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Thursday, September 17th, 2015 | Author:

Privaatheid, Tyd, Geld

Ek hou nie van debietorders. Ek het nog nooit gehou van die idee dat 'n entiteit kan, hulle wil, byna enige bedrag van my geld (goed … wat ook al beskikbaar is). 'N Kollega het daarop gewys die probleem met MTN wat vermy sou gewees ek het al met behulp van 'n debietorder. Dalk is dit die “gerief” faktor is nie so 'n slegte ding.

Ek dink die voorlaaste vraag hier is of nie jy wil die gerief en kan vertrou instellings (in hierdie geval met jou geld) – of as jy nie kan vertrou nie en is bereid om af te sien dat die gerief. In my geval, selfs al het ek nog steeds die gerief bevraagteken, Ek die harde manier geleer met MTN dat dit kan dubbel ongerieflik wees om jou wêreld verbind verminder tot “afgeleë eiland” status. Byna almal vandag gaan met die gerief faktor.

Gerief

Aan die ander kant, nou 'n lang tyd gelede, I had a dispute with Planet Fitness waar gerief was 'n tweesnydende swaard. Ek gerapporteer hul besigheid praktyk om die verbruikers Klagtekommisie (sedert weer georganiseer as die Nasionale Verbruikerskommissie) and never got feedback from them. The gist of the issue is that Planet Fitness’s sales agent lied to me and a friend in order to get more commission/money out of my pocket.

Ek is 'n Discovery Vitality lid wat baie voordele gee, insluitend verlaagde tariewe op Premium handelsmerke – meestal gesondheid-verwante natuurlik, as Discovery is a Medical Aid/Health Insurance provider. Om dit eenvoudig te stel, Discovery is awesome. Vitality se voordele dek gym lidmaatskap wat verder Planet Fitness sluit. You still have to pay something, 'n klein teken van spesies, aan Discovery, vir die gym-lidmaatskap. Maar, na alles, Hulle wil my om gesond te wees, so they don’t mind footing the bulk of the bill. Maar, blykbaar, Dit beteken Planet Fitness’ verkope agente kry nie die kommissie!

So, wat beteken hierdie resultaat in? Die gevolg is dat PF se verkope agent het my 'n opgeblase figuur vir 'n “Vitality-gebaseerde” lidmaatskap. Hy gelieg. Hy het dan my teken op die stippellyn vir 'n opgeblase prys van 'n “gereelde” lidmaatskap (Ja, dit was eintlik meer as wat selfs 'n gereelde lidmaatskap sou gekos het), ending up about 4 en 5 keer soveel as die Vitality gebaseer lidmaatskap.

Epifanieë

Some time in 2011 Ek het uiteindelik wisened tot die koste wat ek veronderstel was om te betaal. Discovery ek seker sou nie so gelukkig oor hierdie fiasko. Ek het aan die kantoor van die Bestuurder by die gym, en ek is oortuig dat die hele kontrak sal geskrap word. Ek is nie een vir geweld … tensy sy vir sport … in 'n Octagon … maar na my 5de besoek aan die kantoor van die Bestuurder om te vra waarom die debietorders is nog steeds gebeur, Hy het vir my gesê hy was verbaas ek het nie wapens nie met my gebring vir die besoek. Na 'n paar besoeke, die Bestuurder het eintlik links Planet Fitness en aan my verduidelik dat die “kontrak” was between myself and Head Office and that the local gym, blykbaar 'n franchise-styl werking, het min tot geen seggenskap oor of dit kan gekanselleer word. As Hoofkantoor het gesê geen, taai geluk.

By this point I’d lost it. I had my bank put a stop om die debietorders. It was a huge schlep: I had to contact the bank every month because the debit order descriptions would change ever so slightly. It also cost me a little every couple of months to “herstel” the blocking diens. Ek kan nie help om te dink die bankstelsel ondersteun gereelde uitdrukkings maar die personeel nie noodwendig weet hoe om dit te gebruik.

Technically I’m still waiting on the CCC to get back to me (nooit gebeur – en natuurlik hulle weer georganiseer soos hierbo genoem sodat die saak waarskynlik val deur die krake). Natuurlik, deur daardie punt PF wou ook swartlys my nie betaal!

Die onverwagse held

'N lukraak melding van die kwessie aan Discovery (Ek dink ek het hulle oor 'n tandarts besoek) gelei tot 'n terugbel deur een van agente Discovery se. Hulle het toe vir my gevra om die probleem te beskryf, in detail en skriftelik, om beter te verduidelik uit my perspektief wat het regtig gebeur. Ek verplig. Dit blyk ek was reg oor hulle nie “te gelukkig” daaroor. In die feit dat hulle regtig het nie daarvan hou nie. About three weeks later, Planet Fitness terugbetaal my ten volle alle gelde wat ooit betaal het om hulle.

Discovery is awesome. 🙂

Deel
Vrydag, 24 September, 2010 | Author:

Die opgradering van die WordPress 3 was 'n lang agterstallige (as baie ontwerp-artikels). Verbasend, niks anders lyk sedert die opgradering voltooi is, maar ek wil ook nie verbaas wees as ek 'n belangrike plugin breek gemis.

