Double billing whammy for some MTN contract subscribers

13 December 2019 - 15:44
Some MTN business customers were in for an unpleasant surprise. Stock photo.
Some MTN business customers were in for an unpleasant surprise. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/ Ion Chiosea

If you’re an MTN business client, you must be wondering what else could possibly go wrong with your billing at this point.

The network “experienced a billing error” last month which saw some of its business customers not getting their contracted discounts, so they were over-billed.

That glitch coincided with the network’s decision to change the dates of its monthly billing run, from the 26th of every month to the 5th, leading to inflated November bills to account for the extra nine days.

Why the change? To reduce 11 monthly bill runs to five, MTN says. “Again, this meant that some customers' debit orders for November included both October and November invoices.

“MTN has been diligent in proactively communicating the change in bill run to our customers and once we realised the impact of the technical glitch, we had also proactively communicated the matter to our customers,” the network said.

“In an effort to resolve this matter as quickly as possible we have begun to credit the impacted accounts — some customers whose debit orders have already been processed will see the credit reflected at the end of December 2019.”

MTN subscriber Jaco Erasmus’s November bill was double what he normally pays.

He says he was told by MTN he would get a credit for the overbilling, “but no one at MTN can tell me in layman’s terms what caused it,” he said.

After intervention by TimesLIVE, MTN quickly resolved the query, he said.

He received an e-mail saying: “The reason for the double debit is because with your invoice finalising on the 26th of each month, you were billed a month behind and the change to the 5th meant that you will now be debited the same month an invoice finalises.

“The November 30 debit order consisted of the October 26 and the November 5 2019 invoices.”

As a “gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience caused”, Erasmus was told that MTN would write off the R3,306 December 5 invoice.

“This means no debit order will go off end of this month and your next debit will be in January 2020.”

“I’m very grateful for that,” Erasmus said.

• MTN’s billing issues made news headlines in Ghana earlier this month.

Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) ordered MTN to submit a detailed report on its recent billing challenges by December 4.

The NCA said it had been inundated with complaints by consumers on the MTN network over what they believed to be wrongful billing.

GET IN TOUCH: You can contact Wendy Knowler for advice with your consumer issues via e-mail: or on Twitter: @wendyknowler