Telkom customers should take note of the differences in data bundle types or risk losing their unused data.
An issue concerning Telkom’s data depletion order was brought to light after a prepaid customer contacted MyBroadband with a problem.
The customer said that at one point in January he had 100MB data remaining on one bundle, due to expire on 1 February.
In order to avoid running out of data, he transferred an additional 1GB from a 5GB FreeMe bundle on another phone. This bundle was only set to expire on 16 March.
After the transferral, the customer noticed that data was being consumed on the transferred bundle, rather than the bundle which had 100MB remaining.
This means that if he did not use up the transferred bundle before the 1st of February, the 100MB remaining on the first bundle would be lost.
The customer indicated that this was not the first time this had happened.
ICASA’s FIFO regulations
According to ICASA regulations that came into effect on 1 March 2019, bundles must deplete on a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) basis.
This means whichever bundle was purchased or allocated first must be consumed before data depletion on a bundle bought at a later stage can begin.
The regulations were implemented to avoid users being unable to use valid data after purchasing additional bundles, optimising the amount of data which can be rolled over.
This Telkom customer appeared to have his bundles depleted according to Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) consumption, which meant the newer bundle was consumed first.
However, according to Telkom, an important distinction can be made between the customer’s inclusive bundle and the transferred bundle.
The operator told MyBroadband that it had a pre-defined consumption order for different types of bundles.
“Telkom has implemented a data consumption hierarchy which is based on pre-determined rules for the order in which data is consumed. These rules prioritise aspects such as data expiry date and the data type,” Telkom said.
The operator explained that data which is deemed to be Campaign, Bonus, Promotional will always be depleted first, even if its expiry date is after that of any inclusive, recurring, or once-off bundles.
“Typical examples of these would include any data provisioned on the customers’ plan as part of a marketing campaign, i.e a Once-Off data bundle valid for 30 days, transferred data received from another Telkom customer or bonus data received from re-charges.”
This also includes Night Surfer data and LIT streaming data where applicable.
After this data is consumed, the customer’s inclusive data will begin depleting, starting with any valid carried-over data.
“Should there be any carried over data from the previous month this would be consumed first before the current month allocation starts being utilised,” Telkom said.
Any additional recurring or once-off data bundles purchased will only start depletion once the all-inclusive data has been completely consumed, Telkom said.
“Only time-based data bundles may supersede any of the above classes of data, this would be due to the fact that these data resources are only available for a limited amount of time,” Telkom added.
The consumption pattern is as follows:
- Campaign, Bonus, Promotional Data (includes transferred data)
- Inclusive Data
- Recurring / Once-off data Bundles
Telkom customers should take note that transferred data or any other promotional data will always be consumed before any remaining inclusive data.