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September 4th, 2017 by

Over the past few weeks, various customer service providers have been pushed into the limelight. This time- not for the right reasons.

FNB, Vodacom and MTN have suffered public scrutiny as some of their services have not met their customers’ needs.

With MTN’s data deal disaster, Vodacom’s data disappearance and FNB’s unsuccessful transaction fees- things aren’t looking bright.

We breakdown the problems that consumers have been experiencing due to these recent ‘glitches’.

MTN’s ‘Uncapped’ Mobile Data Disaster 

South Africa’s second biggest network provider finds themselves in the news once again. This time, it’s not for missing data, but rather for their controversial uncapped data package.

MTN has a R40 uncapped data package which is valid for 24 hours, however there is a catch. What most people don’t know is that you have to activate the package even once you have purchased it.

This means that the longer you take to activate the package, the shorter period of time you have to use the data.

Read about MTN’s data debacle below

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The Real Nitty Gritty Behind This Deal

Although this proves to be a great deal that many can’t refuse, there are some ‘terms and conditions’. One of them being that the user can exceed the threshold of 150mb on the ‘uncapped line’.

This basically means that the less you download, the faster the speed. If you exceed the threshold, the data speeds will reduce to a measly 128kbps. This really would not be very helpful if you are trying to stream YouTube videos as it it will just buffer continuously.

MTN is basically conning their customers when it comes to this so-called ‘deal’. Reason being that, if you do not activate your data bundle deal, you will be using your original data, even if you have purchased the deal.

Some customers have lost thousands of Rands due to them believing that they are using the uncapped deal, when they are actually being charged on their normal contract package.

Other Reasons Why This Is A Terrible Offer

According to MTN’s terms and conditions page on their site, which is really not very clear at all, customers have to have airtime in their account when purchasing the bundle deal. You have to note that it excludes MTN Loyalty Points as well as promotional airtime.

Basically this is to ensure that if you buy the deal, there is still money in your account so that the airtime can be converted as data and you can end up paying a whole lot more.

MTN is also super sneaky when it comes to the users of this deal. They strictly specify in their terms and conditions that this particular deal is not for commercial use. So here’s to all the small businesses that wanted to make use of this ‘great deal’ to further their entrepreneurial skills – MTN just ruined your dreams forever!

Lastly, if for some odd reason you decide to buy this data bundle you can dial : *141*2#. Thereafter, once you have made your purchase, please activate your bundle by dialing : *141*5# .

Need to change providers? Get the best deal here!

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FNB’s Transaction Fees Glitch 

First National Bank’s clientele have been up in arms about the recent technical glitch which took place.

According to the bank, they experienced an ‘intermittent connectivity issue’ which limited the access of various services.

Many of their customers were not able to make payments at till points or purchase anything anywhere for that matter. Instead, their transfer was automatically declined and customers were graced with “unsuccessful transaction fees”.

How Does That Affect Me?

If you are an FNB client, the chances that you might have experienced these issues are rather high. The other issue that you might be unaware that you encountered is the unnecessary fees charge.

Many of us are unaware of this, but every time you try and make a payment and it is declined, the bank charges you an “unsuccessful transaction fee”. This is deducted off the monthly fees that you pay the bank in order to keep your account working.

The average FNB Gold Account user is charged a staggering R8. 50 for every transaction that is declined.

Now just take a moment and let that sink in…

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Compare With This Guy - MTN, FNB And Vodacom Find Themselves In Hot Water

Vodacom’s Data Disappearing Act

Vodacom has a big reputation to uphold seeing as though it is the biggest mobile service provider in South Africa. This however, was not the case in recent weeks as Vodacom was under serious scrutiny.

The cellular giant claimed that a ‘configuration change’ proved to cause data problems to their prepaid and contract subscribers.

Many angered South Africans took to social media to air their views regarding the issue. The problem was that people were loading airtime and exchanging it for data. Thereafter, the customer would receive an SMS saying that they have run out of data even though they just bought.

Was This Matter Sorted Out? 

According to Vodacom, they have rectified the issue and refunded all the customers who lost data with full data bundles.

This is all good and well, however did Vodacom only refund those people who complained on social media?

This little data disappearing act really impacted on Vodacom’s customers. It’s really scary to think how much we rely on small things, such as mobile data, in order to fulfill daily tasks.

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  • Mary Van Ede

    The best thing about Vodacom is when you do complain they immediately treat you like an imbecile and imply that it is your fault and ask technical questions hoping to befuddle your brain. I have been with them for years and never had major issues and then the end of last month and begining of this month, in the matter of 5-6 days I ‘├║sed’ 700mb of data when I have brand new fibre at home and only use my phone for WhatsApp at work. So they then ask me questions that imply that I was negligent with my data and don’t know what I am doing!! Makes me see red!!

    • Ashley Crookes

      Exactly. They treat us like complete idiots, yet I’m with MTN. They’re all the same. Give us terrible service, double charge us, give us no service yet we must just put up with this rubbish?!

