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March 6th, 2015 by

shutterstock 217498456 - Pay As You Go VS Contract

Written by THE MAV
My cell phone bill was my nemesis. Every month my conversations resulted in large chunks of cash being deducted from my bank account. In July last year, a particularly hefty bill of R2300 had me choking on my morning coffee. So I logged off facebook, abandoned twitter, switched off the radio and went on a cell phone offensive. I called my service provider to find out what activity caused this void in my bank account.
Turns out, someone had taken it upon themselves to upgrade my contract to a more expensive package. They claimed they had even spoken to me and yes, I did have a conversation with them but it was to DOWNGRADE my contract. On further scrutiny of my bills I realised that somewhere along the line, two SMS bundles had also been added without my permission.
Three months later, in a fit of rage and frustration trying to get refunds and the proper contract in place, I bit the bullet and settled the contract early. I paid dearly. To add insult to injury, my service provider (or rather non-service) provider decided that the settlement was not a settlement but an advance payment of my contract. The contract continued to run and I started to get calls from their collections department when the “advance payment” ran out. Then for good measure they listed me at the credit bureau. The MAV having a negative listing at the credit bureau is like a gym instructor weighing 200 kg – it’s just not acceptable.
While this was a thoroughly miserable experience, something unexpectedly pleasant happened- my average phone bill dropped by two thirds. Of course I was no longer paying for a handset but the savings on calls were marked. After asking around my friend circle I learned that most of my friends who had PAYG, confirmed that their bills had also dropped markedly.
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