Econet Unilaterally Deducting EcoCash Balances

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Econet Wireless have launched EcoSure Funeral Cover.

They are involuntarily signing up some of their EcoCash subscribers to this product.

The EcoSure payment is US$1.00 a month, and this is being unilaterally deducted from user accounts.

We received the following complaint via various mediums, from a very irate Econet customer.

This is in relation to the tweets i was sending you about Econet Wireless registering me to their funeral policy Ecosure.

It came about today when i got 3 messages from Econet/Ecosure, sadly my fone cant send screenshots so i will have to type them individually..

The 1st says – Ecosure: Ecosure Basic premium collection for MAR2015 has started. Please make sure your Ecocash wallet is funded with $1.00 between 02-Mar-15 and 15-Apr-15.
This msg is dated 02/03/15

The 2nd message says – Your sponsored premium payment for [SURNAME] [account number?] was successful.

The 3rd message says – Dear [Surname], Your Ecosure Basic premium payment of 1.00 was succcessfully sponsored by [mobile number]. ….

The last 2 msgs i got them today and that when i realised that they had deducted money from my Ecocash because i had money sent to me yesterday and was going to withdraw it today.

I then went to their 1st Street offices today to enquire what was happening and that is when i was told that apparently there are a number of subscribers who were ”registered” for the ecosure without their authorisation.

They asked me to leave my details saying that my 1.00 would be refunded by end of day or tomorrow.

I’m not at all happy this because now i cant withdraw the amount that i wanted to because of that 1.00 that they deducted.

And anyway is this not fraud because i clearly havent given the the authrisation to deduct any money from me.

It appears Econet are reluctant to respond to queries about this sent to their twitter account.

We are not sure about the legality of their actions, but the question does seem valid – how is this not theft, or some sort of fraud?

And if it is, do they even care?