MTN, FNB And Vodacom Find Themselves In Hot Water

Are you a customer of these companies? Have you been affected by the recent set of ‘malfunctions’? We outline why they face public scrutiny.
U
Melissa
Cohen
Published: Monday, September 4th 2017
General
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

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!

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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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.