A member of the Techzim community reached out to us with a very strange and concerning problem. They had observed that their ZOL prepaid bundle was depleted after an electrical fault. Before the power outage, they had substantial data in their account and then there was nothing when power was restored.
The first thing that we thought was that someone had accessed their account remotely. Maybe there was someone else who had their credentials and could have accessed their account through “Fibroinks On The Go“. To this point, we were told that they live alone and no one else could have accessed their account.
Stranger still is that when they checked their usage history on the MyZOL app there were apps and services that they didn’t use. The user only has Apple devices and when they saw data usage from the Play Store they were alarmed.
What did ZOL customer support say about the depleted data?
They didn’t get much in the way of assistance from ZOL customer services. First, they were told that the customer services operator couldn’t see their usage history on their system and for whatever reason the conversation ended there.
It was unclear to the user if it was a network issue or if the operator ended the call. The user then called back and told another ZOL operator to compare the IP Addresses of the devices that usually use the network to the ones that accessed his account when there was an electrical fault. Sad to say they didn’t get a response to this request.
It gets worse…
The individual we spoke then put us in touch with someone else they know who experienced something similar. This case is a little worse because it happened to this individual twice. In the second case like in the first, there was no help from ZOL Customer Service.
Both individuals suspect that this is something that is happening in-house at ZOL. Because there is no one else who could have accessed their accounts besides the service provider. If it wasn’t someone within ZOL then:
“Who are these strangers with my personal information?? And why can’t ZOL account for them?”
ZOL’s response to our inquiry
As with anything of this nature we reached out to ZOL to explain how this could have happened. This is the response we got:
“Thank you for raising this matter with the ZOL team. ZOL Zimbabwe values customer feedback as it assists in improving our service delivery. ZOL Zimbabwe is also committed to being responsive to the needs and concerns of its customers or potential customers and to resolving customer complaints respectfully and timeously.
Without specific details relating to the matters raised, we cannot appropriately respond to your questions. Kindly furnish us with the contact details of the customers so that we can address their concerns.
Pertaining to the concerns regarding data depletion after an electricity fault/outage, an electricity fault/outage cannot cause data usage on a customer’s account as the applications that track bandwidth usage are not affected by electricity fault/outages.”ZOL
This response is a little weird because they could have easily asked if a complaint of this nature was logged. Whatever the problem may be might be something that ZOL management has been unaware of. Nonetheless, it is something they should dig into and find the route cause of.
After all, customers subscribe to ZOL expecting the best customer experience and service.
We are inclined to believe this happened
- The person who reached out is someone quite respected in our community and would have no cause to lie
- ZOL billing can go belly up and act crazy, we have seen it happen a few times. They once dished out free access to YouTube and other Google services for months!
So what happened next?…
We asked the person who reached out to us if they wanted us to share their details with ZOL as per the response we got. They agreed because what they wanted was to have the data they paid for back.
After a back and forth with ZOL, the ISP reimbursed them but said what caused the data to be depleted was a “technical issue”. As far as explanations go this doesn’t come close to what a customer needs to inspire confidence in ZOL’s services.
To make matters worse the “technical issue” is still there and this could happen again. The biggest issue of all is that this ZOL customer had to reach out to the media in order to get the problem solved. This is very worrying because you’d expect that a company like ZOL to give it’s customers the best possible customer services experience.