To find the most concerning fact that is hidden somewhere in their fine print (I have not yet found it, but I have been told it’s there somewhere…) go to the last few paragraphs! (Look for the bold…) For the detail, read on:


Ok, I’ve had quite an infuriating weekend, well, luckily only as far as the internet goes. Basically, I’ve been wanting to go try an uncapped option over 3g and I’ve been pointed to MTN… but this has just gone from bad to worse. I’ll go through the details now:

All seemed to be going fine when I activated a R50 1 day uncapped bundle (the detail from their site is as follows:

“Best suited for always on, internet users, MTN 1 Day will give you uncapped internet access for a day.”)mtn1

This went fine and as expected (after reading the fine print), after the 150MB had been used the speed dropped to 256kbps (that’s 0.25 megabits per second or 0.03125 megabytes per second) and subsequently I was not seurprised to find the total over a 2 hours period of downloading to be 2.5Gb (though by calculation, the 256kbps + 150MB should have at least reached 2.8gigs, but we can’t expect a perfect connection here in SA can we…)

It is here that the problems started. I then purchased a new MTN bundle (the R50 one again) and went through the process of activating it via USSD interface (as used before), after the final submit for activation (I won’t get into how irritating it is to have to confirm every single action on USSD…) I took the modem out and placed it into my router.

I had bee out for the rest of the day btu upon arriving back home I see that nothing is connecting… So finally I plugged the modem back into the computer only to find that the bundle had not actually been activated. This means that due to some fault on MTN side (accepted through one of the many attempts to get support on this) my airtime had been drained (over R300).

I has bounced between many places when trying to get support, but finally found a relative voice of reason with a lien manager at head office around midnight on Sunday (I had basically been on the phoone since 8pm trying to sort this out so the poor guy had to deal with someone not in any way that could be described as happy.)

He accepted that they would refund R50 for the bundle but it is my problem that R300 extra rand had been lost due to the malfunction on MTN side as I had “received the service” (a service that was not chosen by me but automatically used by the MTN systems due to their fault and so at a rate of R2 per MB as opposed to NO extra airtime use while the bundle is active.)

After much heated argument I accepted that there is nothing else he could do for me and that I would just have to deal with having lost over R200 due to an MTN fault.

This brings us to the crux of the matter though, the most alarming that I find (even though it was a far lower loss financially):

I re-activated the bundle that was refunded (leaving R51 of airtime on my sim) and made certain that I disconnected the modem 20 minutes (at least) before the passage of 24 hours. I have just found that somehow I only have R44 airtime left!?!

Again calls to 173 (prepaid service) and I finally was told that due to the fact that I used the internet from more than 1 device, MTN charged me for the extra data stream! This is something that would probably go unnoticed on  contract and so please do make sure you are not having this ‘small’ R6 siphoned from your account if you use the R50 bundle.

I checked my downloads and have confirmed that I did not receive more than 2.7 GB during the 24 hours and that means that although I was NOT allocated any more bandwidth, I paid extra for the same connection. As I tried to explain to the latest line manager (back to an techno-ignoramus I was sad to accept) if I had been given extra bandwidth for the extra connection  it would make sense (though I would still be upset) that a fee could be charged.

I was assured that this is in the legal somewhere on MTN but as said, I cannot link you to it yet, I am still to find it. This is hardly making the consumer aware of these extra costs and so I’m sure there is something for the CPA here.

Long story short, I am really feeling defrauded by MTN after this weekend, though I am apparently supposed to accept it because it is policy!