A couple things Afrihost should fix

Afrihost logo.pngI had the misfortune of being disconnected from Afrihost this morning because my scheduled payment didn’t go off my card for some reason I suspect has more to do with Standard Bank than Afrihost (yes, there is money in the account). I didn’t receive the email from Afrihost telling me about this on my MacBook because, well, I was offline. I did see the email on my N97 though (it connects to MTN for my email access).

My immediate challenge was connected to the Afrihost site control panel. I thought I would be able to make a payment directly on the site using my card like I do when I top up my account. The reason why this is a challenge is that when you run out of bandwidth or if your account is suspended, you can’t even access the Afrihost client zone to top up your account or seek assistance on the site itself. This is pretty dumb and while I criticised Axxess for its relatively high prices, I could always access my Axxess control panel to top up my account or post a support request. Not being able to access the Afrihost site when you are out of bandwidth makes it a little difficult to do anything about it. You can’t top up your account using the online top up method or even get to your Internet banking service to make a manual payment (like I just had to do).

Fortunately I also have an account with G-Connect and this is where its Connection Manager came in really handy. The Connection Manager doesn’t require you to edit your router settings to connect to G-Connect. If you are plugged into a DSL capable router that is synching with the necessary switches or servers (or whatever these routers sync with), it will establish a connection to G-Connect and you are back online. As clunky as the Connection Manager can be, it worked well for me this morning when I needed it.

Anyway, I then connected to the Afrihost client zone and couldn’t find an option to pay the outstanding invoice directly. I could view the invoice but there doesn’t seem to be a button that allows me to pay it. The invoice listing doesn’t even tell me that the invoice is outstanding, I need to look at my connectivity information page to see that my account is suspended. Very unhelpful. Instead I have to make an EFT to Afrihost (got to be online for that), send Afrihost the payment confirmation (sent via fax and email) and wait for its accounts department to process the payment and reactivate my account.

My concern now is that because I made the payment from Standard Bank to ABSA bank (Afrihost’s bank), I may have to wait 2 to 3 days before my account is reactivated because that is usually how long it takes for inter-bank payments to occur. It is possible that my account will be reactivated now on the basis of my payment confirmation to Afrihost but I’ll have to wait and see if that happens.

In the meantime I am going to try find out why my payment wasn’t processed in the first place. This isn’t the first time I have had an issue with my card not being processed and my Standard Bank relationship managers still haven’t come up with a solution.

Rant.

Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

  1. Hi Paul.

    Thanks for the post and your suggestions – sincerely appreciate all feedback that helps us improve.

    I have spoken to our developers as you are supposed to be able to get into your Client Zone after you are capped and out of bandwidth. They believe they know what caused the problem you encountered and this glitch should be ironed out within the next day or so.

    We are also working on a system that will enable you to pay for any outstanding invoice via the Client Zone by credit card – This is definitely a shortcoming of our Client Zone at the moment but the good news is it should be developed and integrated within the next 2 weeks or so.

    Thanks again.

    Gian
    CEO, Afrihost

  2. Hi Gian

    Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I think these two changes/fixes will make it a lot easier to keep connected and perhaps even reduce the load on your accounts people. The lady I spoke to yesterday who reconnected me had to wade through a lot of payment confirmations to find mine. Giving customers the ability to get to their control panel and pay their outstanding bills and have their accounts reconnected in the process must reduce the load your accounts people are carrying too.

  3. I just sent Afrihost a long ranting support email ([#FRB-506979]) regarding this exact same problem.

    The two main issues here are:
    1.) my account is suspended if an automatic payment fails, and
    2.) I can't access the client zone when I run out of cap, or if my account is suspended (aka no IP assignment).

  4. I just sent Afrihost a long ranting support email ([#FRB-506979]) regarding this exact same problem.

    The two main issues here are:
    1.) my account is suspended if an automatic payment fails, and
    2.) I can't access the client zone when I run out of cap, or if my account is suspended (aka no IP assignment).

  5. I just sent Afrihost a long ranting support email ([#FRB-506979]) regarding this exact same problem.

    The two main issues here are:
    1.) my account is suspended if an automatic payment fails, and
    2.) I can't access the client zone when I run out of cap, or if my account is suspended (aka no IP assignment).

  6. I just sent Afrihost a long ranting support email ([#FRB-506979]) regarding this exact same problem.

    The two main issues here are:
    1.) my account is suspended if an automatic payment fails, and
    2.) I can't access the client zone when I run out of cap, or if my account is suspended (aka no IP assignment).

What do you think?

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