Earlier today, SAPA reported that Vodacom had been issued with a compliance notice after they refused to amend their customer contracts to explain their call rates.
An article in Business Day reported that signing the notice would legally bind the operators and allow liability claims by consumers, the SAPA report said.
Vodacom has now responded to the articles, with Vodacom’s chief officer of corporate affairs Portia Maurice saying that they were surprised to receive a compliance notice from the National Consumer Commission (NCC).
“We already had an amendment process under way and had agreed with them an implementation date of 31 October,” Maurice said. “Similarly, there is simply no basis for the statement in today’s Business Day that we have refused to amend our customer contracts. This statement is patently untrue since we have been in the process of amending the contracts for some time.”
Vodacom said that it has been co-operating fully with the NCC with respect to updating its contracts in line with the new regulations published at the same time that the Consumer Protection Act came into force.
According to Vodacom, the regulations published in April varied considerably from the draft regulations previously discussed, which necessitated dialogue with the NCC. As a result of this dialogue, the date of 31 October was agreed to implement the revised terms and conditions, Vodacom said.
Vodacom went on to point out that this was publicly acknowledged by the National Consumer Commissioner in a Business Report article entitled “Phone firms told to amend contracts” published on 18 July 2011.
“Given that discussions are already under way and that an implementation date has been publicly acknowledged, Vodacom regards the compliance notice as completely unwarranted,” Maurice said. “The matter will be addressed directly with the NCC.”