Potraz threatens to disconnect Econet’s services

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THE Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has reportedly threatened to disconnect Econet Wireless value-added services (VAS) due to auto registrations, multiple billing, VAS spamming and disappearing balances.

by BUSINESS REPORTERS

Econet Wireless, in a letter addressed to VAS customers, said the auto registrations, multiple billing, VAS spamming and disappearing balances had reached public and alarming levels.

“In light of the above and the official confirmed threat from the regulator to disconnect all VAS services, Econet has made a pro-active decision to create a separate Dedicated Account where customers will deposit money for all VAS they are subscribed,” Econet said in a letter to VAS partners on June 19.

A value-added service (VAS) is a popular telecommunications industry term for non-core services, or in short, all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmissions.

Econet said the logic was to ensure that customers controlled their spending and made a conscious decision on which VAS to purchase at any particular time.

“In terms of the modus operandi, nothing changes except that the money will no longer be deducted from the main account with effect from 20th of June 2015,” the company said.

Although Econet corporate communications manager Rangarirai Mberi said the company had not received any directive to suspend services, it had improved the platform for the customers to have better control of their credit when they subscribed to various services that were offered by the network.

“Now you will have two separate accounts: One for your main airtime account, and another dedicated to all your third-party services. Examples of such services are your special ringtones, job tips or the mobile news service that NewsDay provides, among many others. This way, a customer can allocate their airtime between their two accounts as they wish,” Mberi said.

“As we have stated before, where we looked into complaints of ‘disappearing airtime’, airtime credit was debited mostly by background apps and third-party services. We believe that with this new plan, our customers will now have a better way of managing their airtime usage.”

But Potraz acting director general Nicholas Muzhuzha last night denied sending any communiqué to cancel operator services. “We have not sent any communication to cancel any service to any operator,” he said, through public affairs manager Sibonginkosi Muteyiwa.

In the last few months, Potraz has had over three acting director-generals apart from Alfred Marisa and Baxton Sirewu.

7 COMMENTS

  1. pakaipa apa econet chigayo. unodyiwa ukapera wakavata. it keeps u connected wakavata kkkkkkkkkkkkk. takatosiyana nazvo isu takato tora hedu mamwe manetwork. imi ndimi masara

    • Econet must be investigated for theft. varikutibira. Ini ndakajusa $1 having disabled data but immediately the entire dollar disappeared. Its not fair Mr Masiyiwa. Police pliz pindirai izvi zvanyanya. Daylight robbery. Mamwe manetworks haadero wani. Econet itora mari united

  2. We are curious to view Econet’s Q2 results in light of the number of customers that seem to have jumped ship to other networks. We have noticed that some customers have kept their econet numbers to receive calls only and are using other competing networks to make their calls and buy whatsapp and Opera mini bundles.

    It seems our country is in desperate need of a more vocal and active Consumer Council to handle all the reported customer complaints when it comes to local ICT companies. Our economy needs efficiently run telecoms to ensure fluent communications for business operations in particular. We are also anxious to see new players in the telecoms sector to increase competition… ICT companies seem not quite grasp the idea of exception client service delivery #so-sad!!! #ZimShoppingMalls.com intends to work with local newspapers such as NewsDay and others to tackle this abuse of power by telecoms by simply reporting the news as it happens without covering the truth!

  3. i personally do not blame econet. actually the company is doing exactly what any company would do in the circumstance. you cant have one service provider in a country and not have a vibrant competitor, that wll definitely create a fertile ground for customer abuse just like what econet is doing. they have reached a stage where they now believe (right so for that matter) they are the big brother in mobile services in the country. whatever they want they know they will have it whether we like it or not.
    cant we have other big players in the field like MTN? i think such a move will neutralise this customer abuse/nonsense from econet.
    its high time another player, BIG player, comes in.

  4. A big player will only come when customers realize how much power they have… customers have more power than econet despite their position in the market. if 60% of econet’s clients left within one month, trust me they would revise their abusive policies and adopt a more customer service focused approach. Econet has very capable staff but somewhere along the line the value is lost in place of greed! Until such a time when customers realize their power, we need a regulatory body with real muscle to govern this abuse!!! #justourthoughts #ZimShoppingMalls.com

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