File picture: Boxer Ngwenya/Independent Media

Cape Town - Vodacom on Tuesday said it was refunding airtime and data to customers whose data mysteriously disappeared.

The largest mobile operator in South Africa trended on social media on Monday evening with subscribers complaining that their data and airtime was disappearing.

Responding to the complaints on Monday night Vodacom apologised and said technicians were working to resolve the problem. The mobile operator said it was also aware customers were unable to use purchased bundles and were getting depletion notifications. 

"Vodacom is committed to ensuring that all affected customers will be refunded in full. Thanks again for your patience."

"We are currently reimbursing customers affected by last night's billing issue. All related out-of-bundle charges are being refunded and depleted bundles are reinstated. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience," the network said in a series of tweets.

When customers tried calling customer care however, they complained that the lines were down.

Many people took to social media to complain about the network's woes.

However, the phenomenon of disappearing and very high costs of data have prompted the Competition Commission to launch an Inquiry.

Last week, the commission published the terms of reference of the inquiry and called for submissions.

The inquiry will assess, among others, the market structure, the general adequacy and impact of the current regulatory regime, and costs faced and profits earned by fixed and mobile network operators.

The inquiry is expected to complete its work by August 31. 

IOL and African News Agency