Friday, February 10, 2006

My contradictory impulses re Vodacom's 3G

Apart from the pain, misery and despair of dealing with Vodacom's bureaucracy, the worst thing for me about the 3G nightmare is the contradictory position I find myself in.

On the one hand, I LOVE the mobility of the card. I can use it pretty much anywhere there's cellphone reception (when 3G isn't present, it works on GPRS).

On the other hand, the technology is immature, and I'm spending R600 a month for a service that is essentially a beta test. I should not be paying for this. Their offering is fraught with faults, and their systems are not capable of dealing with users. Why were those two free smss not sent to me? Something must be wrong with the way their technology is working.

My impulse is to get a court to rescind this contract, because I really believe a case can be made against Vodacom for breach of contract. (Incidentally, when the 3G card was launched, all of the advertising claimed it was 'broadband'. For whatever reason, Vodacom removed that brag from all communications, and now simply calls it a 'fast' connection.)

But my other impulse is to keep the service because of the immense freedom it gives me.

In the end, my own needs will win out. I need the mobility. So I'll stick with it. At the same time, I'd really like Vodacom to wake up and fix this service.

(And I know I'm not alone. When I took my machine in to Vodaworld, the 3G guys there told me about a chap who had run up a bill of R40 000 without knowing it. He also didn't receive his warning smss, and he also had to run through hoops. I don't know what the outcome was of his case though.)

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