I just spoke about this other day, and now I have definitive proof. I have two stories to tell.
My Vodacom contract ends on soon, so I got ready to go into battle with them. I want to change to prepaid asap, so that I can do this asap. This means that the day my contract ends, it needs to be cancelled and my number converted to prepaid. I got a bit antsy when I noticed that my last payment would be my full installment, instead of a pro-rated amount.
I laid a complaint on HelloPeter, and while I got a standard response, no one got back to me. So I threw my toys out of the cot on Twitter:
and almost immediately got contacted by Vodacom Support. A few hours later, someone from the Social Media team phoned me and explained the billing system, and that it’s not really set up to facilitate pro-rated billing in the last month etc etc. I asked why could they pro-rate me at the start of the contract, since I started in the middle of the month, but they can’t do it at the end, because surely then the amounts will balance out?
I was then informed that most people rather just stick with the full payment in the last month, because if their contract ends in the middle of the month and they convert to prepaid, they lose their bundles. That’s why most people prefer to stick it out until the end of the month.
I must admit, I lost it a little bit when I heard that. Most people? Am I most people? My contract ends 24 months after I signed it, and I want to change to prepaid on that day. Why must I hang around until the end of the month in fear of losing my bundles which I have paid for?
After raising my voice (and giving her major attitude, which was uncalled for :-/), she said she would need to escalate it. An hour later I get a call from a Senior Consultant, who, after laying out some options for me, informed me that yes, they can process the cancellation on the date my contract ends, convert to prepaid, and remove the charge for the unused bundles from my account. Now was that so hard? Why did I have to be rude first?
The second story is about my sister. A few weeks ago, there was a mix-up with a hotel booking she made. Long story short, the hotel had to refund her money. To date, she has still not received her money back. I told her to phone them, or go into to see the manager, lose her mind, and watch the money appear in her account within two days. She didn’t, and here we are, still waiting.
When she asked my dad to send them a curt email two days ago, the manager responds immediately, and the hotel sends a payment notification yesterday. The money hasn’t appeared yet, but there’s a plausible two day delay between the different banks. My point is, going in with guns blazing seems to be the only way to get things done the proper way in this country. People have been allowing businesses to dictate how we as clients should be treated, when those businesses would not exist without clients.