There’s a reason why people fear upgrades. Many Windows users will hold off on upgrading their operating systems until they are left with no other choice. Upgrades can and do go wrong, as NetOne attests to today.
It started well enough, NetOne announced on Thursday, 30 June, that there was a scheduled system upgrade starting at 11pm that day and ending at 9am on Friday the 1st of July.
Apparently some customers did not get this message. NetOne shared it on Twitter and we wrote about it too but that obviously wouldn’t be enough. NetOne also sent good old text messages to their customers but some swear they didn’t see any SMS.
Ipad Min 2
Airpods pro 4
3TB Desktop HDD
Flash drives and Sd cards
That’s a problem. Advance notice is given so that customers can plan accordingly, knowing that there will be a disruption of service. Those that never got the warning were understandably angry when their service was disrupted.
I don’t know how much we can trust all that say they didn’t get the advance notice SMS. However, if there’s even one person who didn’t get the SMS then that needs to improve next time around.
The other annoying detail for customers was that the upgrade was being done on a Thursday into Friday at 9am. Many customers wondered why the upgrade wasn’t being done on a Saturday going into Sunday.
Friday is a working day and NetOne casually decided to disrupt the early bird’s day with their chosen upgrade time. That decision came back to bite them where it hurts.
I think there’s a tiny possibility that something was broken and they had to schedule the upgrade on a Thursday. NetOne themselves and their competitors have had botched system upgrades before and so I find it hard to imagine they would freely choose to undertake one on a Thursday.
The botched upgrade
Anyway, the system upgrade went ahead as planned and NetOne announced that system upgrade was complete and that normal service had been restored on Twitter about an hour after the scheduled end time of 9am on Friday.
Except normal service had not been restored. Something went wrong and the system started making errors accounting for customers’ data and voice balances.
Some customers saw their data balances wiped out. If not wiped out, they are seeing obviously wrong balances.
I can’t imagine having 5GB of data and being told I can’t connect to the internet because my bundle has been depleted, so I understand why NetOne customers are angry. They have been letting NetOne know on social media how angry they are and NetOne is doing its best to assuage them.
Some guy says when he tries to make a call he is told he has an insufficient balance to do that and yet he just recharged a $1000 voucher. If he checks his balance, it’s right there in black and white, he has $1000 in his account but he somehow still can’t make a call. He’s not the only one experiencing this.
On the other hand, some people are seeing higher data balances than they should have. One guy recharged one amount and the system thinks he recharged way more than he did.
NetOne is on it
Earlier today NetOne acknowledged that something went wrong with the system upgrade.
Dear Valued Customer,
NetOne would like to apologise for the intermittent service being experienced, following the system upgrade. Our engineers are working to restore data balances to normalcy.
Thank you for your patience whilst we rectify these challenges.
Any inconveniences are sincerely regretted.NetOne on Twitter
We reached out to NetOne to find out when we can expect everything to be fixed. We’ll update this article when we found out.
Upgrades can and do go wrong but…
Dear NetOne customer note that however you purchase your NetOne airtime, whether it be a physical recharge voucher or from *405#, you might face the challenges we talked about.
This is conflicting because we all understand that even huge multinational companies botch system upgrades too. It really is difficult to upgrade a system that is in use by millions of people. One little bug can wreak havoc and finding that culprit could be difficult.
That said, as a customer, I can’t help but be angry when that happens. I get that NetOne sincerely regrets the inconveniences caused, there is no way they wanted this to happen. That doesn’t change the fact that the inconveniences were caused.
Some customers use NetOne data to conduct business and they lost Friday and Saturday. Some had to make other plans and will not be reimbursed for that.
I always bring this one up but imagine someone who had a Zoom interview, only to be told they had no data when they in fact did. Was that person supposed to rush to purchase an Econet/Telecel line and recharge it just so they didn’t miss the interview? What if they didn’t have the money to do that? They would miss out on a job because of these upgrade shenanigans.
So, in the end I’m saying that customers should understand that botched upgrades can happen but they have every right to be angry and to let NetOne know. NetOne should know that we depend on their services more than ever before and these mishaps are not acceptable.