Vodafone - The Best Fraudulent Telecom in Ghana

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Vodafone.  On one hand they have the best internet receptivity and by far more-affordable browsing bundles compared to their main competitor, MTN.  But on the other hand they regularly steal the balance left on their SIMs.  This is something I became aware of awhile back and accordingly never try to leave any credit over 20p on my Vodafone chip, because if I do for any length of time one way or another it will start to disappear.  This happened to me yet again today, as I've so far lost 70p before turning the chip off altogether to avoid any further gypping.  Then when I turned it back on to complete this post, an additional 50p has mysteriously disappeared.  But I already know how Vodafone gets down, so this isn't surprising me.  Rather the reason I'm particularly cheesed this time around is because I feel I was tricked into putting a large sum of credit onto the SIM in the first place.

You see today I topped up a whopping 14GH for the specific purpose of buying an internet bundle advertised by Vodafone via their *700*1# USSD code.  Said bundle, if you were to go to the Daily option, is listed as being 4.66 gigabytes for 13GH, to be used over the length of 5 days:

And whereas it's not necessarily easy to consume nearly 5 gigabytes in just 5 days (unless you're doing some serious downloading), this is still a good deal, even for Vodafone.  In fact my gut was telling me that it's too good to be true.  And you know how that old saying goes, that you should always trust your gut?  Well when I actually tried to purchase that bundle, this is error message that I'm receiving, throughout the course of the entire day:

Indeed I doubt if said bundle actually exists at all, considering that it's not even listed on the My Vodafone app.  So if that's the case, then why are they even advertising it?

But so far no harm, no foul.  Yet where the real problem is manifest is once again now having a certain amount of credit on my chip but no desired bundle to purchase with it.  Yes, I can buy one that's less expensive than 14GH.  But that means that Vodafone is going to steal whatever balance is left over while I'm browsing.  If it were just 1GH remaining, as in if I were allowed to purchase the 13GH bundle, I wouldn't really mind.  I'm used to them gypping me for such small amounts anyway (considering that now they don't sell topup cards in denominations lower than 2GH).  But I'm not keen on buying a 10GH bundle just for them to freely pocket the remaining 4GH.  For instance this a message I received earlier in the day:

Now I have absolutely no idea what DIGI Instant Play actually is.  Nor do I have any intentions of browsing that link to find out.  What I do know is that somehow they've attained access to my account even though I never granted them such, which logically means they got it directly through Vodafone.  Also by the looks of things, they're now going to be deducting 30p from it daily.  Meanwhile there is no listed method to opt out of the service, which I guess is only fitting considering that I never subscribed to it in the first place.  And even if DIGI Instant Play, whatever it is, did deduct 30p from my account, that doesn't explain the other 1GH+ that I've so far lost that has seemingly disappeared into thin air.

CONCLUSION

As aforementioned I have lost approximately 1.40GH to Vodafone today, not knowing what exactly those funds have been used for since I didn't use it to make calls nor browse the internet.  But that being said, I'm not going to stop using their service.  Their reception is too good and internet too affordable for me to just cast Vodafone aside, especially considering that contrastingly MTN's internet is relatively-expensive and virtually unworkable during certain hours of the day.  And whereas one can only imagine how much money Vodafone is stealing from their customers altogether, I'm not going to sit here and realistically expect some type of government consumer rights' department, if such an agency even effectively exists, to actually penalize them for their actions.  Rather the most viable solution I can think of is to start using Vodafone Cash (VC).  That way I can deposit small amounts of money into the VC account as opposed to having any balance on the SIM itself.  And then whenever I need to make a phone call or buy a bundle using Voda, I'll just transfer however much I anticipate needing for that singular transaction from VC onto the SIM.  Yes, in the case of making phone calls there will inevitably be some pesewas left over, which Vodafone can and likely will steal.  But at least this will minimize how much is freely available for them to jack.

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