Ek sal spandeer 'n dag die naweek uitsluitlik op polering van die site en afwerking van 'n paar artikels. Jy het iets om na uit te sien. 🙂

Deel
Thursday, June 03rd, 2010 | Author:

Why I’ve left MTN

So I’ve been shopping around in a non-serious fashion in the last few months trying to figure out how best to leave MTN and how get the best deal for me. I don’t like MTN since I became anirate“, as I might call such a customer in the ISP industry. MTN’s Customer-Service Call Centre had rarely been helpful or knowledgeable on their own systems. The final straw however was when their systems let me screw myself over and Customer Service was as helpful as a dead redshirt:

I had a billing issue where, admittedly, it started of my own fault. MTN has a feature where you can call in to find out the amount owing on your account. Only, as Murphy would have it, this amount was nie the amount owing on the account but the last amount that was billed.

So one month my account was about R900. I called the number, mis-heard R500, paid the amount I thought I should: R500. 15 days later MTN suspended my account. No wrong done, right? Wrong.

First off, I received no notification of any kind. An sms would make the most sense, especially since it would cost MTN almost no resources: “Your account xyz is in arrears by R400. Please contact blah blah blah”. They could phone me, they could email me, something, but nothing of the sort happened. Suspend without Prejudice. Thats the best way to get the customer’s attention!

Now, not only could I not make calls and sms’s, I could not receive calls or sms’s. Further, I could not even call MTN’s toll free phone number. I had to use someone else’s phone to get to the bottom of the problem. After two days of haggling I finally found a lady kind enough to re-enable the account. Ten days later my salary goes in, I call the same number and hear a number close toR900”. I think to myself maybe I should double-check juuuust in case I mis-heard. I call again, I hear the same number again. Right. Pay the R900. Fifteen days later, my phone is suspended AGAIN. WTH?

Remember what I mentioned earlier?: “this amount was nie the amount owing on the account but the last amount that was billed.” So, in spite of the fact that the voice prompt specifically saysPress 3 for Balance Due; [Presses 3] ; The Total Outstanding Balance is; Nine; hundred; en; #whatever ; Rands; en; #whatever; cents”, I actually owed them R900 plus the R400 that I’d paid short the previous month. No, I do not know if MTN has fixed this. I no longer care. Since I figured this out I started waiting for paper statements to see how much was actually due. Interestingly, their paper statements were also wrong. Only they had the opposite problem: “This invoice: R1300in spite of the fact that on the next page it says opening balanceR400”, closing balanceR1300”. Pah! Is it fixed? Again, I don’t care.

I let them know I wasn’t renewing the contract and I’ve now already ported my number away to Virgin Mobile. Because I want to keep my number and port it elsewhere, the store said I could not putunsatisfactory serviceas the reason for ending the contract but that it should simply sayporting”. Apparently by putting anything else there they might notnoticethat I want it ported. WTF.

What next? (without MTN)

In my research I’ve found that contractdealsare most popular. Typically, you can get a R8000 phone for R800 per month over 24 months with R500-odd worth of airtime per month. This amounts to you paying R19 200 over a 24-month period for a phone worth R8000 which will be obsolete within 12 maande. You will get some airtime every month so you might feel its not a complete loss. However you should also remember that it costs the cellular companies nothing when you make those phone calls. Wins.

There’s a better way

There are much cheaper contracts, contracts for between R50 and R200 which include cheapish phonesphones that work damned well as a phone but won’t let you play games on the train. Most of these contracts actually give you the same airtime value (sometimes more!) as what you are paying. So for R100 you might get R100 worth of airtime plus some free sms’s, and a cheapish phone. The best deals I’ve seen recently have all been for the Samsung STAR, an understated but good cell phone, available from a number of retailers for between R100 and R200 per month. In most cases the deals have included the full amount of airtime. Virgin Mobile has probably the best example here: The cost is R199 per month which includes R200 in airtime and 1000 sms’s (Ja, you read that rightone thousand!).

Virginal Service All the Way!

Another reason I’ve gone with Virgin Mobile is a little something no other service provider does: AmixedContract/Prepaid facility. I get R200 in airtime however, if I go over that, the extra just gets added to my invoice. With MTN this could go sky high without the option of a limit! With Virgin, because I asked, it has a limit of R300. Egter, I can still add prepaid airtime (with cellphone banking, nogal). No other service provider lets you do this!

Remember that R8000 cell phone I mentioned earlier? My plan is to get the Samsung STAR and spend less than R300 per month. I’ll have saved enough money to actually go and buy a more expensive phone (or laptop) with the cash I’ll have saved! Natuurlik, if you actually use that R800-worth of phone calls, I guess the best available deal is where you spend the R19200 anyway. Maybe at least with a more critical view on your choices you’ll save yourself a good amount of money in future. Good luck in your search for your best deal!

Deel
Maandag, April 20th, 2009 | Author:

I’m looking at the South African banking system (partly a result of watching the Zeitgeistdocumentary”) en, after finding my bank implicated most with regards to the SA-Banking Competition Commission wikileaks scandal, I’m putting serious consideration into switching banks.

What ethical banks are out there right now? I’ve even looked into Sharia (Islamic) banking because of their strict ethics laws but even there I’m looking at even more unknowns. I’m not Islamic and I have nothing against funding pork-related activities.

On that note, do you know if your bank has a code of ethics? If they’re public, where can we see these ethics codes?

Tell me about service levels I haven’t heard of before and which bank you believe deserves to handle my money.

Deel
Maandag, March 16th, 2009 | Author:

Im not gay. But if you’re single, ill marry you

Anon male client to Anon male consultant who went out of his way to help the client out.

If I were the one who helped this client and I got a response like this, I’d feel good about it.

Deel
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