5 Frightening Terms And Conditions South Africans May Have Signed Unknowingly

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Certain terms and conditions (T&Cs), in a simplified explanation is saying; “buddy, this is the deal, we offer that we’re entitled to rip off your throat through your wallet as soon as you agree to patronize us.” Like me, I bet many if not all South Africans have hurriedly singed and agreed on many of such terms and conditions with little or no knowledge of what the T&Cs implied.

I sincerely do not fault this South Africans. How can I? For most times, these T&Cs are presented in a very lengthy write-ups. Reading through their first line is boring and depressing. Hence, its more easier to quickly scroll to the last line and agree. And even when you task yourself to read through the T&Cs, the diction and manner of expression used are often times difficult to comprehend even for those with reasonable education as they have to heavily scrutinize the material in order to make meaning out of them. The best option has always been to simply agree on the T&Cs and move on.

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Well, you’re hereby advised not to move on. Take your time to read through and understand the content of the next T&Cs you’ll encounter before you sign. Below are some scary T&Cs of South African companies you might have refused to sign if you knew what they were all about.

1. Sanral Does Not Take Responsibility For Faulty E-tags

South Africans have most times expressed dissatisfaction regarding the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) mode of operation. But then, many never knew they agreed to be responsible for faulty e-tags issued to them by Sanral when they accepted Sanral’s T&Cs. In Sanral’s T&Cs there’s a section titled “Limits to our responsibility arising from e-tags.” Therein, you’ll find the below clause:

“…we and our representatives are not responsible for any loss or damages you suffer because of lost, stolen or faulty e-tags.”

2. Many Agreed To Pay Telkom Even When They Suspend Their Service

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Yes! that’s exactly what the caption imply. You’re paying Telkom even when you have no service. In its terms and conditions, Telkom asked you to permit them suspend the Telkom internet service from time to time and with notice where possible. As identified, the reason for the said suspension include non-payment by the customer, technical failure, and if a customer does not comply with Telkom’s terms and conditions. Ideally, you wouldn’t agree to pay for a service you didn’t receive right? But then you agreed to pay Telkom as such. Below is one of their conditions you agreed on:

“Notwithstanding any suspension of service under this clause, the Customer shall remain liable for all charges due in respect of the Telkom Internet Service throughout the period of suspension.”



3. T&Cs You Accepted From Trackers

As one of the foremost vehicle tracking companies in the country, Tracker South Africa was established in 1996. The section of it’s terms and conditions titled “When the services might be interrupted or delayed”, Trackers said they’ll do their best to maintain the availability of service to you. They however, identified 5 circumstances that might interrupt or delay their services, and as such, postulated the below terms and conditions:

“If we interrupt or delay the service in any of the above circumstances, we do not have any legal responsibility to you. You accept that:

  1. We will not be able to locate the vehicle if it is stolen or hijacked
  2. You are not entitled to any refund of any fees
  3. You must continue to pay the fees”

Again, Trackers’ clients agreed to pay additional amounts if Trackers do not receive payment on time. As seen in a sub-section of the Trackers’ T&Cs titled “You must pay additional amounts”, their clients accepted to pay:

  1. “Legal costs on an attorney-and own client scale, related to the demand and recovery of the outstanding or overdue amounts;
  2. Other collection charges or commissions that we incur in recovering any outstanding or overdue amounts. This include bank charges if a debit order is returned unpaid or only partly paid and;
  3. Any cost associated with reinstating your account if the services were suspended.”

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4. OLX’s Terms And Conditions

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OLX’s T&Cs as presented in almost 9 thousand words, revealed that users can be fined thousands of rand if they do not abide by the company’s terms of use. OLX stated that “because damages are often difficult or impossible to quantify, if actual damages cannot be reasonably calculated then you will be liable to pay OLX the following as liquidated damages…” As such, many South Africans agreed to:

  1. Pay OLX ninety-nine dollars ($99) for each message posted in excess of OLX established limits or for each day on which you access OLX in excess of established limits.
  2.  Pay OLX one thousand one hundred dollars ($1,100) for each message that (1) impersonates any person or entity; (2) falsely states or otherwise misrepresents your affiliation with a person or entity; or (3) that includes personal or identifying information about another person without that person’s explicit consent.
  3. Also, If you are a Posting Agent that uses the Service in violation of these Terms… you agreed to pay OLX ninety-nine dollars ($99) for each and every item you post in violation of these Terms. A Posting Agent will also be deemed an agent of the party engaging the Posting Agent to access the Service, and such party (by engaging the Posting Agent in violation of these Terms) agrees to pay OLX an additional ninety-nine dollars ($99) for each item posted by the Posting Agent on behalf of such party in violation of these Terms.
  4. If you use OLX e-mail addresses or computer systems to send unsolicited e-mail advertisements to OLX e-mail addresses or any other party, you agreed to pay OLX thirty dollars ($30) for each such e-mail.
  5.  If you post messages in violation of these Terms, … you agreed to pay OLX ninety-nine dollars ($99) for each such message…
  6.  If you aggregate, copy, display, mirror, reproduce, or otherwise exploit for any purpose any Content (except for your own Content) in violation of these Terms without OLX’s express written permission, you agreed to pay OLX ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each day on which you engage in such conduct.

5. The Right You Gave Vodacom

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular phone line. While some VoIP services only work over your computer or a special VoIP phone, other services allow you to use a traditional phone connected to a VoIP adapter. As it poses a significant risk to mobile operators, higher rates are usually charged for VoIP. Vodacom reportedly filed a rate of R10 per megabyte. However, they presented the below terms:

“Vodacom reserves the right to charge a differentiated data usage rate for any voice over the Internet Protocol (VoIP) traffic on any of its data bearers as amended from time to time.”

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