Appalling service from CellC

ToniO

Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
93
#1
(Incident 160226-000596)


I have a number of unresolved issues, including an unauthorised charge of over R2000, a mysterious apparition entering a store and posing as me to change my data limit, as well as a number of other customer service horrors.

1. Initial Customer Service Issues

I started a contract with CellC for the first time in September 2015. I did this via phone. The contract is for a HUAWEI router on a 24 month 2GB Smartdata contract. It costs R99 per month.

After signing up, when the device was couriered to me, I received no documentation of the contract. I also received no documentation via email. As an MTN customer, I am used to signing a full contract on receipt.

I could not get to speak to agent on the phone because I was caught in a bizarre loop - I was not given a cell number, because this was not a phone, but a router. With the router, CellC does not divulge your number. It’s not on the SIM card either. Eventually I used some other method to get to speak to an agent, and retrieved my number.

When I asked for a contract copy, I was told they don’t do that. Then the agent asked if I would like a letter confirming that I have a contract, that’s all they could provide. I received an email with a PDF, addressed to the incorrect physical address, and in the incorrect name. Yes, my name is mis-spelled. It states (after “my apologize for the delay”) that they have an agreement with me (or rather, the person who’s name is spelled differently from mine).

All notifications are sent to the router, not a mobile phone or tablet. Unless you know how to log in to the router admin via a PC, you will never receive messages about usage etc. You will not receive a message about your default out of bundle data limit. You would never even know your number, as this has never been shared with you.

I subsequently went into a store to discuss some issues with CellC. I complained about the service I had received through the call centre. Their response was more or less the (not verbatim) “yes, the call centre is useless. You should rather come in to the store. We can’t even get proper service from them. Sorry we can’t help you there, they are run by a separate company.”

2. Bandwidth usage and charges over limit

I took out the contract for my 80+ year old parents-in-law. They have used it since September for email and web browsing occasionally. They don’t do much else. They do not own a smartphone and have not given the username and password to anyone else to use the router. The only time this happened was in September and October when their daughter visited and made Whatsapp calls and used data. Consequently, the usage apart from those months has been way under 2GB, and therefore the cost has been R99 per month.

On 26 February I checked the usage online and discovered charges of R2000 on the account. I logged a complaint via email on that day. My limit was set to R500, and I verified this with a screenshot that I sent to them. I also stated that for the current month, it showed usage as R589.42.

On 28 February I received a phonecall from CellC. The agent claimed that I had a default limit of R2000 on my account. When I stated that this was incorrect, she told me that I had changed the limit to R500 in store on 22 February. Apparently I had been attended to by a man named Trevor or Terence (I think?). I told her I had only been in store once, in September soon after starting the contract. I asked her to find out which store this was, and she could not confirm. I pressed her to find out via another department - to confirm the agent and store name. She said she would refer the matter.

I also asked her to send me the detailed data logs including IP addresses of all traffic on my account. She said she would refer it to the Data Verification Department.

As I was travelling at the time I asked her to send me a reference number for the call via SMS.

I have received no word on any of these requests.

R2384 was debited from my account even though I’d registered a complaint.

In the meantime, I have (at great expense) had the router and laptop couriered to me from the parents-in-law to try to get to the bottom of the data usage.

The sum total of traffic in the past 30 days is under 200Mb (MEGABYTES). Most of that is browser traffic. There are no system downloads, nothing.

One other source one might assume, could be other devices. As I mentioned earlier, they do not have a smartphone or any other wireless devices, and they have not given access to this router to anyone.

Another possibility is that this is the result of fraud within CellC, which given the recent reports of insider fraud within MTN and FNB, is not out of the question.

I cannot verify where this usage is coming from, as they will not send me the data transfer records.

The current “usage” is over the apparent limit of R500, and there is a mysterious person going into stores changing data limits.

I have never experienced such poor service in the communications sector. And that’s saying a lot.

I will escalate this to my regional consumer affairs office if the charges are not reversed and the irregularities resolved within 7 days.
 
Last edited:

Cell_C

Cell C Representative
Company Rep
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
3,257
#3
(Incident 160226-000596)


I have a number of unresolved issues, including an unauthorised charge of over R2000, a mysterious apparition entering a store and posing as me to change my data limit, as well as a number of other customer service horrors.

1. Initial Customer Service Issues

I started a contract with CellC for the first time in September 2015. I did this via phone. The contract is for a HUAWEI router on a 24 month 2GB Smartdata contract. It costs R99 per month.

After signing up, when the device was couriered to me, I received no documentation of the contract. I also received no documentation via email. As an MTN customer, I am used to signing a full contract on receipt.

I could not get to speak to agent on the phone because I was caught in a bizarre loop - I was not given a cell number, because this was not a phone, but a router. With the router, CellC does not divulge your number. It’s not on the SIM card either. Eventually I used some other method to get to speak to an agent, and retrieved my number.

When I asked for a contract copy, I was told they don’t do that. Then the agent asked if I would like a letter confirming that I have a contract, that’s all they could provide. I received an email with a PDF, addressed to the incorrect physical address, and in the incorrect name. Yes, my name is mis-spelled. It states (after “my apologize for the delay”) that they have an agreement with me (or rather, the person who’s name is spelled differently from mine).

All notifications are sent to the router, not a mobile phone or tablet. Unless you know how to log in to the router admin via a PC, you will never receive messages about usage etc. You will not receive a message about your default out of bundle data limit. You would never even know your number, as this has never been shared with you.

I subsequently went into a store to discuss some issues with CellC. I complained about the service I had received through the call centre. Their response was more or less the (not verbatim) “yes, the call centre is useless. You should rather come in to the store. We can’t even get proper service from them. Sorry we can’t help you there, they are run by a separate company.”

