Endless hassle with Vodacom re WiFi Calling/VoLTE

fragtion

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Dec 26, 2004
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Hi

A couple weeks ago my account was mistakenly suspended by Vodacom due to unusual billing activity - I was racking up a larger than average bill as my wife was voting for my daughter for a pay-per-SMS competition

When I called the 135 helpdesk, the agents pointed me to billing, who confirmed that there was a mistake and my lines were immediately re-activated and "re-synchronized", after which I could make normal calls again

Ever since that event, I have been unable to use WiFi calling or VoLTE. The services do not appear on my phone, as if they are were never provisioned.

My wife and daughter both have iPhones, and I have a Galaxy Note 8. All three devices are provisioned for VoLTE / WiFi calling, and all three are not currently working. They are all under the same master account, under my number.

I have called the helpdesk several times regarding this matter. They have escalated it twice, and eventually told me to go to a Vodacom store so that the store could confirm that I am activating the service on my handsets correctly, which they confirmed that I am. On the iPhones, the "WiFi Calling" switch is on/enabled, and on my Note 8, I have the WiFi Calling toggle active. The store created a technical service reference 1-34327587009685, where they CLEARLY stated that they had checked the handsets and found no faults. This reference was escalated to one of Vodacom's "Solution Experts", only to be dismissed the following morning with the same reason: "Please be advised that the LTE service is currently active on your mobile number to allow WiFi Calling to function. Kindly reboot and test the service accordingly. You may visit the nearest Vodacom outlet for further assistance". Obviously, this made no sense as the support ticket was created AT MY NEAREST VODACOM OUTLET, where the service technician on duty was able to explicitly rule out my handsets being at fault.

So the call center tells me that the WiFi Calling & VoLTE service is enabled for our numbers, yet no matter what we do, we can not get it to work on our handsets like it would work before without any hassle whatsoever. They argue that WiFi calling only works when reception is bad, but I know for a fact that it can be invoked by putting the phone into Aeroplane mode and then explicitly enabling Wi-Fi access. Needless to say that even without aeroplane mode, my WiFi calling does not work in areas of poor or nonexistent GSM reception

Clearly there is a technical glitch on our account which is precluding the service from working, despite it being visibly active on the active VAS/service lists for the numbers in question.

Has anyone here been through a similar experience? Who can I contact to investigate this further? I am naturally now at my wits end with this, and am considering changing providers.

Thanks for any advice or assistance anyone can offer whatsoever, as I am going in circles to no avail with the official customer support channels
 

fragtion

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Dec 26, 2004
Messages
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Hey cavedog ! I was hoping not to bother Jannie if that could be avoided.. but I've already wasted many hours on this problem when the issue is clearly not on my side and I cannot seem to get the message through to the right persons via conventional support channels (I also work with IT/Telecoms, so I'm not exactly clueless with this stuff either). Would I need to DM him or will he receive an alert from you tagging him? Thanks a lot. It seems to me like I'd need to speak to someone directly involved in the WiFi-Calling/VoLTE configuration division, for troubleshooting. Something very strange is going on with our account here
 
Last edited:

marioat1

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Sep 18, 2016
Messages
1,464
Hi

A couple weeks ago my account was mistakenly suspended by Vodacom due to unusual billing activity - I was racking up a larger than average bill as my wife was voting for my daughter for a pay-per-SMS competition

When I called the 135 helpdesk, the agents pointed me to billing, who confirmed that there was a mistake and my lines were immediately re-activated and "re-synchronized", after which I could make normal calls again

Ever since that event, I have been unable to use WiFi calling or VoLTE. The services do not appear on my phone, as if they are were never provisioned.

My wife and daughter both have iPhones, and I have a Galaxy Note 8. All three devices are provisioned for VoLTE / WiFi calling, and all three are not currently working. They are all under the same master account, under my number.

I have called the helpdesk several times regarding this matter. They have escalated it twice, and eventually told me to go to a Vodacom store so that the store could confirm that I am activating the service on my handsets correctly, which they confirmed that I am. On the iPhones, the "WiFi Calling" switch is on/enabled, and on my Note 8, I have the WiFi Calling toggle active. The store created a technical service reference 1-34327587009685, where they CLEARLY stated that they had checked the handsets and found no faults. This reference was escalated to one of Vodacom's "Solution Experts", only to be dismissed the following morning with the same reason: "Please be advised that the LTE service is currently active on your mobile number to allow WiFi Calling to function. Kindly reboot and test the service accordingly. You may visit the nearest Vodacom outlet for further assistance". Obviously, this made no sense as the support ticket was created AT MY NEAREST VODACOM OUTLET, where the service technician on duty was able to explicitly rule out my handsets being at fault.

So the call center tells me that the WiFi Calling & VoLTE service is enabled for our numbers, yet no matter what we do, we can not get it to work on our handsets like it would work before without any hassle whatsoever. They argue that WiFi calling only works when reception is bad, but I know for a fact that it can be invoked by putting the phone into Aeroplane mode and then explicitly enabling Wi-Fi access. Needless to say that even without aeroplane mode, my WiFi calling does not work in areas of poor or nonexistent GSM reception

Clearly there is a technical glitch on our account which is precluding the service from working, despite it being visibly active on the active VAS/service lists for the numbers in question.

Has anyone here been through a similar experience? Who can I contact to investigate this further? I am naturally now at my wits end with this, and am considering changing providers.

Thanks for any advice or assistance anyone can offer whatsoever, as I am going in circles to no avail with the official customer support channels
Sounds like they did a manual override to re-enable services. System should restart fully once your payment reflects probably.
 

fragtion

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Dec 26, 2004
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@jannievanzyl much appreciated. Could a mod maybe help me zap/delete & hide this thread? Confident that jannie is going to help me sort this out so I'd prefer to get rid of the public complaint. Tnx
 

fragtion

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Dec 26, 2004
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Problem finally resolved!! Took some intense troubleshooting but success in the end is what counts. Massive thanks for your help @jannievanzyl and his team Fabian and Ashwin who managed to isolate the issue. not sure how else I would have sorted out this little gremlin without you guys! Have a great weekend
 

whatwhat

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Jun 1, 2009
Messages
5,932
@jannievanzyl any idea when one would be able to send an international SMS while on wifi calling? This is blocking things like iMessage getting activated while one is overseas on a Vodacom prepaid sim. I'm also in a countries where SMS roamer doesn't work, so Wifi calling is really the only thing I have to get Vodacom signal.
 

cavedog

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Oct 19, 2007
Messages
14,405
@jannievanzyl any idea when one would be able to send an international SMS while on wifi calling? This is blocking things like iMessage getting activated while one is overseas on a Vodacom prepaid sim. I'm also in a countries where SMS roamer doesn't work, so Wifi calling is really the only thing I have to get Vodacom signal.
What really surprises me is how poor Vodacom's Vowifi is. Once you send a sms or dial as USSD code then it uses the network. With Cellc wifi calling you can do everything over wifi.
 

whatwhat

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Messages
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What really surprises me is how poor Vodacom's Vowifi is. Once you send a sms or dial as USSD code then it uses the network. With Cellc wifi calling you can do everything over wifi.
I ported to Vodacom since I had a lot of issues with Cell C reception when I am in SA. Will have to port back when I visit SA again later in the year, on the Vodacom forums when this came out in August 2018 they said that they will be deploying a network patch shortly to sort out the international SMS issues.

At least we know Vodacom and shortly is measured in years.
 
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