A Tale Of Free Internet & Slow Speeds – The Pain Of Being A ZOL Subscriber Today

ZOL, Liquid Telecom

Recently, we noted with concern how ZOL has carried out 3 network maintenances in 16 days. We were left to speculate at what the problem actually was but we have it on good authority that the problems with ZOL’s network are deeper than they seem.

Cracks are showing

In our previous article regarding ZOLs repeated network maintenance, we mentioned the fact that of late some ZOL customers have been experiencing speeds/connection quality much lower than they are accustomed to. In addition to the patchy speeds, subscribers also experience brief disconnections without warning.

What we failed to mention, and has now been confirmed by a number of people is the fact that certain subscribers are actually accessing the internet for free. Some subscribers are limited to sites like Netflix, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, whilst others have free reign on the internet and have access to all sites. One user benefitting from these actually claimed they can stream from movie sites even though they haven’t paid a dime.


What’s actually wrong?

The tip we got claims there were bogus accounts created in ZOLs billing system and when ZOL started doing maintenance to remove these accounts the problems we mentioned previously started popping up.

It’s claimed there were a number of these fake accounts and in “a certain town, close to 60 people had these bogus accounts.”

Whilst we can’t confirm the errors with the billing system, I can confirm that from April to November last year a number of customers were having challenges with their billing. Customers would pay but still get invoices from ZOL suggesting they haven’t paid or they had outstanding balances. This happened consecutively for a number of customers.

The claims that the billing system could be faulty are lent more credence by the fact that closer to the half-year mark of 2019, ZOL revised the way they bill customers, introducing data roll-over for capped customers and later anniversary billing for uncapped customers.

We got in touch with ZOL representatives to get some clarity regarding 3 issues; the allegedly faulty billing system, why some subscribers have access to the internet for free and why despite the constant maintenances the network hasn’t improved.

The ZOL representative we spoke to only said: “ZOL Zimbabwe is unable to comment on rumour or speculation but any allegations are taken seriously and investigated appropriately.”

High profile departures to blame?

A former ZOL staffer we contacted attributes the current lacklustre service delivery to the exodus of a significant number of workers who left the company in the last quarter of 2019 including the CEO Danny Marandure, the billing manager and an experienced system engineer among others.

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13 thoughts on “A Tale Of Free Internet & Slow Speeds – The Pain Of Being A ZOL Subscriber Today

  1. I have complained vigorously for years & special since the upgrade ???system broad band.. My account number shows I am an early client who used to annually pay hundreds of US$ but no-one said I didn’t need that. Now it is worse than before the upgrade !!!!

  2. This makes sense. I live in Victoria Falls I have an outdoor unit from ZOL. Since October last year, my speeds just dropped and I have made numerous phone calls to ZOL and they don’t seem to have a solution. I used to get Download speeds of up to 7MB/s but now I can’t even get 1MB/s.

  3. … “Lost” 30Gb of data from my package overnight when it was impossible to make use of the “facility” due to power cuts – ?

  4. I paid 83 dollars the following day they told me I used my iPhone to watch YouTube. I don’t have an iPhone, I don’t watch YouTube. Just like that, my data gone and they refused to replace it.
    In December (I did not pay) they will give me internet for a day, to do what ever. Now a days. Dololo, I get robbed.

  5. if you did your research right you would have found out that the so called ‘experienced systems engineer’ doesn’t even have a degree or an other tertiary education and guys like ZIE, IEEE and IET dont call those engineers

    1. Wyners I think I made that part clear that, that was suggested to us by a former employee and not necessarily fact.

      There are also a number of brilliant professionals who don’t have college degrees but have acquired skills. In 2020 I don’t think you can simply say someone isn’t brilliant because they don’t have a degree. It’s such a simplistic view in my opinion. But to each his own.

      1. I concur – having a “degree” doesn’t immediately make you experienced no matter what industry you are in, except perhaps actuarial science…. I know rather a reasonable number of experts in the IT space that barely passed high school let alone a degree.

        Experience comes from real world practical exposure not drab theory from a book and a sat/passed exam and certificate

        In IT we tend to look beyond the certificates and look at the real experience and also directly measure knowledge at the interview/hiring stage. The IT space moves so fast that certificates and degrees become out of date quickly so their usefulness diminishes very rapidly

        1. I tend to agree with Anthony on this – having a degree doesn’t inherently mean you’re an expert. I’ve met CCNP’s before, who have had issues configuring policy maps. I like to view certifications as a view into where they want to go with their career, but not inherently their level of skill.

          Nothing beats practical experience & raw passion.

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