Multiple DStv subscribers have reported issues with their monthly bills, contacting MyBroadband and taking to social media to voice their frustration.
A DStv subscriber who contacted MyBroadband stated that his debit order for his monthly subscription is meant to be R939.
Last month, however, he was billed R2,607. He said he contacted MultiChoice about the incorrect deduction, who promised to address the issue and refund him.
However, his latest bill was R1,748 for the month – which was again too high.
The reader then mailed MyBroadband to share his story, and stated that he has not received a resolution from MultiChoice.
Many users have also complained online about the DStv billing issues, and expressed anger at the matter not being resolved.
Hellopeter, Twitter, and Facebook host scores of complaints – examples of which are below.
Although my package type hasn’t changed for 20 years, suddenly my amount due is four times the normal debit order amount.
I called the call centre and an agent advised it would be resolved, and guess what it has not. Now when I speak with a supervisor suddenly I have multiple accounts and it will be escalated again.
Another complaint stated:
I’ve been with them since December 2018, and have had almost monthly problems with my bill. But December 2019 was the worst. On 24/10/2019, my account balance was R389 and then on 25/11/2019 it had jumped to R1,800.
I’m not getting any proper explanation as to how they got to that amount in that space of time.
MultiChoice fixing issue
MultiChoice told MyBroadband it recently consolidated all services on a customer’s account for easier billing.
“Customers now also have the flexibility of being able to add services or upgrade their package during the month, and only pay for those changes on their next payment date,” it said.
“We are continuously working on sorting out any customer issues, including billing. We apologise to all customers inconvenienced and vow to speedily resolve any problems they are experiencing.”
“It must be noted that most of the billing problems have been resolved successfully,” said MultiChoice.
By Carin Smith for Fin24
Debit order disputes have increased significantly over the last three years, according to the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA).
Yet, it said recent investigations have shown that in the majority of cases, proof that debit orders were indeed authorised by consumers could be provided.
According to PASA, the increase in debit order disputes could mean that companies have bad practices in obtaining such debit order mandates, or that consumers are asking their banks to reverse actual valid debit orders.
Consumers could be doing this, because the reversal of such legitimate debit orders creates temporary cash flow relief for them. PASA emphasises however, that this kind of behaviour by consumers is not acceptable and has become a huge concern for the financial services industry.
As part of a project to reduce debit order disputes, banks are investigating ways to enhance their current dispute and prosecution processes.
Over the last few years PASA has been working with banks to address debit order abuse. Initiatives include – statistically identifying potential problematic companies, refining the minimum criteria for mandates, and managing a debit order abuse list which can result in “rogue companies” being excluded from the system.
Initiatives also include a process to investigate and issue fines or initiating forensic investigations and prosecution when companies do not have mandates or have mandates that do not conform to minimum requirements.
One of the most pertinent, but longer-term solutions to curb debit order abuse remains the Authenticated Collections project that was started in 2013.
Now close to implementation, the project will deliver a new type of debit order, called DebiCheck. Currently there are 11 banks participating in DebiCheck. Through this new debit order system, a debit order will only be processed to a consumer’s account if the mandate for such a debit order has been electronically confirmed by the consumer.
This means that consumers will be aware of which DebiCheck debit orders will be processed to their accounts – and these debit orders will not be processed by the bank if they are outside the agreed conditions the consumer initially confirmed.
As a result, PASA foresees that the number of invalid debit orders being processed as well as the number of consumer disputes where valid mandates are in place will rapidly decline.
Improving safety and efficiency
Additionally, an interbank committee has been established and mandated to improve the safety and efficiency of debit orders. This is through including new ways to better identify existing users abusing the system, enhanced measures and support to ensure offenders are adequately investigated and prosecuted, and processes that will assist in curtailing improper consumer behaviour.
PASA says consumers continue to have the right to dispute or instruct their bank to reverse debit orders they have not agreed to, or which are processed outside the mandate they have given.
They should continue to be watchful when entering into contracts – verbally, in writing or electronically. PASA also encourages consumers to check their bank statements on a regular basis. Also, not to provide or confirm account information if they are not certain what exactly it will be used for.
The industry is currently involved in the prosecution of certain rogue collectors. PASA believes the new measures it is working on will significantly assist the authorities and improve the success of prosecution.