      • Khehla Maseko

        Hi Ashley, We apologize for the service received. may you kindly email us your concerns and your contact details. You can email it through to [email protected] if you are on social media platforms you can inbox us on Facebook MTNza and twitter @MTNzaServices. We hope to hear from you soon. K/M

        • Ashley Crookes

          Thanks for your concerns Khehla. I will be contacting MTN again shortly today, I have about 5 reference numbers from the past month already, but lo and behold, I have no data again today as that is when I am topped up. Getting very tired of this.

          • Khehla Maseko

            Hi Ashley, If you can supply me with those reference numbers I will get the team to investigate this for you and contact you on your cell. Which we will get from the reference numbers given.

          • Ashley Crookes

            Haha, oh here we go again. I was very kindly informed via email a few mins ago by “Portia” that everything is in order and I quote, “Kindly note that the said invoices usage have been validated correctly”, this was after requesting data billing sheets so I can see what I have supposedly used…I think I just need to start getting my lawyer involved as I honestly cannot take this shocking service from MTN anymore – hence why I am now complaining on a public platform such as this one and urging people to NEVER take a contract with any cellphone company it is just not worth the hassle and stress (I’ve had to help family and friends with other providers with similar problems, this is not only related to MTN). I’ve even included 2 screenshots here, taken on my cellphone yesterday, clearly showing that MTN never applied my data on the 14th of either August or September, but that I purchased an extra bundle of 300Mb data to TopUp. I also used the *141# service which shows my remaining data at 17.63Mb, it should have been 317.63Mb. Here are all the details of calls I’ve made over the past couple of months, some have reference numbers, take your pic where you want to start:

            14 August 2017, called at 17:07 for 7mins and 49secs.
            Ref: 8258276

            17 August 2017, called at 13:54 for 11mins and 36secs.
            Ref: 256640919

            22 August 2017, called at 13:52 sat waiting on phone for 20mins 16secs.
            Ref: 256810524

            25 August 2017, called at 13:06 and was on phone for 28mins

            09 September, called at 18:43 was on phone for 8mins18secs

            14 September, called at 16:49, was on phone for 4mins2secs, spoke to consultant Charlotte

            15 September, received response from Portia Ref : 1-24307189525

            I have wasted a LOT of my time already trying to sort out MTN’s mess (this is not the first time I’ve had issues and had to fight with them) and explain to them that they are NOT giving me data. Surely it is not that difficult to sort out! Please, I am really starting to get frustrated here.


          • Khehla Maseko

            Hi Ashley sorry for the delayed response, I had been away from work. will check the above-mentioned information and give feedback.

          • Ashley Crookes

            I’ve been getting some help from “Portia”, it looks like the problem might finally have been solved after 2 months, although now I have received an sms from MTN stating I had purchased a “recurring 20G internet”! XD Gosh, there are some serious gremlins in the system over there…

  • Elgee Strauss

    network companies are really just fng us up bigtime… cant wait for my MTN contract to expire, going to Telkom rather get some data package, I have wifi at home and work, but still need to buy extra data each month…

    • Ashley Crookes

      Sadly I’ve just started my new contract. I will never get another contract after this. They ripped me off big time in the past when I still had an internet dongle, now I have wifi at home, and I tell anyone I know, do not get an internet dongle from a cellphone company, as I don’t know which one is worse! I will just buy a data bundle or airtime as I need it, but I know they will still rip us off. We all need to start reporting these companies when they start with their “virtual theft” of products which we have purchased.

    • Khehla Maseko

      Hi Elgee, we are sorry to hear that you want to move to a different provider. Lets assist you with your concerns. You can email your details through to [email protected] if you are on social media platforms you can inbox us on Facebook MTNza and twitter @MTNzaServices. We hope to hear from you soon. K/M

  • Ashley Crookes

    I’ve been fighting with MTN for a month now after “upgrading” my contract. They did not give me my data, but gave me double the amount of sms’s?! I got over 600sms’s and not 1kb of data – do people actually still use that antiquated technology instead of Whatsapp? But when I ask them, they tell me my smartphone probably used up all my data, I tell them it’s the first day and I was working all day – How on earth did I use it all up when not using my phone? That and the fact it’s the same phone I’ve used for the past 2 years, I am a qualified IT technician who knows how technology works yet they still treat you like you’re a complete moron. Excuse after excuse, agent after agent. I now have to wait till my month is over before I can get a billing statement – how ridiculous is that? So I’ve talked to 5 call center agents, before getting so frustrated I end up calling the cancellations (sorry “Retentions”) department who still threaten me and tell me I will be charged a fee if I cancel my contract (even though they are in breach of the contract!!!), who still want me to call a supervisor to obtain a billing breakdown of my data usage so I can prove that I didn’t get my data before they will do anything about it? Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic MTN. Shocking service. Disgusting that they treat people like this. It’s about time they got into hot water, I’m about to report them to ICASA myself!