Telkom contract fraud nightmare

A MyBroadband reader has been through a nightmare after two Telkom data contracts were fraudulently taken out in his name.

The reader said that on 24 September, he received two emails from Telkom, each of which welcomed him to the SmartBroadband Wireless LTE plan.

He had not signed up for these contracts and began to investigate as soon as he could.

After calling Telkom’s customer support, which confirmed that the two contracts were taken out in his name, he realised that he had been targeted by a fraudster.

To facilitate the registration fraudulent contracts, the fraudster had changed the customer’s personal details on his Telkom profile – his residential address, email address, and contact number had all been changed without his permission.

The cost of the two fraudulent contracts was R1,300 per month. Not wanting his account to be charged for these new contracts, he began the process of contesting the fraudulent contracts with Telkom support.

This, however, is when his frustrations began in earnest.

Mistakes from Telkom support

After calling Telkom’s support team regarding the fraudulent contracts, the customer was asked to get an affidavit stating that the contracts were not his.

He submitted this on 28 September 2020 and was told that he would be contacted within 48 hours.

Telkom did not contact him by this deadline, and he continued to follow up with them, with agents continuing to state that he should wait for the investigation to conclude.

In subsequent calls, he eventually found that the first agent who requested the affidavit did not load it onto his account and he had to resubmit the document so it could be loaded correctly.

He requested RICA Documents, audio recording for the contracts, and signed delivery notes for the contracts, but said his requests were ignored.

One month later, Telkom had begun to debit his account for the fraudulent contracts, and he was no closer to resolving the problem.

At this point, on 11 November, the customer reached out to MyBroadband regarding his fruitless struggle and mounting cellphone bill.

Telkom blames miscommunication

MyBroadband reached out to Telkom regarding this customer’s problems, and within a day he had been reimbursed for the previous charges and the two contracts had been cancelled.

Telkom confirmed that the contracts were fraudulent and apologised for the delay in resolving the problem, stating that support staff had accidentally sent the information to the wrong department.

“We can confirm that this was a fraudulent application where the fraudster had access to all the customer’s details and was able to get past our checks and third-party verification partner,” Telkom said.

“Usually in cases such as this we take 7 to 14 days to investigate the claim, however, due to  miscommunication which we are investigating, the initial information was sent to the wrong department.”

Telkom said it had contacted the customer to apologise for the inconvenience and to provide the necessary refunds.

“It is very important that customers keep their personal information safe to mitigate fraudulent transactions from occurring,” Telkom said.

Now read: Telkom’s plan to unlock shareholder value

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Telkom contract fraud nightmare