Telkom blocks OOB usage, but does not want this to be law

One of Telkom’s consumer-friendly features is that it doesn’t automatically bill you out-of-bundle when your mobile data is depleted.

Instead, it will redirect you to a web page allowing you to buy a new data bundle or enable out-of-bundle (OOB) billing.

Telkom FreeMe contracts are an exception, and the Telkom website states the OOB tariffs on FreeMe plans. However, it doesn’t highlight the change in its data capping policy.

The fact that FreeMe contract subscribers are not automatically blocked from OOB data was included in Telkom’s recent submission to ICASA on the draft End-User and Subscriber Service Charter regulations.

The regulations want to regulate data expiry and rollover, depletion notifications, as well as OOB billing practices.

With respect to OOB data, operators would have to allow subscribers to opt out of this usage, and not automatically allow users to go out of bundle.

Against OOB regulations

In its response to ICASA, Telkom said it is in favour of regulations requiring operators to allow subscribers to opt out of OOB.

Telkom disagreed that all tariff plans should block OOB usage by default, however.

Subscribers should have a choice, and operators should be free to design products that are not disconnected by default, it said.

Telkom said that all of its tariff plans, with the exception of FreeMe, do not default subscribers to OOB charges.

“The option to default automatically should be for the subscriber to choose, and should not be enforced by means of regulation,” Telkom told ICASA.

“Some subscribers find the option of going OOB easier to manage than having to exercise the option to purchase additional data bundles.”

Telkom’s OOB tariffs on its FreeMe contracts are as follows:

  • Voice: R0.69 per minute (per second billing)
  • SMS: R0.30 (160 characters)
  • MMS: R0.50 (300KB)
  • Data: R0.29 per MB

Now read: All data bundles must be valid for at least 3 years – National Consumer Commission

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Telkom blocks OOB usage, but does not want this to be law