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Yours *TrulyJuly*

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Telkom Data Terms & Conditions

Telkom Data Terms & Conditions

Dear Telkom Mobile,

You offer a pretty good deal on your 60GB + 60GB Data Bundle.

Of course, you didn’t include that it only works with your own dongle, for which you charge a whopping R399 extra.

That is like advertising a biltong packet for R100, but at checkout clarifying that it has to be carried with a plastic bag that costs R25. And no, no other carrier bag would work.

And yes, you have prepared for these eventualities with a very ambiguous “Tariffs exclude any other contract/device costs or charges not mentioned in this brochure.” as found in the Telkom brochure’s Data Terms & Conditions – which pretty much renders any prices on your brochure pointless, as you never know: there might be some other “charge not mentioned in this brochure”.

In addition you put an expiry date on your prepaid products.

That is as if you sell a packet of biltong, but at checkout tell your customers if they don’t consume it within the next 10 minutes, you’ll take it back and sell on whatever is left over.

So I pay the full amount in advance, but you get to tell me when I ought to have used it by? I paid for it. – I can use it whenever I want!

Luckily the Consumer Protection Act is on my side. – Section 63:

(2) A prepaid certificate, card, credit, voucher or similar device contemplated in subsection (1) does not expire until the earlier of—
(a) the date on which its full value has been redeemed in exchange for goods or services or future access to services; or
(b) three years after the date on which it was issued, or at the end of a longer or extended period agreed by the supplier at any time. 

Hawkeye explains gift vouchers’ expiry rules in terms of the Consumer Protection Act:

It is against the law to include an expiry date on a pre-paid voucher, card or any similar item. These may only expire after being fully redeemed or after three years.  Section 63 of the Act lays this out clearly, stating that non-compliant businesses could face a R1m fine or 10% of their annual turnover.

They also outline what is fair according to the Consumer Protection Act:

The Act also states that any consideration paid for such voucher remains the property of the bearer until redeemed. Should a voucher be for a specific product rather than a set value, the supplier may reasonably ask for an inflationary adjustment should the price have changed or be able to cancel the voucher by exchanging it for a cash equivalent.

And they confirm that according to Section 63 prepaid vouchers include airtime, SMS bundles and mobile data:

This section of the act has impacted the cell phone companies who cancel unused calls and data bundles. This matter is still under discussion between the National Consumer Commissioner and the Independent Communications Authority of SA.

However, as National Consumer Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala had clearly outlined the interpretation of Section 63:

Our reading of Section 63 of the act is that the value represented by the voucher does not expire until the date on which its full value has been redeemed in exchange for goods and services or future access to service, or three years after the date on which it was issued, whichever happens earliest. This includes vouchers for data bundles.

Mamodupi Mohlala has repeatedly said unused data must carry over for three years and cannot expire any earlier:

All data and minutes accumulated from last April must roll over for a full 36 months, and operators will be forced to comply with this section.

I therefore kindly ask you to NOT expire my data and let me use up what I paid for in my own time.

Many thanks in advance,

Yours *TrulyJuly*


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