Vodacom Sucks!

Topiary Example

Recreational area at the “School of Signal Shaping”

Somewhere in the term “service provider,” there lies an often well  hidden promise that the provider will render a service.

South Africans are foolishly gulled into believing that if we pay Vodacom (the internet service provider) the outrageous fees they demand, they will in turn deliver a service as promised.

Guess again folks!

Vodacom is seemingly incapable of delivering a service.  Anywhere else in the world they wouldn’t be able to give their service away. Frankly, anywhere else, Vodacom would be laughed out of business.

To put it as kindly as possible, Vodacom, you’re a disgrace.

The  only task your customers expect of you is to provide internet connectivity and mobile telecommunications (virtually the same thing), while rendering  accounts of discernible intelligence no, forget  intelligence. Can you manage to legibly string together a bunch of coherent numbers that bear some slight resemblance to fact? Surely you can?

Not from South Africa? You could be forgiven for thinking that I’m a jaded old fart, quibbling about  petty details,  let me clarify.

Vodacom sells itself as, “The Nations Premier Internet Service Provider.”

This is the so-called service they provide! Or not. Depending on your point of view.

The radio controlled signal, basically a cell phone signal, which has the capacity on occasion to deliver upload and download speeds approaching nearly 1 kbps (1 meg per 1,000 seconds = 16.6 minutes).  I say “on occasion” because  you’re just as  likely to sit waiting  in vain  for the signal to connect at all, while the dashboard cheerily flashes its little transmission tower graphic, indicating to you that all is well, when the fact is, the  transmission speed is now  zero.

Whether we’re talking kbps or strawberry jelly tots, or any unit of measure, zero is equivalent to nada, zilch, bugger all, bupkiss, nothing!  Yet at other times the transmission graphic signals to me reassuringly that the connection  is hunky dory. After I’ve uncoupled the modem. How’s that for clever?

If you would really like to know what’s going on, start with reading up on signal shaping.

The dashboard itself is a mixture of  modern technology and sheer wizardry. I’d  have thought, that to develop a simulation that shows data bearing no resemblance to what the dashboard says  it’s going  to communicate,… is more difficult than simply showing  the actual information as it happens? Must take hours of hard work? Surely.

One of the more endearing features of the dashboard is it’s ability to deliver an SMS to your system when you’re about to run out of credit ( 4 meg warning). This is timeously delivered a split second after Vodacom has not only used up every ounce of credit,  but also any surplus airtime credits that you may have left. In short, when there’s no longer one thin penny remaining in your account, they let you know (ever so nicely), that you must promptly pop-off  and put more cash into their coffers. The fact that you’ve been left high and dry in the midst of critical and important business is beside the point!

The biggest mystery of all?  They can track the usage data  accurately enough to cut you off (midstream on the last nano-second when the last byte of airtime credit has been utterly exhausted), but are inexplicably unable to deliver the advance 4 meg warning that you selected on set-up.

This may sound like haggling over trivialities on my part, but then I’m not the one making an extra twenty bucks (out of bundle premium rates) from every user in the country  because oops, I guess our notification was a bit late, sorry.

So why not stop buying  extra credits you ask?

I’d love to! But Vodacom cleverly ensures that the cost of the data bundles is always more than any combination of pricing modules available for purchase, which means you ALWAYS have to buy more airtime than you actually need. Vodacom thinks we’re all stupid enough to have missed this brilliant bit of creative pricing.

Simply put; Vodacom, you Suck.

I’m tired of your excuses

Ohhh the weather.”

What? South Africa is the only place in the world that has weather?

“Ohhh the terrain.”

Try British Columbia. You can’t walk two feet without bumping into a mountain!

“Ohhh but we’re so technologically behind,  it’s so expensive and we don’t control the signal.”

You’ve scammed enough funds from your customers in the last 20 years to span the globe twice with fibre optic cable and still buy a fleet of Bentley’s for your executives. Or lobby the government. It’s your company. Why would  I give a flying fig how you solve your business problems?


You too, could enjoy All of these valuable benefits,  for the small sum of, wait for it….

only, R989.00 for 5 Gig

Yup. Not per month. A price per meg. With a data cap.

If you need to use 5 Gig in one week (YouTube, download some software, files, etc.), it’s going to cost you US$ 130.00 or £ 90.00 (the less volume you purchase, the greater the meg unit price. nice huh?) So much for free software trials or free Skype. Forget streaming video or internet radio.

This my friends… is cruising down the  information superhighway in a Donkey Cart for the price of a Lamborghini.

Somebody please help!

Verizon, Bell, anyone… please come here and mount a hostile takeover of these clowns. We’ll all support you.

MTN, Cell C, and the rest, you can stop snickering and looking smug, right now! You’re every bit as bad and often worse.

The lot of you are a disgrace to the  nation, an affront to good business practice, and an embarrassment to yourselves, your employees, and your shareholders.

Maybe we should start a rolling boycott of all 3 of you. What do you think?

Xross that Line.

Cheers Steven

Photo Credits: Bill Askenburg New England Birdhouse

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