Cell C Service Provider — cell c refuses to terminate agreement and still charging supscription fees after ctc has been cancelled in writing
This is a formal complaint against cell c service provider for an agreement we entered into in september 2007. The contract was for 24 months and in beginning of the year (January/february 2008) I requested a migration from casual chat 100 to business 1000 which was granted subject to provision that my account was up to date. I later found out that cell c does not support blackberry and because of my job I had to take up a contract with vodacom on business 1000 and asked cell c to down migrate my package back to casual chat 100. I was told that due to the fact that I had defaulted in the past 3 months their system could not change my package to casual chat 100. At the time I could not afford the subscription of both contract and this was explained to cell c. I spoke to their call centre in june/july and got through to their legal department where they advised me that in order for them to change the package back to casual chat 100 my account should be up to date for the preceding 3 months. At the time I thought my agreement was due to expire in september and made an agreement to pay at least r1000 a month as I could not afford the bill. By this time my service was neither suspended meaning I could not make calls nor get my free minutes back. I understand that according to the agreement I got into with cell c that I am obligated to pay a subscription fee even if my service has been suspended.
September 2008 was the end of the minimum agreement period and I sent a letter to cell c to terminate my contract with them having made an arrangement with someone from their legal department to pay a r1000 a month until I finish paying what's due to them. At the end of november when I checked my cell c statement I found that they are still taking a subscription fee on a contract that's expired and on top of it a contract that's been terminated by sending a written notification of my intention to cancel. I then called the cell c call centre and was told that cell c cannot terminate the agreement if the account is not paid in full. I asked to be transferred to their legal department trying to explain the fact that I could not afford to pay the full subscription fee and that I had requested a migration down to the package I had initially which was refused. My argument was that if I make an arrangement to pay a certain amount every month and send through written notification of my intent to terminate the agreement after the 24 month period had elapsed, why would they continue taking a subscriptions fee for a contract that has expired and still take charge me a rate for business 1000 after my service has been suspended for over 6 months.
I spoke to a guy by the name of elijah from the cell c legal department who spoke to me with an attitude and was not helpful at all. He pointed out to me that cell c cannot terminate the agreement even though I have sent the letter to terminate the agreement until the account is paid in full and I asked for a copy of the agreement or the terms and conditions and he referred me to their website. As far as I am concerned a company should have a copy of the agreement on their systems to refer to and no stage was I ever advised of that condition. As it stands my account is sitting at r12700, with a monthly subscription fee of over r1500 including october, november and december which was after I had terminated the contract with cell c. I feel i’m being robbed and see this as a breach of contract from cell c. I managed to get hold of their terms and conditions (Please see attached) under no circumstances is it mentioned here that if my account is not up to date then my agreement cannot be terminated.
Clause 3.1.1 of the t&c states that a contact may be terminated by the subscriber in the form of 30 days calendar notice given to cell c and clause 5.3.3 stipulates that an "administration fee" will be charged if payment is returned or unpaid and at no point does it mention that cell c will not terminate the agreement which I find disgusting anyway that they would continue invoicing a client who can not afford the contract and who has notified them of the issue and has made an agreement to settle the amount owing to them. It is stipulated on clause 6.1 that ownership of the cellphone will only revert to the subscriber once the amounts due are paid in full.
I do acknowledge the fact that I was liable for the subscription fee before the minimum agreement period came to an end in september however I cannot invoiced for a subscription fee on a contract I don not intend continuing with and after I have advised cell c of my intention to cancel the contract. I never received any amendments to the contract within the term of my contract with cell c and believe none have ever been done on the initial agreement.
This is really frustrating, I just don't think this is a good way to conduct business and feel cheated and defrauded. The company has no integrity and does not practice fairly. Even dealing with their call centre wich I have been in contact with a thousand times and have confirmed receipt of all communication i've sent to them but lack professionalism and rude and just inefficient.
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