It seems that Vodacom has been turning red in more ways than one since rebranding. First it was the advertising saga where Cell C took a swing at their red campaign, saying “It takes more than a lick of paint to be SA’s number one network…” Vodacom filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and won.
Now the tables have turned. After the whole RICA race and deadline last week Thursday, Vodacom experienced a network outage. Four subscribers filed formal complaints to the National Consumer Commission complaining that they lost business opportunities and suffered loss of income because they could not make or receive any calls. RISKSA tried to find out if Vodacom was insured to cover their network failure last week and they refused to comment. They instead told our journalist (Gugulethu Mkhabela) to refer to their website for any information they had put out on the network problems experienced last week. In a recent report however, Eric Levenstein, a lawyer at Werksmans Attorneys, said that although the Consumer Protection Act stipulated that consumers could demand a refund of a reasonable portion of the price paid for lost airtime service, it may be extremely difficult to quantify the amount to be claimed. “If the downtime happened in one instance, as it did last week, then I believe that customers are going to struggle to calculate their losses,” he said.
In other news, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said the National Health Insurance system will be phased in over 14 years. The major problem was that private medical aids did not pay their members for staying healthy or taking medication that would keep them healthy. “They want you to be very sick first before they pay,” Motsoaledi said at the fifth Cosatu central committee meeting last week.
While on the health front, Discovery Health’s new delivery service, Med-Xpress, is getting heavily criticised by the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa which has stated that the scheme takes away the right for pharmacies to dispense and also takes away the freedom of choice from the client.
We also note how Dial Direct created a stir (particularly online) when it took on Santam’s ‘Insurance: good and proper’ campaign. More about this will be featured in our August edition of RISKSA Magazine where we will be focusing on insurance adverts on television. As ever, we’d like your opinion and as such have created an online poll asking you how effective insurance adverts are in helping you sell more products. Please go to http://www.risksa.com/
to participate in the poll – it will only take a couple of seconds!
Finally, we will be looking at the RE exams in our August issue with a specific focus on service providers and the quality of the study material, courses, and lectures they offer to brokers. Have you used companies such as Moonstone or The Learncafé to study for RE Level I? If so, we’d like to hear from you and get your opinion. Please email editorial director of RISKSA, Angelique Ruzicka at email@example.com
Enjoy the read.
Andy and the RISKSA WIRED team
Vodacom in the RED
The National Consumer Commission which administers the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) wants Vodacom to refund its customers for their network failure last week Thursday. Section 54 of the act states that if a supplier fails to perform a service, the consumer may require the supplier to remedy any defect in the quality of the service or refund the consumer. Vodacom has apologised but a national consumer commissioner said it’s not enough.