Big fight to get R15 SMS money back

Botched Vodacom Track an Athlete SMS Line service left subscribers out of pocket without any updates

By - June 13, 2013 Share on LinkedIn
SMS worry

Numerous mobile subscribers using the “Vodacom Track an Athlete SMS Line” to track Ironman South Africa 2013 athletes did not receive the promised service. The subsequent fight to get a refund proved to be a massive challenge.

The Spec-Savers Ironman South Africa 2013 event took place on 14 April 2013, and the event organisers said that people can to track the athletes from their phones at all stages.

One subscriber who was left without any updates after the “Track an Athlete SMS” system failed requested a refund. What followed showed how challenging it can be to get a refund on an SMS service:

17 April 2013

  • Because no service was received, he tried to find out who was responsible for the service. The Ironman South Africa 2013 website stated that the SMS service was “powered by Vodacom”. Vodacom customer support referred him to Cointel who was apparently behind the service.
  • The number provided by Vodacom support for Cointel led to Vodacom Business Messaging Solutions. Apparently Cointel has not existed for a few years.
  • He then learned that Vodacom Business Messaging Solutions (VBMS) is actually called Always Active Technologies, operating bulk messaging services for Vodacom, and trading under the Vodacom banner.
  • VBMS confirmed that they collected the money, but said that a technical fault on the side of Spec-Savers Ironman was to blame for the SMS problems. VBMS said that they were currently investigating the notification problems with Spec-Savers Ironman, and will decide on the refunds strategy in due course.
  • A formal complaint is lodged via e-mail to VBMS and Vodacom Support.

23 April 2013

  • VBMS replied to follow up e-mails, saying that “All customers affected have been forwarded for analysis. We will advise within due course.”
  • Phone call to VBMS support: explanation given on the process which involves analysing the SMS system to figure out which clients are due refunds from which network operators.

9 May 2013

  • R15 refunded. No SMS notifying of refund. Refund verified through Vodacom online recharge history website.

4 June 2013

  • Received SMS notifying that a the refund had been processed.
  • Some people affected by the same problem have received a refund notification SMS, while others have not. One person who has not received the SMS, has no refund reflected on his Vodacom online recharge history website.

More about SMS services

The truth regarding SMS services money

Your airtime stolen, and all you can do is complain

Massive fight to get R7-a-day money back

Vodacom launches double opt-in system for WASPs

Share your thoughts

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – more technology images

Join the conversation

Connect with Us

androidappletwitterfacebookgoogleplusfeednewsletter

Poll

Which mobile messaging service do you prefer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

Bullied waitress gets R44,778 tip

Donation

A waitress that was allegedly reduced to tears by #RhodesMustFall activist Ntokozo Qwabe this week will receive a donation of R44,778 to make up for her lost tip.

Your smartphone is spying on you

mobile phone spying

We now have dozens of smart devices in our houses and even on our bodies – and they respond to whatever commands they are given.

Professional cyclists caught using tiny motors

Batteries and motor

An investigation claims that tiny hidden motors are used in bicycles in professional road races.

Calls to boycott Facebook for not launching Aleppo Safety Check

Facebook Logo

Facebook users vow to deactivate accounts or turn profile photos red to draw attention to hundreds of deaths in Syria’s Aleppo.

X

Newsletter Subscription


Name
Email *
Enter the following to confirm your subscription *
Captcha image


Free MyBroadband Newsletter
Subscribe
x