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Thread: Cancelling a Vodacom Contract

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    Email problem windog's Avatar
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    Cancelling a Vodacom Contract

    What would be an adequate reason to cancel a Contract with Vodacom?

    On promotion I took out a Vodacom internet contract and from day one
    I had nothing but trouble with them.

    They have changed my contract. I had no say in the new terms basically
    I was contractually raped.

    My net is slow and downloads fail constantly.

    I cannot use Skype as intended.

    Despite the fact that there are 4 large Vodacom branches not 1 can
    offer direct technical assistance. They phone the same numbers
    customers uses.

    If I cancel why do I lose the data I paid for?

    How can the consumer Protection Act help me to stop this


    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Email problem windog's Avatar
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    ICASA

    PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH CONSUMER COMPLAINTS BY THE INDEPENDENT
    COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA (ICASA)

    1. What types of complaints can a consumer lodge with ICASA?


    A consumer can lodge any consumer complaint against any person licensed by (ICASA)
    to provide communications services such as broadcasting, telecommunications, Internet
    or postal services. Examples of such companies licensed by ICASA are Telkom, Vodacom,
    MTN and Cell C, amongst others.


    We are not alone!!!


  3. #3
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Rumour has it that ICASA is a toothless dog, though

    What is ICASA's track record when it comes to resolving these sorts of complaints?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Full Member BuyNoEvil's Avatar
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    Hi

    The NCC can be found at www.nccsa.org.za. This is where you lodge a complaint relating to the CPA.

    Based on the brief background provided, it would seem as a number of rights have been impacted upon.

    'Contractually raped".....I like the phrase.

    IN order to make the reply shorter, go to www.edutrain.co.za and have a look under the section THE CPA SIMPLIFIED. Various summaries re CPA issues appear there. If you still have questions thereafter, please get back to me.

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    Email problem windog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Rumour has it that ICASA is a toothless dog, though

    What is ICASA's track record when it comes to resolving these sorts of complaints?
    Vodacom are doing their best to hide stuff. Those recordings they make the contract
    conditions they changed is a proverbial wall.

    No attempt was made to give me the info but they made every attempt to ignore me.

    10. What if I, the complainant, am not satisfied with the response from the Service Provider?

    The Consumer Affairs will re-look into the merits of the facts of both the complainant and the
    respondent and on the basis of that, determine if the complaint should be escalated to the
    Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) for adjudication.
    I am hoping this toothless dog will grow a pair of balls when I provide them with enough info.

    I wonder if I can take them to the small claims court? The contract is worth less then R2500
    in total will it qualify?

    These ass-clowns where clever, on the contract if I cancel and pay in the full outstanding
    amount they are not obligated to give me the data I paid for.

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    Full Member BuyNoEvil's Avatar
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    Various compliance notices regarding transgressions of the CPA have been issued by the NCC to Vodacom.

    Their contract terms are immaterial if the transaction falls under the CPA. The CPA provisions overrides whatever you have agreed to if the terms are against your rights or provisions of the CPA.

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    Full Member BuyNoEvil's Avatar
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    FIXED TERM AGREEMENTS – Expiry, cancellation and renewal

    Applicable sections of the Consumer Protection Act, 68 of 2008: S 14, Schedule 2 clause 3(2)
    Applicable sections of the Consumer Protection Act Regulations: R 5, Annexure B

    Fixed term agreements are contracts of a definite duration. Cellular phone contracts, gym contracts, armed response / security contracts, educational institution contracts and property leases are all examples of fixed term agreements.
    Section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act dealing with the expiry and renewal of fixed term agreements does NOT apply between juristic persons, irrespective of their turnover or asset value. (This is likely to exclude application of the Section 14 provisions for most, if not all, commercial lease agreements. ) A juristic person is defined as a body corporate (company, close corporation, etc.), a partnership or association or a trust as defined in the Trust Property Act, 57 of 1988. Please note that a sole proprietorship is NOT a juristic person. The rules relating to fixed term agreements thus only applies where a natural person (including a sole proprietorship) is the subject of such an agreement.

    The Act provides that fixed-term consumer agreements must not exceed a certain maximum period. The regulations currently prescribe 24 months from the date of the consumer’s signature as the maximum period, unless such longer period is expressly agreed with the consumer and the supplier can show a demonstrable financial benefit to the consumer. The Act also empowers the Minister to prescribe different maximum periods for different categories of agreements by way of regulation or as provided for in approved industry codes.

    A supplier must give written (or other recordable manner or form) notice to a consumer of the pending expiry of a fixed-term agreement not more than 80 business days and not less than 40 business days before the expiry date thereof. The notice must include any material changes to apply in the event of renewal or continuance of the agreement, as well as of any other cancellation or renewal options available to the consumer.

    A fixed term agreement will automatically continue on a month-to-month basis, and subject to the material changes as communicated to the consumer in the above notice, unless the consumer expressly cancels the agreement on the expiry date or renews it for a further fixed period. Finally, the end of automatic renewal of fixed term agreements! Note that, by implication, if the supplier did not give notice to the consumer of material changes in the terms, then it would seem that the new month-by-month agreement will be on the old contract terms.

    Any provisions to the contrary in a fixed term agreement to which Section 14 applies will be void (invalid).

