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NetOne botched their system upgrade, some users’ data disappearing, others getting free data


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.

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.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

51 thoughts on “NetOne botched their system upgrade, some users’ data disappearing, others getting free data

  1. No messages received about the upgrade,. Also my 16GB of data just disappeared, when will it be back?

    1. I bought 10Gig of One Fi in the evening around 8pm, then by 11pm, i received a message from NetOne that my One Fi data of 10Gig has been depleted. I’m really worried. How did that happen?

  2. When they say they are fixing it do they mean we will be reimbursed or what’s done is done and they are moving forward

  3. No message received and I woke up early morning to do my scheduled work. I work from home for an international company with different time zones. My 50gig data was wiped out after the botched upgrade and I lost valuable time and money.

  4. Well, the engineers sure did a good job. We can now buy the $6 500, 10 GB One-Fi bundle with $0.00. Doesn’t matter how many times you buy either.

  5. I didn’t see any text of notification about this system upgrade. I had almost 9gg data for my studies and lectures and was gone just after they’ve restored the service.. also texts are and alwys been delivered to wrong contracts sometimes doesn’t reach to the intended person ..

  6. having worked with Netone IT team for some years, i can confidently say that these guys have got no plan. hopefully someone will sue them for loss of service soon

  7. I recharged 10gb data for one wifi but when I request it’s saying no one wifi bundle may you please return back my data

  8. Never saw a notification from them. Now 25gig balance is t zero which i ‘ve been using less than 2 weeks?????

  9. On Saturday, I assumed my data was finished, so transfered money into my onewallet. SMS received with balance.
    I bought a Onefi bundle, but received no sms indicating the purchase, and my WiFi is not credited. The money has been deducted from my account as seen on a balance.

  10. These guys act like they have never heard of sandboxing.Thats what should be done before an upgrade goes live.It helps you check your upgrades for any bugs before you carry out an upgrade.

  11. Did not see any notification from them. Now 25gig balance is t zero which i ‘ve been using less than 2 weeks?????

  12. I have two Netone lines and I can attest that I did not get a sms of the the impending upgrade. Not everyone is on social media so I don’t know why they found it difficult send out texts to ALL customers from their own network. The upgrade was total inconvenience and disaster one has to say

  13. My number can’t make calls it’s saying ‘you are barred from making calls’
    I am receiving, using data, and massaging but can’t make calls.
    Netone is giving me sleepless nights.

  14. This is unacceptable to say the least I bought airtime for 1000 rtgs then I have not be able to juice it only receiving a message that say the pin entered is illegal I don’t understand this we need clear answers as to what will happen to our airtime that we lost and that we’re not able to juice I heard some guy who sells airtime” saying Netone has phase out the 100 rtgs and 500 rtgs categories and here I am I have bought 500rtgs by 2

  15. I bought a premium one-fusion bouquet yesterday but it isn’t reflecting on my phone I didn’t use it that much coz I was at home connected to Wi-Fi…. Today when I left the house I tried browsing the internet only to find that I don’t have any credits… What’s going on are gonna give back our bouquets or it’s a loss

  16. Net One started out as an offshoot of PTC, many years back. This would explain why things like this happen! The fixed line network was an absolute shambles for years, prior to the introduction of a digital network. On more than one occasion, my landline didn’t work for weeks at a time, and no amount of reporting, checking up etc, would speed fault repairs! Looks like things are headed that way again, which is not surprising, but indicates incompetence is still rife there! It’s doubtful that any of this will be resolved quickly, and customers will have lost all that data, which will cost more to replace! Typical of that organisation though.

  17. On Friday I purchased 800 airtime about 30 minutes later I had to make a call to someone who had to pick me up only to be told that I had no airtime . I have no choice than to be angry cause this delayed all my plans

  18. This inconvenience was beyond my expectations , first it was the network on a working day , then everyone lost their airtime 😡

  19. I bought a 25gb one-fusion bouquet 02 july but it isn’t reflecting on my phone I didn’t use it that much coz I was at home . Today when I left the house I tried browsing the internet only to find that I don’t have any credits… What’s going on are gonna give back our bouquets or it’s a loss I need feedback coz my business is down now cz of I don’t have data please restore my data

  20. Ndikutorwadziiwa ndakanonoka ku trya kutenga one fi yemahara😂😂😂

    Netone please upgrade your system again😂

  21. My data is working perfectly fine now although it took time for my data to come back, NetOne needs to be serious though

  22. Didn’t get the message. Airtime and bundles lost. Business paralysed.
    Restore good network speed and efficiency.
    Network overwhelmed though

  23. Never got my data back. Still can’t call. Basically my line is nolonger working. They’re not responding on their customer service number. 🚮

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