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- Making any change to your cellphone contract can become tricky when it's done during a phone call with a telesales agent from your service provider

- Consumer ninja Wendy Knowler has advice on how to handle these marketing calls if you feel you must respond to them



Making any change to your cellphone contract can become tricky when it's done during a phone call.

Wendy Knowler says she gets a steady stream of complaints from people who are led to believe by a telesales agent that they're agreeing to a “migration” or change to their existing contract, which equates to a better deal.

Only later do they realise they in fact agreed to a second contract, or an upgrade of the existing contract rather than just a "tweaking".

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The consumer ninja relates the experience of one MTN client who wasted huge amounts of time and ended up not being to make calls after apparently being misled by an agent about an upgrade.

"He received a call from “an MTN agent” telling him that his payments would be reduced by R50 a month... and his data usage adjusted accordingly. But instead his monthly subscription jumped from R279 to R346.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

I have been paying them the reduced amount of R249pm - in accordance with what I was told on the phone - but they have disconnected my phone. I can't make any calls. I believe that this is in bad faith, as it has also affected my credit score.

Bernard, MTN client

The situation was resolved only when Knowler intervened.

If you MUST respond to these marketing calls, before the call ends, summarise what you were offered she advises.

Use lines like the following:

“SO this is NOT AN UPGRADE, but a migration of my existing contract to a cheaper deal..."

“SO you are giving me a better deal on my existing contract, not committing me to a second cellphone contract?”

In this way you can easily prove that you were misled if that turns out to be the case, says Knowler.

Ideally, you should also record the conversation yourself.

"So when the caller says 'Please be advised that this call is being recorded…' you can say: 'Great, please be advised that I am about to secure my own recording of this call. Just a second… right, go ahead.'”

Scroll up to listen to listen to the interview with Knowler

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Cellphone contracts: 'DON'T agree to any changes on a call with telesales agent'

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