Vodacom has apologised for the technical glitch that affected thousands of its customers on Monday night, resulting in the disappearance of airtime and data.
Vodacom spokesperson Byron Kennedy said the problem was caused by "a configuration change on their billing system."
We are aware that some customers are unable to use purchased bundles / getting depletion notifications. Apologies for the inconvenience.— Vodacom (@Vodacom) August 21, 2017
But it wasn't just data and airtime that was lost.
The glitch could cost education prospects for one Bongani Mthobeni. The matriculant posted on Facebook how the disappearing data affected his university application, which was due on Monday.
this broke my heart pic.twitter.com/0gFdJDgsfQ— Mpho (@d_arkay) August 21, 2017
The former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, also pointed out how the glitch is more than just airtime and data loss.
Actress and television personality, Boity Thulo pointed out the dangers the glitch could have caused.
The worst part is that someone could have been stranded/in danger and was not able to get a hold of anyone because of @Vodacom incompetency.— Boity Thulo (@Boity) August 22, 2017
"We couldn't have foreseen the ramifications of the glitch," Kennedy told HuffPost SA, adding that they were terribly sorry.
Kennedy could not say with certainty if the mobile operator would do anything to refund opportunities lost during the technical glitch.
Some Twitter users, however, have suggested that Vodacom gives people like Mthombeni, a bursary.
At the time of writing, Kennedy said they had reimbursed most of its customers and hoped to have fixed the issue by close of business day, latest.
We are currently in the process of completing all credit refunds and reinstating affected data bundles. Apologies for the inconvenience.— Vodacom (@Vodacom) August 22, 2017
He also said the mobile network's technicians will take a closer look to ensure that something like this never happens again. "Moving forward, we will have a long and hard look at processes already in place, to see where we can improve."