Over the last few weeks many Neotel subscribers were surprised to receive legal letters from the MacRobert Incorporated legal firm – on behalf of Neotel – claiming that they owe Neotel money and that legal action will follow unless they pay up.
“Our immediate instructions are that, should No Payment be received within 7 (seven) days hereof, to approach the Johannesburg Magistrates Court to issue a Summons against your name and to obtain Default Judgement. Your name will furthermore be listed at the necessary Credit Bureaus, i.e. ‘Blacklisted’,” the legal letter on behalf of Neotel states.
According to one Neotel subscriber who received this letter he cancelled his account, with Neotel confirming this cancellation, but still received a threatening legal letter demanding more money. Another user reported the same situation, saying: “After 15 months of hell with them, then 5 months of nothing, now they demand money.”
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many Neotel subscribers have received these letters erroneously, and reports suggest that attempts to resolve the issue with Neotel are proving to be unfruitful.
Neotel billing mess?
Neotel further seems to be struggling with billing and support problems.
One frustrated Neotel subscriber explains that he contacted the company to cancel his account because of ‘constant billing errors and excessive debit orders and the fact that they suspended my account due to their own financial mess’. The subscriber in question did not however receive a cancellation reference number and his device was not collected.
Numerous other Neotel subscribers have reported similar experiences with the company, with comments like “I’m really disgusted with the service from Neotel” and “They’re a disgrace of a company” dominating discussions.
Neotel explained that they have a great deal of unpaid accounts, and that the decision to hand over non-paying subscribers to a legal firm was validated by the Neotel Board.
According to Neotel around 5000 cases were handed over to their lawyers and they have received only around 200 complaints. The company did however confirm that some complainants had legitimate concerns.
Neotel added that they are well aware of the concerns regarding the lack of accountability about consumer complaints from their side, but said that they have ‘changed many processes to fully accommodate them now’.
“As much as customers feel disconcerted by the failure to address their concerns previously, if they wish to raise them again now, we are more than willing to re-look their discrepancies and challenges faced. This includes those that were unjustly handed over as part of the batch to MacRoberts,” said Neotel.
Neotel legal threats to subscribers raise concerns << Discussion