SA’s Vodacom and blackberry-maker RIM in a row over billing

A debate has emerged over who is to blame for the high rates charged by Vodacom for data usage. Research carried out pointed out that a majority blame Vodacom for Blackberry’s over billing problems, Vodacom in return said it was not a billing issue, but simply the way BIS (BlackBerry internet Service) works in South Africa.

A number of Vodacom users using blackberry complained about being billed for data, out of normal Vodacom bundle rates.

Users say it was not the first time this was happening, according to a report drafted by My Broadband, an online group in South Africa that provides information on computing services such as internet, BIS users’ airtime disappeared because of data charges, despite not using the service.

Earlier this year, numerous blackberry consumers complained about the same issue through online platforms, saying that even with un-subscription, or when the BIS is on, they were still being billed.

Alexandra Zagury, managing director for Research in Motion (RIM), has however said she was not aware of the BlackBerry billing problem in South Africa.

She added that since Vodacom seemed to be the only operator with these problems, the users should have consulted them instead. Zagury promised that RIM would investigate the issue.

The BlackBerry-maker further responded saying that all mobile operators delivered service suggestions that best suited their customers and that the carriers have detailed terms and conditions on BlackBerry that can be looked up on their respective websites.

Vodacom on the other hand said that their BlackBerry Internet services give customers on-device internet browsing, email, and social networking for a fixed monthly fee and that in certain circumstances some applications may include data charges because they make use of billable internet connection and not the BIS connection.

BlackBerry is a line of smartphones devices designed to function as personal digital assistants, internet browsers, cameras and more, they are developed and designed by Research in Motion (RIM).

Vodacom, which is parented by UK’s Vodafone, is a South African head-quartered mobile telecommunications company was founded in 1994. It has more than 35million customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo.

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