So..., after loads of research, speaking to "those in the know" and thumb-sucking on my broadband issues, I decided to go with a 3G modem for my Mac!
I arrived at Vodaworld in Joburg, fully enthused, and extended my contract to include a 500 Mb 3G contract. At the end of a blissful first month of being online, I got my invoice! I had gone slightly over the 500Mb limit. How could I have downloaded more than 500Mb? Anyway, giving them (Vodacom) the benefit of the doubt, I returned to Vodaworld and extended my contract to a 2GB limit.
Finally satisfied that all was in order and that I could now comfortably use the "extra" for my business, you know, for when I expand and get another employee! Very chuffed with my foresight and business prowess, I returned to happily chat on MyDL and do the occasional "Facebook drink". After a second month of being blissfully online, throwing sand at Oso in the MyDL sandpit and getting my name successfully removed of of Koo's Christmas list for the umpteenth time, I received my second invoice! It arrived, via e-mail, with my two cell phone accounts in a very neat little pdf package. "Very convenient, now I don't have to worry about the post box", I thought to myself.
The next thing I remember was laying on the floor, trying to figure out why my computer was at that strange angle. Slowly, I recovered to a sitting position and realized the computer was fine, it was the invoice that had so violently flung me to the floor! "You fool", I thought to myself, "check it again". No! There it was again... A figure of 12,428.74, in nice neat Helvetica Bold 12pt... (JUST ON THE 3G ACCOUNT!!!) I quickly printed it out to make sure it was not a screen glitch or something of the sort. Nope, still there, but on paper this time. Panicking I turned the A4 folio upside down, then back again. No change, not even after violently shaking it!!
Grabbing the phone I called Vodacom to help me decipher this "code" they'd sent me. The lady was very helpful and "No sir, it is NOT printed out as bytes, ...and no sir, NOT bits either, ...and yes sir, it IS in SA Rands, ...and no sir, we do not cut it off once you've reached your limit, ...and yes sir, it's 19c per 1Mb to your limit and then R2 per 1Mb thereafter, ...and no sir, I cannot tell you how you managed to download over 8GB in one month, ... and no sir, we cannot send an itemized billing until you fax your request (in writing) with a copy of your ID book and a full set of finger prints, ...and yes sir, we'll do it within 48 hours... and thank you for calling sir".
With the well used brown paper bag, now crumpled up on my desk, I fax a very shakily handwritten fax, with full set of fingerprints, birth certificate, copy of ID book, TV license and dog license through to the number given to me. This was all done on the 5th of September.
Now, I'm not that big on "downloading"! I don't do porn, I don't download movies or even music for that matter, I don't send more than 5Mb files via e-mail, I don't forward ANY joke mail, I do however download upgrades for my software when it is available (one of the reasons for taking the 2GB contract in the first place). So, as I sit here in my own personal bewilderment, I wonder if I don't have an outgoing mail virus or something??? Or maybe it is an error on Vodacom's side??? Or... damn, I feel another aneurysm developing.
It is now the 24th of September and after following up twice now, I am wondering if the very helpful lady meant 48 days. I will keep you "posted" the day I find out, whenever that may be!
A very flummoxed Nalay.