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.
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.
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.”
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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