    In addition to the above, a consumer may cancel such an agreement before the agreed expiry date by giving the supplier 20 business days written (or other recordable manner or form) notice. No reasons for the cancellation are required. A supplier may also terminate the agreement prior to the expiry date if the consumer fails to remedy a material breach on his part, after having been placed on 20 business days terms to do so. Consumers should make use of the form contained in Annexure B of the Regulations when giving notice of early cancellation to a supplier.

    Where an agreement is cancelled by either the consumer or supplier in terms of the above:
    • the consumer remains liable to the supplier for amounts owed up to the date of cancellation [airtime used]; and
    • the supplier may impose a reasonable penalty or charge for any goods supplied, services provided or discounts granted to the consumer in contemplation of the agreement running for its intended fixed term [discounted or free cellular phone]; and
    • the supplier must credit the consumer with any amounts that remains the property of the consumer as of the date of cancellation [prepaid and unused airtime].

    The following must be considered by the supplier in determining the REASONABLE cancellation charge or penalty:
    • the amount which the consumer is still liable for to the supplier up to the date of cancellation;
    • the value of the transaction up to cancellation;
    • the value of the goods which will remain in the possession of the consumer after cancellation;
    • the value of the goods that are returned to the supplier;
    • the duration of the consumer agreement as initially agreed;
    • losses suffered by or benefits accrued to the consumer as a result of the consumer entering into the agreement;
    • the nature of the goods or services;
    • the length of notice of cancellation provided by the consumer;
    • the reasonable potential for the service provider, acting diligently, to find an alternative consumer; and
    • the general practice of the relevant industry.

    Notwithstanding the above, the cancellation charge may not have the effect of negating the consumer’s right to cancel a fixed term agreement. In other words, the regulations specifically prohibit charging a consumer the full amount owing in respect of the remainder of the contract.

    As a general rule, the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act are not retrospectively applicable. Only in instances where the transaction or agreement was entered into or delivery took place on or after 1 April 2011 does the Act apply.
    Clause 3(2) of Schedule 2 of the Act contains transitional arrangements in respect of fixed term agreements entered into before the effective date of the Act but with an expiry date of 1 April 2013 or beyond. It provides that the notice and cancellation provisions of Section 14 would apply to such agreements. This potentially has major implications, specifically in instances where these contracts have been discounted or provided as security to financiers. Incorrect cross referencing contained in Clause 3(2) creates further uncertainty.

    Suppliers who often enter into fixed term consumer agreements must consider their current business models and processes carefully in order to ensure compliance with the Act. Business models that rely on automatic renewal of contracts should be reviewed for their feasibility. Landlords in particular need to carefully consider the potential consequences of the provisions relating to fixed-term agreements, for example, the potential of these provisions to limit the effectiveness of lease agreements for use as security to financiers.

    Suppliers will also be well advised to maintain proper records of costs attached to entering into a fixed term agreement with a consumer in order to substantiate a possible early cancellation penalty or charge in the event of early cancellation.
    Consumers who exercise their right to early cancellation should insist on the supplier providing them with a breakdown of how the cancellation charge or penalty has been calculated in order to assess for its reasonability. Maybe cellular phone companies should account separately for the cost of “free” handsets to their customers in order to foster greater transparency.

    © Rynardt Olivier 2011 - 2021
    Rynardt Olivier can be contacted at rynardt@edutrain.co.za
    For information on other Consumer Protection Act related topics, go to www.edutrain.co.za
    The views and opinions expressed above do not represent qualified legal opinion, but is merely a personal view based on my understanding and interpretation of the Consumer Protection Act.

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  12. #8
    Email problem windog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuyNoEvil View Post
    • the supplier must credit the consumer with any amounts that remains the property of the consumer as of the date of cancellation [prepaid and unused airtime].

    I took my modem model and walked into the 4 Vodacom shops and I also
    checked with HiFi-corp. The cash price for the modem is at maximum
    R400 for the exact same model.

    I am happy to pay them for the device.

    But when I walked back to the Vodacom shop where my contract was
    signed they did not want to give me the new terms and conditions in
    writing! They said I must contact their legal department.

    I am to pay the FULL outstanding amount of R1050 and other
    expenses that was not specified at this time.

    Also upon cancelation I forfeit my 2gb of internet. in total
    I lose about 14gb excluding the "night-owl" promotion.

    They actually point that out in the contract I signed.

    Because it is a very small amount of only R1050 as it
    stand now. Can I go to the small claims court with this
    in hand and demand my 14gb of data to be paid to me?

  13. #9
    Email problem windog's Avatar
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    Contract promotion mess.

    When I got my contract I was told that I will pay R150 per
    month for 12 months which is the full length of the
    contract duration.

    Last night I logged into my account and found that I am now
    to pay R348.00 per month and I am not even close to my
    cap yet! Phoning Vodacom they said that there is an error
    with their website and that the only way I can get the right
    info is by phoning them.

    Lets recap this is an open line so if I go over I pay trough
    my ass. I need to stay informed so that I don’t go over the
    given amount.

    On the Vodacom software I was told the "check balance"
    function is not accurate. I was told that the "My usage"
    function is not accurate. Now I am told the actual
    web-page is also not accurate!!! BS!!!

    Look at the photo I left here and you will see why this
    is not an ideal solution to phone Vodacom each time.

    Click image for larger version. 

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