Vodacom can’t simply reverse the charges on its bad call
Plans to charge customers for its data bundle rollover service shocked the public and fed social media hysteria
Vodacom’s public relations nightmare continued this week when it emerged that the mobile operator had planned to charge up to R49 when customers rolled over unused and expiring data.
This move was the last thing the company needed after its recent run-ins with political parties.
Late last year several of the operator’s stores were vandalised, allegedly by members of the EFF, after Corruption Watch chair Mavuso Msimang made comments about the party’s leadership at a Vodacom-sponsored event. That tussle ended in a truce between the EFF and the mobile operator.
Then, in early 2019, Vodacom became the target of members of the ruling party in Gauteng over its settlement with the former employee who came up with the idea behind the Please Call Me service. This came after Nkosana Makate said the company had arrived at a “ridiculous and insulting” sum of money to settle a long-running dispute between them.
Sections of the ANC in Gauteng have vowed to get South Africans to boycott the company and its events if it does not pay a much larger sum.
One would think that Vodacom would be playing it safe at this point, which is why its plans to charge customers for its “data bundle rollover service” shocked the public.
Vodacom said in an update on Wednesday its contract and hybrid customers on data-only packages, or on integrated packages that include data, will not have to pay for data roll-overs. Data bundles purchased by all customers will be rolled over for free – if the customer buys the same bundle as the original one.
However, the damage may be done. Twitter users love to complain about how they are being ripped off, and this latest fiasco has given them plenty of cannon fodder.