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Vodacom’s customer care, prepaid recharge and airtime balance check numbers have just become a little bit harder to remember.
The telecoms network will be “changing its customer care contact numbers to comply with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Number Plan Regulations, 24 March 2016, Government Gazette Number 39861,” it notes in a press release.
“The numbering plan regulations and standardisation of certain short codes is applicable to all licensees that have an independent electronic service licence (I-ECS) and applies to both mobile and fixed networks and not only ‘cellular networks’.”
Vodacom users can still dial 111 to reach customer care until 24 March 2018
As a result, users will need to get familiar with three new USSD codes and numbers which Vodacom has used for as long as many can remember.
Its previous customer care number, 111, will be replaced by 135. The USSD will change from *111# to *135#.
Subsequently, the prepaid recharge and airtime balance numbers change too, from 100 and *100#, to 136 and *136# respectively.
And finally, for those who still use voicemail, the retrieval numbers change as well, from 121 to 132. To deposit a voicemail in another’s inbox, users will need to dial 134 in addition to the last nine digits of their phone number.
The new regulations have other knock on effects too, including a new 14-digit number ranges for businesses employing IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (machine-to-machine) devices.
“The dramatic increase in the amount of M2M devices being deployed in South Africa as well as the expected growth in the market has made it necessary to create a dedicated number range in order to free up numbers in the traditional voice and data number ranges,” the company writes in a notice.
The old numbers will only be terminated on 24 March 2018.