Altech Autopage Cellular is hoping to resolve a billing problem, which resulted in it incorrectly debiting 5 000 of its customers’ bank accounts, by Friday.
The cellular service provider, a subsidiary of JSE-listed technology group Altech, says corruption of data on the system late last Wednesday resulted in incorrect billing figures being sent to the banks.
Autopage Cellular marketing director Justin Hume says that when the company identified the problem early on Thursday morning, it notified all the banks and was able to stop the debit order run for the vast majority of the 380 000 of its customers who settle using this method of payment.
However, several of the smaller banks had already processed the run, Hume says. This resulted in 5 000 accounts being incorrectly debited.
The affected clients were billed for their previous month’s usage, for which they had already settled. This meant some customers’ accounts had been debited for too much and others for too little.
A number of clients who were no longer Autopage Cellular customers were also debited. The company is still trying to reach some of these customers to inform them of the mistake.
However, Hume says the company expects everything will be sorted out by Friday.
He says the company has identified what caused the problem — it related to customer archives being housed in two separate systems — and it shouldn’t reoccur. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral