ICASA Code of Conduct & Service Charter

Introduction

  • HiTec Sure (Pty) Ltd ("HiTec Sure") holds licences issued by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa ("ICASA"). Despite holding these licences, HiTec Sure currently only resells the electronic communications services provided by its upstream providers to its subscribers.
  • ICASA requires that all licence-holders comply with, inter alia, the:
    ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations 2007, which sets out minimum standards of conduct when providing services to subscribers or dealing with potential subscribers; and
    ICASA End-User and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations 2016, which sets out minimum quality of service standards applicable to services provided to subscribers and potential subscribers.
  • HiTec Sure has developed a Code of Conduct and Service Charter in line with these Regulations and will strive to follow this in its interactions with its Consumers, but records that as a reseller of third-party networks and services the below may be of limited application.

Definitions

  • "Business Day" means any day other than a Saturday or Sunday or a public holiday observed as such in the Republic of South Africa.
  • "Business Hours" means 08h00–16h00 on Business Days.
  • "Client" means a subscriber or potential subscriber of HiTec Sure.

Key Commitments

  • HiTec Sure makes the following key commitments and will endeavour to:
    Act in a fair, reasonable and responsible manner in all dealings with Clients;
  • Ensure that all its services and products meet the specifications as contained in HiTec Sure' licences and all the relevant laws and regulations;
  • Not unfairly discriminate against or between Clients based on race, gender, sex, age, religion, belief, disability, ethnic background or sexual orientation;
  • Display utmost courtesy and care when dealing with Clients;
  • Provide Clients with information regarding services and pricing;
  • Where requested to do so, to provide Clients with guidance about their service needs;
    Keep the personal information of Clients confidential unless HiTec Sure is:
  • In possession of written authorisation from the Client to do so;
  • Required to release such information for briefing HiTec Sure' auditors, professional advisors or an accredited debt collection agency; and/or
  • Otherwise authorised or required by any law or an order of Court.
  • Clients have the right to refer Complaints to ICASA as more fully set out in HiTec Sure' Complaints Procedures.
  • Consumer Rights
  • The ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations 2007 stipulate the following (non-exhaustive) list of consumer rights held by consumers:
  • A right to be provided with the required service without unfair discrimination;
  • A right to choose the service provider of the consumer's choice;
  • A right to receive information in the consumer's preferred language;
  • A right to access and question records held by the service provider which relate to the consumer's relationship with the service provider;
  • A right to the protection of the consumer's personal data, including the right not to have personal data sold to third parties without the consumer's permission;
  • A right to port a number in terms of applicable regulations;
  • A right to lodge a complaint; and
  • A right to redress.

 

Availability of Information

  • The following information can be obtained from HiTec Sure website hitecsure.com

Or by email request to info@hitecsure.com (with no charge payable) and is available for inspection at

  • HiTec Sure' offices during Business Hours:
  • HiTec Sure' range of services/products on offer;
  • Tariff rates applicable to each service offered;
  • Terms and conditions applicable to such services/products;
  • Payment terms;
  • Billing, billing processes and the Billing Disputes Procedure;
  • General Complaints Procedure; and
  • Relevant contact details.

Billing

  • HiTec Sure will provide the Client with an itemised bill or invoice on request or where this is specified as part of the services provided to the Client.
  • Billing terms are also set out on HiTec Sure' invoices.

Defective Items

  • Where a product is defective, HiTec Sure will investigate the issue and will replace it in accordance with the manufacturer's warranty for that product.

Application/Credit Vetting

  • Where applicable, HiTec Sure reserves the right to subject any application for services and/or products, including variations to existing services and/or products, to credit referencing and analysis by registered credit bureaux, and the Client explicitly consents to the use of all information supplied by the Client for this purpose and for compliance with the National Credit Act 34 of 2005, as amended.

Terms and Conditions of Service

  • HiTec Sure will provide the Client with a copy of the written contract and/or terms and conditions (or link thereto) upon finalisation of a service agreement or as soon as is reasonably possible thereafter. Where an agreement is entered telephonically, a copy of these documents will be provided to the Client within 7 Business Days.
  • These documents will contain clear provisions relating to the nature of the contract, the minimum duration of the contract, the manner and notice period for termination, any payments or rules which may be applicable for early termination, and any other rules which may govern the relationship between HiTec Sure and the Client.
  • Where HiTec Sure makes changes to the terms and conditions of its services, HiTec Sure will inform the Client of such changes within a fair and reasonable period.

 

 

Minimum Service Standards

  • HiTec Sure will, subject to events and conduct beyond its reasonable control:
  • 95% network service availability averaged over 6 months;
  • 95% service availability averaged over 6 months;
  • For Fixed Services, 90% success rate in meeting residential services installations within 30 days of request measured over 6 months, and 90% successful installations for business services within 30 days of request measured over 6 months;
  • For Fixed Wireless, 95% success rate for activations within 48 hours measured over 6 months, and for Mobile Services 99% activated within 48 hours measured over 6 months;
  • For Fixed, 90% of faults cleared within 5 days measured over 6 months, and for Mobile Services, 95% of faults cleared within 24 hours measured over 6 months;
  • Average call setup success ratio must be greater than 98% averaged over 6 months;
  • Average call setup time must be less than 20 seconds averaged over 6 months;
  • Average dropped call ratio must be less than 3% averaged over 6 months;
  • Average message transmission success ratio must be greater than 98% of attempted SMS' averaged over 6 months;
  • End-to-end delivery time for SMS' must be less than 60 seconds averaged over 6 months;
  • Average speech quality on the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) must be greater than 3 averaged over 3 months.
  • HiTec Sure will, subject to events and conduct beyond its reasonable control, adhere to the quality of service parameters insofar as these apply to HiTec Sure.
  • Clients acknowledge that HiTec Sure is directly dependent on network and other services provided by third parties in providing the services, and that HiTec Sure cannot be held liable in any manner whatsoever for any failure to meet any specified standards where this results from the acts and/or omissions of such third parties.

 

 

ICASA Complaints procedure

Definitions

  • "Billing Dispute" means an instance where a Client states in good faith that their bill contains incorrect charges, payments or adjustments. Billing Disputes are a specific form of Complaint dealt with only in terms of the Billing Disputes Procedure set out herein.
  • "Billing Dispute Notice" means a formal, written notice submitted to HiTec Sure by the Client in terms of this Procedure.
  • "Billing Disputes Procedure" mean the Billing Disputes Procedure set out herein for the initiation and resolution of Billing Disputes.
  • "Billing Enquiry" means the situation where the Client seeks information or clarification relating to an invoice issued by HiTec Sure including without limitation seeking clarification of charges or sources of usage. For the avoidance of doubt, a Billing Enquiry is not a Billing Dispute.
  • "Business Day" means any day other than a Saturday or Sunday or a public holiday observed as such in the Republic of South Africa.
  • "Complaint" means a formal, written expression of dissatisfaction or grievance made by a Client in terms of the General Complaints Procedure but does not include a request for information or a Billing Dispute. Complaints are dealt with only in terms of the General Complaints Procedure set out herein.
  • "Client" means an HiTec Sure subscriber or potential subscriber.

General Complaints Procedure

  • This Procedure applies to all Complaints other than Billing Disputes, which are dealt with in terms of the Billing Dispute Procedure set out below.
  • The Client is required to direct a formal Complaint to complaints@hitecsure.com

The Complaint is required to be accompanied by the following:

  • The Client's full and contact details;
  • The Client's relationship with HiTec Sure, together with any client reference numbers or details which may be applicable;
  • A statement of the reasons for the Complaint, with enough detail to allow HiTec Sure to assess these; and
  • Any relevant evidence or documentation the Client wishes to submit in support of the Complaint.
  • Following the ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations, HiTec Sure will:
  • Acknowledge receipt of the Complaint within three (3) Business Days of the Complaint and allocate a reference number; and
  • Determine an outcome for the Complaint and communicate this to the Client in writing within fourteen (14) Business Days of receipt of the Complaint.

