Issue with Vodacom : airtime unjustifiably depleted following depletion of data


Well-Known Member
Apr 17, 2013
In light of Vodacom’s apparent claim in advertisements that it “the best network in South Africa”, I thought I’d give the Network a try, and purchased (with my pre-paid airtime), a small Vodacom data bundle to try out leaving the remaining airtime balance on my simcard intact.

However, when the data bundle had depleted, I found that I was unable to make any calls as the remaining airtime balance had also been depleted.

All along, whilst browsing, there was no pop-up screen notification that my data had depleted and neither was there any screen warning or notification that out of bundle rates had taken effect (albeit without my knowledge and consent) and was being setoff against the remaining airtime balance.

There also was no option to opt in or opt out of out of bundle data rates. Instead Vodacom had merely sent a notification by SMS message directly to my INBOX notifying the data had depleted. The message was not even preceded by an SMS requiring one to choose an option in respect of depleted data. But how does one know that there is a SMS that has just arrived in one’s INBOX when there is no screen notification to this effect and one is only able to read the messages afterwards.

I have repeatedly tried to contact Vodacom’s Customer Care to complain but to no avail. Vodacom’s Customer Care can be accessed by dialing 135 or 111 but no way can one choose an option to speak to a human Customer Care Agent directly. Instead an SMS is sent by Vodacom’s so-called “virtual assistant,” (a robot called Tobi) offering assistance. But it’s an absolute waste of time trying to communicate with Tobi and one is merely required to answer irrelevant questions by SMS but nothing constructive is achieved.

Is Vodacom not complying with the ICASA requirements and directive that took effect as from 1 March 2019? To have simply applied out of bundle rates and utilized the remaining airtime balance on my simcard without my knowledge and consent is no doubt tantamount to theft. I trust the top brass at Vodacom will take note and set matters right.

Fortunately, I purchased a very small data bundle merely to try and my loss is minimal. However, it is unlikely I will ever be purchasing any further data bundles from Vodacom again and one would be well-advised to always exercise caution and not take such unethical business practice lying down.

In any case, I did not find Vodacom’s internet any better that my current service provider. On what grounds then can it claim that its network is the best in South Africa?



Honorary Master
Jul 16, 2004
I switched over to vodacom recently as it's the only stable network during load-shedding (in my experience for my area). I do feel that my data is being stolen.