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The cost of cancelling

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If you, like many South Africans, are looking to cancel your cellphone contract before it expires, you may be left having to foot the bill for a hefty “cancellation fee”.

Last week, Tariffic released its latest “Tariffic Perfect Package Tracker” which focused on the topic of contract cancellation fees (also known as “termination fees”).  In response to a number of queries that the company received, Tariffic has published the calculations that it used to determine the cancellation fees in its analysis.

How much will I pay to cancel my contract?

The amount that you’ll pay to cancel your cellphone contract before it expires is based on numerous factors and varies from service provider to service provider.  These calculations can be found below.

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The above calculations were obtained by reverse engineering actual “cancellation quotes” received and contacting the service providers in the case of any discrepancies.

So, how do I actually go about cancelling my contract?

  • Vodacom
    • Dial 082 111 and follow the prompts for Contract Queries then Cancellations.
  • MTN
    • Email retentions@MTN.co.za and request a pre-cancellation quote.  They will contact you within 2 – 7 working days to take this forward.
  • Cell C
    • Dial 084 143 and select option 2 which goes to the cancellation department.
  • Telkom
    • Dial 081 180 and ask an operator for a cancellation quote.

For all service providers you will first receive a Cancellation Quote before any charges are implemented.  If you choose to go ahead with the cancellation, you will have to make the payment for the cancellation fee, via EFT, and send proof of payment to your service provider.

What else should I be aware of?

  • As part of this exercise, Tariffic obtained “cancellation quotes” for a number of actual contracts.  In most cases, these quotes were able to be reconciled to the calculations listed above but in one case, the quote received from Telkom was incorrect (as the calculation varied from Telkom’s official stance on the topic).  The lesson here is to be careful and double-check any cancellation quotes you may receive.
  • If you do an “early upgrade” with Vodacom, then you will be able to pay less for your phone as part of an early cancellation.  For example, if you upgraded 2 months before your previous contract expired, you will only have to pay a total of 22 months for your phone, and so if you cancel your contract at any stage, this figure will be pro-rated accordingly.

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AppDate: DStv taps Xbox, Hisense

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DStv Now for Xbox and Hisense

Usage of DStv Now, the online DStv service available free to DStv customers, is increasing rapidly with more than two million plays of live and Catch Up content per week. In addition to using DStv Now to watch TV on tablets and smartphones, an increasing number of DStv customers are also opting to use it as their primary method of getting DStv on additional TVs in the house. This is set to increase with the release of two new big-screen TV apps, one for Xbox gaming consoles (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X) and another for Hisense smart TVs (2018 and newer models).

Expect to pay: A free download.

Platform: Any of the Xbox One range of gaming consoles and 2018 or later Hisense smart TVs.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your Xbox console or HiSense smart TV.

Santam Safety Ideas

Start-up businesses that have a FinTech or InsurTech business venture brewing are called to enter the third annual Santam Safety Ideas competition. Safety solutions or InsurTech ventures that are ready for piloting could win up to  R150 000 worth of incubation support and R200 000 in seed funding. 

The Safety Ideas competition was launched two years ago in partnership with LaunchLab,  Stellenbosch University’s startup incubator that facilitates valuable connections for corporates and startups sourced from the startup ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa. The previous winners are Herman Bester and Anton Swanevelder, co-founders of MyLifeLine – a wearable panic device that won the competition last year; and Ntsako Mgiba and Ntandoyenkosi Shezi, co-founders of Jonga – a cost-effective security system for low income families, which won the competition in 2017.

Entries close on 28 February 2019. For more information on how to enter, visit: www.santam.co.za/safetyideas/

Click here to read about the FNB Snapchat lens, Spotify Free with data saver, and 00:37.

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Fortnite fixes hackers’ hole

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Epic Games has repaired a vulnerability that exposed Fortnite, the world’s most popular game of the moment, to hackers. The hole, which was left in Epic’s web infrastructure,  allowed hackers to target players with email that appeared to come from Epic Games, but would have led them to a phishing site, where their log-in details would have been stolen.

Researchers at cyber security solutions provider Check Point Software alerted Epic to vulnerabilities that could have affected any player of the hugely popular online battle game.

Fortnite has nearly 80 million players worldwide. The game is popular on all gaming platforms, including Android, iOS, PC via Microsoft Windows and consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4.  In addition to casual players, Fortnite is used by professional gamers who stream their sessions online, and is popular with e-sports enthusiasts.

If exploited, the vulnerability would have given an attacker full access to a user’s account and their personal information as well as enabling them to purchase virtual in-game currency using the victim’s payment card details. The vulnerability would also have allowed for a massive invasion of privacy, as an attacker could listen to in-game chatter as well as surrounding sounds and conversations within the victim’s home or other location of play. 

While Fortnite players had previously been targeted by scams that deceived them into logging into fake websites that promised to generate Fortnite’s ‘V-Buck’ in-game currency, these new vulnerabilities could have been exploited without the player handing over any login details.

Click here to read how the Fortnite hack would have worked.

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