Billing Disputes Procedure

General

  • Billing Enquiries should be directed to accounts@hitecsure.com and Complaints not related to Billing Disputes are dealt with under the General Complaints Procedure set out above.
  • The Client expressly acknowledges and agreed that:
  • Any charge recorded on an invoice which is not submitted in accordance with this Billing Disputes Procedure is payable in full to HiTec Sure by the due date of that invoice;
  • An amount that is not in dispute ("Undisputed Amount") cannot be withheld for any reason, including without limitation when that amount is on an invoice together with an amount that is in dispute ("Disputed Amount");
  • The Billing Disputes Procedure is only triggered when HiTec Sure receives a Billing Dispute, and it is only after this that the Client may withhold payments of the Disputed Amount only as set out in clause 20; and
  • Billing Enquiries, Complaints and requests for information are not considered to be Billing Disputes and do not trigger this Billing Disputes Procedure. Billing Enquiries should be directed to accounts@hitecsure.com, Complaints are dealt with under the General Complaints Procedure set out above, and requests for information can be sent to accounts@hitecsure.com.

*Please note that HiTec Sure will not entertain any Billing Dispute based on unauthorised use of the services or on unauthorised use of the services by a third party, as it is the Client's responsibility to safeguard access to the services received by the Client and to use such services in the manner set out in the terms and conditions applicable thereto.

Client Acknowledgements

  • The Client expressly agrees to allow HiTec Sure to attempt settlement of any Billing Dispute within fourteen (14) Business Days before raising a dispute with any third party, credit card company or bank.
  • HiTec Sure requires and Client expressly agrees that HiTec Sure will be the first option in Billing Disputes. Should HiTec Sure receive a chargeback or other reversed charge from a third party, credit card company or bank on behalf of the Client before HiTec Sure has been given a chance to resolve the Billing Dispute, then HiTec Sure has the right to collect on the rendered services and any fees associated with those charges.
  • Not all Billing Disputes may be settled to the Client's satisfaction. Once this Billing Disputes Procedure has been exhausted, a Client may use any third party, credit card company or bank to settle the dispute. However, HiTec Sure still retains the right to collect on any rendered services or fees that are due. Should HiTec Sure be unable to reverse any disputed amounts with a third party, credit card company or bank, HiTec Sure will submit the full delinquent amount for collection.

Withholding the Disputed Amount

  • The Client may only withhold payment of a Disputed Amount where HiTec Sure receives a valid Billing Dispute Notice relating to such Disputed Amount at least five (5) Business Days prior to the due date recorded on the relevant invoice.

Initiating Billing Disputes

  • A Billing Dispute Notice may be lodged in the manner set out herein until the passing of thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the relevant invoice.
  • The Client is required to direct a formal Billing Dispute Notice to complaints@hitecsure.com
  • The Billing Dispute Notice is required to be accompanied by the following:
  • The Client's full name and contact details;
  • The Client's relationship with HiTec Sure, together with any client reference numbers or details which may be applicable;
  • Invoice number and date;
  • The amount in dispute ("the Disputed Amount");
  • The amount not in dispute ("the Undisputed Amount");
  • A statement of the reasons for the Billing Dispute, with enough detail to allow HiTec Sure to assess these; and
  • Any relevant evidence or documentation the Client wishes to submit in support of the Billing Dispute.

