It takes 3 hours to read Telkom’s T&Cs

If you want to read Telkom, Vodacom, Cell C, or MTN’s terms and conditions before you sign up for a service, it can take up to 3 hours.

Mobile network operators have comprehensive terms and conditions (T&Cs) linked to their data and voice products.

In most cases, consumers sign the terms and conditions without reading anything in the document. It seems obtuse, but it is not surprising considering the length of all the terms and conditions.

Mobile operators have different sets of legal documents for their products. The different sets make a single document length comparison difficult.

To compare the T&C length of mobile operators, we divided them into four parts:

  1. General terms and conditions
  2. Terms and conditions relating to the use of the website
  3. Terms and conditions relating to all network subscribers
  4. Terms and conditions specifically relating to contract products

We did a word count on the terms and conditions documents of the major mobile operators and calculated how long it would take to read through them.

We used a reading speed of 130 words per minute. This speed is based on similar international research, which assumes a slow reading speed because of the technical nature of these documents.

While this is a relatively slow pace, these are usually legal documents that can be difficult to comprehend.

Telkom had the longest set of terms and conditions at 22,643 words, which would take almost 3 hours to read.

Vodacom’s T&Cs were also long at 16,410 words. It would take around 2 hours to read every part of their documents.

The table below shows the length of the terms and conditions of South Africa’s mobile operators.

Terms and Conditions Length
ISP Word count Minutes to read
Rain 3,306 25
MTN 10,854 83
Cell C 13,438 103
Vodacom 16,410 126
Telkom 22,643 174

Now read: One South African ISP has T&Cs that take 2 hours to read

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It takes 3 hours to read Telkom’s T&Cs