2. Bandwidth usage and charges over limit

I took out the contract for my 80+ year old parents-in-law. They have used it since September for email and web browsing occasionally. They don’t do much else. They do not own a smartphone and have not given the username and password to anyone else to use the router. The only time this happened was in September and October when their daughter visited and made Whatsapp calls and used data. Consequently, the usage apart from those months has been way under 2GB, and therefore the cost has been R99 per month.

On 26 February I checked the usage online and discovered charges of R2000 on the account. I logged a complaint via email on that day. My limit was set to R500, and I verified this with a screenshot that I sent to them. I also stated that for the current month, it showed usage as R589.42.

On 28 February I received a phonecall from CellC. The agent claimed that I had a default limit of R2000 on my account. When I stated that this was incorrect, she told me that I had changed the limit to R500 in store on 22 February. Apparently I had been attended to by a man named Trevor or Terence (I think?). I told her I had only been in store once, in September soon after starting the contract. I asked her to find out which store this was, and she could not confirm. I pressed her to find out via another department - to confirm the agent and store name. She said she would refer the matter.

I also asked her to send me the detailed data logs including IP addresses of all traffic on my account. She said she would refer it to the Data Verification Department.

As I was travelling at the time I asked her to send me a reference number for the call via SMS.

I have received no word on any of these requests.

R2384 was debited from my account even though I’d registered a complaint.

In the meantime, I have (at great expense) had the router and laptop couriered to me from the parents-in-law to try to get to the bottom of the data usage.

The sum total of traffic in the past 30 days is under 200Mb (MEGABYTES). Most of that is browser traffic. There are no system downloads, nothing.

One other source one might assume, could be other devices. As I mentioned earlier, they do not have a smartphone or any other wireless devices, and they have not given access to this router to anyone.

Another possibility is that this is the result of fraud within CellC, which given the recent reports of insider fraud within MTN and FNB, is not out of the question.

I cannot verify where this usage is coming from, as they will not send me the data transfer records.

The current “usage” is over the apparent limit of R500, and there is a mysterious person going into stores changing data limits.

I have never experienced such poor service in the communications sector. And that’s saying a lot.

I will escalate this to my regional consumer affairs office if the charges are not reversed and the irregularities resolved within 7 days.
Hi ToniO

Thank you for posting to us.

We have escalated your query, and we will be calling you to assist.

^BM
 

ToniO

Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
93
#4
Hi ToniO

Thank you for posting to us.

We have escalated your query, and we will be calling you to assist.

^BM
Thank you for your reply. I look forward to a response. It may be wise to tell someone you cannot reach me on the CellC number - nobody at CellC seems to realise that they can't message or call a router. :confused:

I will PM you my contact numbers to be sure.
 

Cell_C

Cell C Representative
Company Rep
Joined
Sep 7, 2010
Messages
3,257
#5
Thank you for your reply. I look forward to a response. It may be wise to tell someone you cannot reach me on the CellC number - nobody at CellC seems to realise that they can't message or call a router. :confused:

I will PM you my contact numbers to be sure.
Thank you.

^BM
 

ToniO

Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
93
#6
I have resolved some of the issues described here with CellC. It turns out that the mysterious “Trevor” was not in a store, but the system showed it that way. It was the accounts department who changed the limit.

The sudden huge increase in data was not reflected by Windows in either the Task Manager or under Network > Data Usage (there are two methods to find out your data usage, and they don’t correlate). While these showed under 200Mb, huge amounts of data were being transferred by Windows in the background. Addresses ending in live.com, msn.com, microsoft.com, windows.com and many more.

If anyone has advice on how to stop these requests without breaking anything vital, please send me a link.

I regret intimating that there might have been something more fishy behind my data usage.

My issues with customer service fundamental flaws in CellC's system that allowed my data usage to get out of hand remain. Here’s a summary:

When I signed up via telephone with CellC, I entered into a contract over 24 months for a wifi router with 2GB data. The router was couriered to me. No contract was presented to be signed by the courier.

I tried to get hold of CellC via their helpdesk, but as a CellC customer, you need a phone number. This is not given to you in the package with the router. You cannot get out of the loop on the helpdesk - you are a CellC customer without a number. I tried various options, customer and non-customer, 10 to 15 minutes hold each time, ending in a very abrupt automated “We cannot help you, goodbye” or words to that effect. Eventually I got around it by hitting 0 while the menu was being described. I finally got hold of my phone number. (They may have changed the menu since September 2015).

Then I tried to get a copy of my contract. They were unable to send me terms and conditions - they said this was not possible. They sent me a rather pathetic PDF stating that I have a contract, a number and account number. My name and address were spelled incorrectly.

I had numerous problems registering on the MyCellC site. One of the issues is that you need to have a mobile handset and your number on hand as they send you a OTP to this number. Again, unless you have this you cannot register. This means that at the outset you have no contract, no terms and conditions, no idea of your default data limit, ongoing usage etc.

If you have a handset, you will know your number, and you will receive notifications from CellC. They will tell you your default data limit, sell you specials, and give you warnings if your out of bundle data usage is increasing.

There is no mechanism to deal with a client who has a router and doesn’t know their number. No-one in the customer call centre is trained for this. The agent I spoke to yesterday kept saying “we cannot send notifications to another network number, only CellC.”

I only discovered the messages because I logged into the router admin via a PC and found masses of unread messages. I suggest that until CellC sort out a better system to deal with router clients, that they make clients aware that they will need to do this in order to access vital information about their account.

If I had received a welcome message on day 1 telling me that my default limit was set to R2000, I would have changed it immediately. That would have proved very difficult, given that I had to find a work-around to get my number out of their system in the first place in order to get to speak to an agent.
 
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