South African mobile operator, Vodacom, has been fined R1 million by the National Consumer Tribunal for its contract cancellation policy, following an investigation by the commission into 21 complaints against the company.
The complaints referred to Vodacom’s contract cancellation policy, and how customers were treated when they sought to cancel their contracts.
The complaints under investigation all relate to the 2021 and 2022 financial years. The tribunal found that in some instances, customers were charged for periods after they had requested the cancellation of their contract due to a delay in the timeous cancellation of the contracts upon request by customers.
Although the consumer commission sought a heftier fine of R20 million, and for Vodacom to refund the customers outlined in its application to the tribunal, the tribunal levied a R1 million penalty in accordance with the CPA, which does not allow for a fine greater than 10% of the respondent’s (Vodacom’s) turnover, or a maximum of R1 million.
The tribunal did not grant the order for refunds, but Vodacom says some customers were refunded anyway.