Response to Billing Dispute Notice

  • In terms of the ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations, HiTec Sure will acknowledge receipt of the Billing Dispute Notice within three (3) Business Days and allocate a reference number.
  • HiTec Sure shall provide a formal response with its determination to the Billing Dispute Notice within fourteen (14) Business Days following receipt of the Billing Dispute Notice.
  • HiTec Sure may request additional information or documentation from the Client lodging the Billing Dispute Notice, which information or documentation is reasonably required to assist HiTec Sure in deciding in the matter. The Client shall provide such information or documentation as soon as possible, and the running of the fourteen (14) Business Day period will be suspended until the requested information or documentation has been received by HiTec Sure.
  • HiTec Sure will assess the Billing Dispute and send to the Client its response (and reasons for such determination), which shall take one of the following forms:
  • A confirmation that the Billing Dispute is valid, and a statement indicating such adjustments as may be necessary;

 

  • A rejection of the Billing Dispute Notice on the basis that:

 

  • The Billing Dispute Notice was not received by HiTec Sure within thirty (30) calendar days of the date of the relevant invoice, as required in clause 20;

 

  • The Billing Dispute Notice does not contain all the information required, as set out in clause 23, or was not submitted in the required manner, as set out in clause 22;

 

  • The Client has not made payment of any Undisputed Amounts and does not have the right to withhold payment of any Disputed Amounts in accordance with clause 20.

 

  • HiTec Sure has confirmation from the Client that the Billing Dispute which is the subject of the Billing Dispute Notice has been resolved;

 

  • The Client is disputing any charges based on unauthorised use of the services or on unauthorised use of the services by a third party; or

 

HiTec Sure reasonably believes that the Client does not have a bona fide dispute in relation to Billing Dispute submitted.

  • Any alternate resolution that HiTec Sure deems appropriate.

Response Implications

  • If stipulated in HiTec Sure' response in terms of clause 27 that the Client must make payment of the Disputed Amount or a portion thereof, the Client must pay the Disputed Amount, or such indicated portion within five (5) Business Days of the date of HiTec Sure' response.
  • If stipulated under HiTec Sure' response in terms of clause 27 that HiTec Sure must withdraw the Disputed Amount or refund a fee already paid, HiTec Sure must as soon as practicable:
  • Provide the Client with a statement reflecting the adjustment to their account. It is intended that this adjustment will be contained on the next invoice issued to the Client, but the parties acknowledge that this may be delayed due to timing issues with the response and HiTec Sure' standard billing terms; or
  • Credit any Disputed Amount already paid by the Client.

Continued Service Provision

  • HiTec Sure will not disconnect a service provided to the Client which is the subject of a Billing Dispute Notice, or take adverse collection procedures or impose late payment penalties or charges, while attempting to resolve a Billing Dispute lodged in terms of the Billing Disputes Procedure and until such time as HiTec Sure has reached a determination and communicated this to the Client, provided that Undisputed Amounts are paid timeously.
  • HiTec Sure reserves the right, however, to take such measures mentioned in clause 30 immediately:
  • Where a determination of the Billing Dispute has been made and communicated to the Client; or
  • Where the Client has indicated that they are unable to pay the invoice or bill or have filed or are the subject of any application to court for sequestration or liquidation, or otherwise seek to reach a formal arrangement with their creditors.

Subject only to the above, the rights and obligations of each party under the Billing Disputes Procedure continue pending resolution of a Billing Dispute invoked under this Billing Disputes Procedure. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes that HiTec Sure shall continue to have the right to terminate or suspend the service in accordance with HiTec Sure' rights under the agreement that the Client has with HiTec Sure.

Confidentiality

  • Neither party shall use any information obtained from the other party during any process invoked under the Billing Disputes Procedure for any purpose other than the resolution of the Billing Dispute.

Referral of Complaints to ICASA

  • If the Client is not happy about the outcome of a Complaint or a Billing Dispute, the Client has the right to escalate it to ICASA. If ICASA are not able to resolve the matter it may be referred to the ICASA Complaints and Compliance Committee for adjudication.
  • Please note that in terms of the ICASA Code of Conduct Regulations 2007, the Client must give HiTec Sure an opportunity to resolve the matter within the period specified in this Complaints Procedure before the Client may escalate the Complaint or Billing Dispute to ICASA.

 

ICASA can be contacted in the following ways: