Be very wary of mobile operator telesales renewal offers - this is how I nearly got ripped off
I'm not going to mention the respected company's name as I know they will make good and cancel the sale now, and it is very likely that this is not their standard operating procedure at all. I just want to highlight what you should be very wary of.
I do record all my phone calls for quality and training purposes so that not only the corporate has a record of what was said or insinuated. There is lesson one.
Basically, I have a 5GB mobile data contract expiring soon so I thought I was getting the call to talk about renewal options as the option of upgrade/downgrade was mentioned.
1. I was told I was currently paying an average of R339pm and this new offer was going to be R10 less. Sounds good, but when I double checked at home I am actually paying a fixed R259pm. How do you check this when driving, and is R329pm not a lot more actually than R259pm?
2. I asked for an e-mail copy of the offer to be sent to me but was told I could see it on the website, to which I replied the website is rather confusing and I can actually not see what is going on (I had been looking earlier in the day). They just ignored this request further.
3. I asked if the device being offered would get me 7 to 8 hours of battery life like my current device. The sales guy then said he was checking the specs and confirmed that it gets 7 to 8 hours and it is a "strong one". When it arrived I saw it had a puny 1,500 mAh battery and its specs say "up to 6 hours". 6 is less than 7 to 8 hours?
4. Knowing my contract still has a month or so to go I asked him what "happens in the interim, and I'm not going to pay double for a month or two". No, he says I'm just going to "pay pro-rata this month and my contract ends next month". Well, NOT true! Actually, my contract ends end of June, and I will be paying double for May and June.
So the moral of the story is be very very careful of these telephonic contracts where the corporation has the recordings and you cannot check the facts. Sitting in the shop they can call up the data for you to how you, or you can add some writing onto the paper you sign where they acknowledge something.
So although I'm not mentioning the company I am going to make the case to the Consumer Ombudsman that this is a good example of why telephonic contracts can ride roughshod over ill-informed consumers. Yes, it is good that we have an excellent Consumer Protection Act but it is not easy for a consumer to protect themselves where they have no record of what was said or offered.
So nothing lost my side and I sincerely hope this was just a rogue salesperson testing me.