Stop tricking clients into purchases

Stock photo.
Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov

While companies have the right to market their products to clients, such should be done within the confines of fair trading practice.

Retailers and service providers must prioritise and uphold consumer rights, ensuring that no client is tricked into purchasing things they don't want. I have noted with dismay, Vodacom's conduct when it comes to selling its packages to customers.

This behaviour has seen many unsuspecting customers buying products they don't want, without realising it. When you buy data bundles from Vodacom using your cellphone, for example, there will be a tricky option posed for the client to click to further purchase other packages.

I think this is a deliberate act to mislead clients into acquiring other products they don't need, without being aware. Why is it that as you buy what you want, you are asked to click a single button to further purchase other products?

Many people, particularly those who can't read and understand English properly, end up being tricked by Vodacom's underhand tactics. The elderly, in particular, are the potential victims in this regard. Using unfair systems and tricks to make clients to purchase products they don't need is the height of unfair customer treatment.

I implore Icasa to look at this ill-treatment of clients by Vodacom as it can't increase profits using legally unsound tactics. An order must be made for it to stop asking clients to add to their purchases, as the English language it uses for those options is not everyone's home language, hence many people end up making mistakes.

Consumer rights organisations must also join the party and hold Vodacom accountable. May the network service provider allow customers to buy what they need at a given time, without asking them to add to their purchase as that normally leads clients astray.

Unconsciously buying products you don't need because you were made to believe a click of a button meant something else is pure client exploitation.

Malphia Honwane, eManyeleti, Mpumalanga


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