Numerous Vodacom subscribers experienced service downtime yesterday related to network problems.
Vodacom said that the cause of the outage, which affected subscribers in selected spots across the country, was a multiple failure of transmission system equipment.
“This transmission system provides the connectivity to support the wireless network. The transmission failure, which occurred late yesterday morning, had a knock-on effect on other areas of the network. This resulted in an overall degradation of service,” said Vodacom spokesperson Richard Boorman.
The network problems infuriated Vodacom’s subscribers, with many slating the company and vowing to migrate to another network.
Hundreds of comments like “I see a red door and I want to paint it black”, “Totally unbecoming of Vodacom…we have to settle for a simple apology?” and “You ruined my day” littered the company’s Facebook wall.
Users on the MyBroadband forums also voiced their frustration, while Twitter users expressed anger at the company’s prolonged network issues. Competitors were quick to tell users that they have the option to migrate from Vodacom to their networks.
Cell C CEO Lars Reichelt tweeted “when your fed-up with the silence, let me know. Porting is easy!”.
MTN SA Chief Corporate Services Officer Robert Madzonga, speaking in an etv interview, reminded users that they can ‘also come to the Ayoba network’.
Vodacom CEO receives praises for involvement
During the outage Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys got his hands dirty to ensure that the problems were resolved. He also apologised to consumers.
“I do care for every one of our customers. What happened today was not acceptable. I’ll work hard to make you smile again,” Uys told one Twitter user.
Late last night Uys tweeted “Words can’t express how sorry I am about today’s problem. Flat out working at making sure all is 100%. Pieter”. An hour later he tweeted, “At the network switch with the engineers. All looks OK now. If you still have a problem, please switch phone off and on.”
The fact that Uys was willing to communicate directly with customers, apologized unreservedly for the outage and was working on the ground to ensure services are restored was praised online.
“The fact that you are still working at 11pm speaks volumes Pieter – as does your apology. Bravo,” said well known marketing specialist Chris Moerdyk.
Stuff Magazine editor Toby Shapshak shared Moerdyk’s sentiment, while well known radio and TV personality Gareth Cliff tweeted, “Thanks to Vodacom CEO @UysPJ for his sense of humour while we ribbed him about yesterday’s #VodaCrash”.
All of Vodacom’s services were restored last night and users were advised to restart their phones if they are still not getting the services they expect.