

He said that when he checked the web interface of the router, he could see that he received an SMS when his bill amounted to R800, but he argued that an SMS to a router's SIM card is not helpful.

"When I was still with MTN I would occasionally run into a 'soft lock' that served as a very handy safety measure to prevent runaway bills. This is the least that I would expect from Vodacom if they cared about their customers," he suggested.
 
"I am lucky that I have had extra funds but a massive unexpected data bill can really put a person under severe financial strain and even land him/her in serious financial trouble," he wrote at the time.

Vodacom 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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