Vodacom Ordered To Compensate ‘Please Call Me’ Operator within 30 Days

Vodacom ordered to compensate the ‘Please Call Me’ operator within 30 days. The creator of ‘Please Call Me,’ Nkosana Makate has expressed his happiness with the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal. He also described the long legal dispute with Vodacom as draining, citing the sacrifices have been significant all along.

Vodacom Compensate ‘Please Call Me’ Operator

Vodacom Compensate ‘Please Call Me’ Operator

Based on the information provided in legal filings, Vodacom has a financial commitment to compensate Makate with a share ranging from 5% to 7.5% of the overall voice income accrued through the “Please Call Me” feature. This compensation is to include interest as well as earnings from both prepaid and contract services spanning from March 2001 to March 2021, a period of 20 years.

The contention over the ‘Please Call Me’ offering between Makate and Vodacom commenced in 2008.

Makate Proposed the Concept of “Please Call Me” To Vodacom In 2000

In 2000, Makate proposed the concept of “Please Call Me” to Vodacom, a feature designed to enable users to send a complimentary message to other Vodacom subscribers asking them to call back, even with insufficient credit.

The mobile service provider embraced the idea, revealing that on the day of its launch, 40,000 users registered for the service. Initially offered at no cost, Vodacom later introduced a fee of 15 cents for each use of the service.

Vodacom Was Accused Of Reneging On Its Agreement

The situation deteriorated rapidly when Vodacom was accused of reneging on its agreement. Reports varied, with some suggesting that the telecommunications company had promised Makate a share of the profits from the service, while others stated that he was to receive “5% of the earnings generated from his invention.”

Makate Initiates Legal Action Against Vodacom

This dispute prompted Makate to initiate legal action against Vodacom, a battle that extended for more than 15 years. The court’s decision established that Makate should receive 27% of the revenue from return calls generated by daily “Please Call Me” messages.

Furthermore, the judgment required Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub to reassess “the annual effective rate.” This recalculated rate, combining the effective rates for both contract and prepaid services, is aimed at facilitating the calculation of Makate’s remuneration.

Additionally, it was stipulated that the rates determined in any case must not be inferior to those prescribed by South Africa’s Independent Communications Authority.

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