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JOHANNESBURG - Vodacom customers aren't new to cases of "disappearing data". Over the last few months Vodacom consumers have increasingly taken to social media to vent their anger at what they call "sealing" from their network service provider.

In an attempt to quell customer dissatisfaction, the network began the process of "gifting" their customers with 500 megabyte once-off data bundles. Despite the action Vodacom denied robbing it's customers purchased data, instead saying, "the reality is that data is not disappearing – we are just using more data at a much faster rate. “The reason for the higher data use is because our smartphones are becoming more entrenched in all our daily activities,” Vodacom said.

Despite it's claims, Vodacom is now facing a class action lawsuit for tens of millions for “unauthorised fees” that it has charged it's subscribers.
Bidvest Car Rental executive, William Douglas has decided to take action against the network giant over his Vodacom account allegedly being "billed without consent for content services."


Noseweek reported that Douglas laid charges against Vodacom with the police and is pursuing a class action lawsuit against the network. Douglas feels that the way cellphone companies operate in this regard is both “offensive and downright criminal.”

Unauthorised charges, which are often experienced as disappearing airtime by users, come from wireless application service providers (WASPs).

Vodacom supplies the WASPs with the ability to bill subscribers’ accounts for services, which often happens without the consent of the subscriber, stated the complainants. Vodacom confirmed to My Broadband, that two WASP content aggregators – both of which charged Douglas – were in contravention of WASP’s code of conduct.

“The WASPs have since been suspended while a further investigation is conducted,” the network said. Vodacom added that Douglas had been fully refunded for the fraudulent activity on his account.

Customers can unsubscribe from WASP services by sending an SMS stating “STOP ALL” to 31050

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE