No doubt Netone’s OneFusion and Night Owl packages have swept its customers off their feet and gained their loyalty. As one of those customers, I was however irked to find out their modus operandi where SMSs are concerned.
Last week I received a message from Netone telling me that I owe them $0.11 (11 cents).
Naturally I thought that the 11 cents debt came from borrowing emergency airtime but after a few minutes of contemplation and verification I came to realize that I hadn’t borrowed Netone’s emergency airtime.
So today I called Netone’s customer care and told them my issue. And I was surprised to learn how I came to owe them 11 cents.
The customer care agent told me that the 11 cents I owed was as a result of sending text messages without money. Huh? What? She said that when you send a text message and it doesn’t get delivered whilst you still have airtime or SMS bundles then by the time it gets delivered and you don’t have airtime or SMS bundles then you will be charged (you will have a debt). In other words your message is charged when it gets delivered not when you send it.
So in my case, I had bought SMS bundles but among the many messages I had sent, some of them didn’t get delivered whilst I still had SMS bundles. So the messages eventually got delivered but by that time (when they were delivered) I no longer had SMS bundles or airtime. As a result, Netone debited my account with 11 cents. So If I had airtime, Netone would have subtracted it with 11 cents.
Isn’t it unfair?
I have no problem that they charge their messages on delivery. However, I felt robbed because I think they are double dipping. How so? I used an SMS bundle which I had already paid for to send the text message but they charge me again (by taking my airtime or debiting my account) if the SMS gets delivered when I have used up the SMS bundle. If it was an industry-wide practice I would have excused Netone but No this kind of billing is not industry-wide. See the screenshots of the replies from Econet and Telecel:
Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge
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