Vodacom subscribers expressed outrage on social networks over an announcement of an increase in tariffs on five of its plans from 1 May. The increase applies to both new and existing contracts that subscribed on Vodacom Smart, uChoose smart, uChoose Flexi, Top Up and Mobile Broadband packages.
702/CapeTalk presenter Africa Melane spoke to Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist at TimesLive, about the rights of the consumer.
According to Knowler, Vodacom has to give its subscribers 20 business days' notification. Knowler also mentioned that there is a clause in the regular consumer contract that says the charges by Vodacom may vary from time to time. This means that Vodacom has the right to increase its subscription fees at any point within the 24 months.
The supplier may change the fees but the consumer should be given a chance to cancel. The cancellation of course comes with terms and conditions that the consumer remains liable to the supplier for amounts owed up to the date of cancellation. The supplier may impose a reasonable penalty or charge for any goods supplied - Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
According to Business Day, Vodacom wants to improve revenue that has been dampened by a cut in the regulated interconnection fee — the fee that cellular companies pay each other to carry calls on each other’s networks — and rising power costs. Sales declined by 3.1 percent to R16-billion the three months to December.
Listen to the advice Wendy Knowler gives to callers wanting to know more about their rights on the matter: