Saturday, September 19, 2020

Irate customer sues Orange Botswana

A disgruntled customer, Christopher Tiwayi, has taken cellular phone network company Orange Botswana to court alleging breach of contract. 

The Francistown resident is suing the company for P500 000 in compensation for damages he claims he has suffered. The case is before Francistown High Court Judge Bashi Moesi.

Tiwayi claims that on or about the month of January 2014 he lawfully acquired a sim card with its number from the company. The plaintiff proceeded thereabout to Orange Botswana shop in Francistown at Nzano Mall on a date not recalled to register the card as per the law and Orange Botswana policy. The sim card number was accordingly registered in the plaintiff’s names and he continued to use it without either limitation or hindrance from the defendant or any other person. 

He used the sim card to make and receive private calls, sending and receiving private text messages, registration of the Orange Money service and its use. The simcard was also used for internet banking and used the same card as bank contact, insurance policies and accessing internet for private use.

The plaintiff says he has been a loyal customer to Orange Botswana for years. However, for reasons not known to him, the defendant (Orange Botswana) decided without giving the plaintiff notice to immediately deny him access to use the sim card.

He feels that Orange Botswana was supposed to have given him notice before termination as per their contract. He then made numerous visits to Orange Botswana branch in Francistown to make an enquiry.

Tiwayi claims he was ultimately shocked when he was told by the defendant’s employees that his sim card was given to another person but they failed to justify why it was taken from him without him having authorized the transfer. The plaintiff made several calls at Orange Botswana call centre and the call centre agents confirmed that indeed his number was allocated to another person.

In terms of their agreement, the plaintiff feels that Orange Botswana could only have terminated their contract if the network company had good reasons to believe that he is in breach of the terms and conditions of their agreement or contract. 

He maintains that the termination was unlawful. The plaintiff also feels that Orange Botswana could only have terminated his contract if the information he gave during the registration of his sim card was false or misleading. He also maintains that the company could have reached that decision if he refused to furnish it with information required for its administrative purposes as required by both the company and law. The plaintiff feels that the decision was uncalled for as there was no crime he committed against the defendant to warrant such termination.

The plaintiff further maintains in his court papers that Orange Botswana has a sacrosanct duty to keep its customers information confidential adding that in this case, the company failed to uphold that duty when it terminated the contract without adhering to the laid down terms and conditions that are in the agreement.

He claims the network company immediately and without authorization transferred his number to a third party, a certain Tumelo Bontsibokae to allow him to receive the plaintiff’s private communications or information. He is of the view that, this is a blatant violation of his constitutional right, in particular a right to privacy which is unlawful

He prays for judgement in the following terms; payments in the sum of P100 000 for breach of contract, P100 000 for breach of confidentiality or privacy, P100 000 as payment for deprivation of property (constitutional right), P100 000 as payment for inconvenience occasioned by the breach and P100 000 being payment for loss of material information including contacts and any other information acquired over the years bringing the total to P500 000.

He also seeks Orange Botswana pay 10 percent interest per annum from the date of issue of summons to date of final payment. The company should also pay the costs of suit.

The defendant is represented by Williams Attorneys and has since served an appearance to defend and is yet to serve a plea and affidavit. The plaintiff represents himself.

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