Is there no end to the web of deception and deceit practised by Morvec, Opera Telecoms, Go Go Mobile and Oxygen8? Morvec are the guys with a domain and email address in the UK, and a box number in Hong Kong. Go Go Mobile have an 0800 number in South Africa but refuse to divulge their address. Trevor Louw, the "MD" of Opera Interactive is also the "Internal Account and Customer Services Manager" of Oxygen8 Communications with telephone number 011-218-5600. Between the three of them is an unhappy mix-up that has resulted in R70 being deducted from my phone account at MTN without my permission or prior knowledge.
On Wednesday Paul Barrat (Morvec) tried to get me to agree to a "full and final settlement" in exchange for a R100 refund. Today I complained to both Morvec and Trevor Louw that the promised refund had not been provided. They gave some feeble excuse about the refund only being sent on Monday. Clearly they are not taking this matter seriously, since it was promised on Thursday. When I pointed out all the ducking and diving going on, I got a heated and indignant reply from Trevor Louw:
With all due respect – we do not go around looking to pinch an odd R28 here and there – the matter of the fact is there are many south Africans out there who are not affected by this simply because they did not engage in any services. The mere fact that we know what model of handset you use proves that there was interaction between your handsets [sic] and the wap sites that Morvec run that is no co-incidence. We have no time changing dates and times – dates and times are recorded by machines that handle the interaction between your handset and the sites that are being visited. I would really like to think that you are a man of reasonable intellect, you have gone to many lengths to get this sorted – WASPA is the ultimate organization that can see us getting fined a lot of money if compliancy was at stake here, and in this light we take this very seriously especially as opera telecom. In the interim we have afforded you a refund; Morvec has a deadline that they were given by WASPA to respond to your complaint I believe they still are within that time period. In due course you will get your response and WASPA can make an informed decision looking at the evidence that is provided to them.Of course this rant is only partially true, so I have taken the trouble to point out some of the discrepancies:
Had your company had taken my initial complaint seriously and given me the refund I demanded when I called on Friday 10 June, I would not have complained to WASPA. But your company refused the refund, and fobbed me off with a telephone number that doesn’t work. So much for customer service.
Instead, your company continued to bill me, in spite of my email to be added to your Do Not Contact list, and an Unsubscribe request from WASPA. All of these were “processed” by yourselves *before* the deductions of 18, 19 and 21 June.
Your technical information has changed several times:
From Ant Brooks:
According to our system, Morvec removed you from their systems on 2011-06-16 and also indicated that they have blocked your number from any further billing. They also provided us with proof of your subscription, with the following log entry
MSISDN: 27789389XX7 [not my number]
HANDSET: Samsung SGH-J700
DATE: 2011/05/23 00:01
IP ADDRESS: 22.214.171.124
Do these logs seem to have any validity to you? If not then we'll escalate this matter, since that indicates that you may have been subscribed without your consent.
From Morvec to your customer services:
Please see below opt in information and answers below
From Morvec to me:
the below date and time must have got corrupted before they were sent, the actual date and time are as followsOne other point I only noticed while writing this blog post: The last date of 21 June is clearly wrong, because the MTN call centre was able to tell me about the deduction before my lunchtime meeting with the MTN executives, a full 8 hours before I allegedly subscribed.
From you to Doris at MTN:
See response from the SP – I have asked for some screen shots as well, is there any way that you could collate this data with what you may have on your side to see if all makes sense?
21/05/2011 at 22:01:01
18/06/2011 at 18:43:35
19/06/2011 at 14:09:24
19/06/2011 at 18:27:38
21/06/2011 at 21:20:42
This user has entered into 4 campaigns in the last 3 days by clicking on WAP Banners or Text Adverts. We currently use 31801 and have also recently tested on 42977 for a new agency with seperate advertising campaigns so that we have one agency per code which is easier for me to keep track of results from each agency.
So please don’t tell me that you aren’t changing your minds. And where are all the confirmation SMS messages you are required to send? And where all my replies? There aren’t any.
I can confirm that On 18 and 19 June I displayed ads for “The Mob Club” on Cricinfo, but those URLs are c.admob.com, not mobilewap.oit.co.za, and I received an email from The Mob Club assuring me their ad campaign had nothing to do with the short codes mentioned above. Their short codes are 31927 and 31848. The full URL I recorded on my phone is: http://c.admob.com/c1/4/EkwmvDjF8bEkKw-kMaMDS074DFCA384006D60447277526020d4fd670629663d74205e?uurid=1F70C50F7F91EA49EC0CDB2CB703C45&uut=t&e=%28NEE1RkMzNjBENTY2MCw0NjAwNzA2NSww
This is all clearly documented in my blog post
In the interim you have refunded only the first two deductions, and tried to get me to send a “full and final settlement” for the remaining deduction. Presumably that is to avoid another R100,000 fine like you got for WASPA complaint #6868.
In the meantime I have had a meeting with MTN to try and prevent companies like yours from stealing money from my phone. They are being most helpful.
The initial “subscription” date has changed 4 times
23/05/2011 00:01 on a Samsung phone
23/05/2011 00:01 on a Nokia phone
21/05/2011 15:01:06 on a Nokia phone
21/05/2011 at 22:01:01 on a Nokia Phone
Update 3pm: Amazing how a "refund" payment that could only happen "on Monday" is suddenly sped up when I pointed out they were lying and not treating the matter seriously. I guess they hope this will make me shut up and go away. After all, it has only been two weeks since they ignored my first complaint.
Monday 27th, 4pm: I left a message for Andre Kruger (CEO, Oxygen8 South Africa) at 011-218-5600 to call me. Funny, he hasn't called. The call could have saved him a lot of trouble.
Update Thursday 30th June: Steven Hunt, Director of EMEA, Morvec Limited, writing from his WorkPC at 126.96.36.199 (Bournemouth, UK) sent a long rambling response to my WASPA complaint. I'll have to pick my way through it and respond to WASPA. It contains many inaccuracies and misrepresentations, but I expected nothing less.