Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cell C, I am fed up and now I am lodging an official complaint

One of the wonderful things about South Africa is the Advertising Standards Authority. This is a proactive organization with teeth and it is not afraid to use them. I love the ASA!

When a company is advertising something falsely, misleadingly, or if the advertisement is offensive, you can lodge a complaint with the organization and it will investigate. If it agrees with you (and they seem to be very pro-complainant) it will make the company remove or modify its advertising to be more acceptable.

I am going to complain to the ASA about Cell C and its false advertising about the "Whoosh" stick. The advertising is patently false...they fact that the stick may, on occasion, reach lightning speed does not give them the right to mislead potential buyers into thinking it is always that fast when, in fact, for a significant portion of time the stick is either miserably slow or completely off line (I had a four hour drop out earlier this week that wreaked havoc on my attempts to get a vacant flat rented!).

The ASA has its own standards for reporting. You can report a company on line via their complaint form or by email, but whichever you choose, they require certain information. The following is from their website:

All complaints lodged with the ASA must meet the following criteria:

* The complaint must be in writing.

* The identity of the complainant(s) must be disclosed.

* The contact details of the complainant(s) should be clearly stated.

* The complainant(s) identity or passport number must be provided.

* The grounds on which the complaint is based must be clearly stated.

* Where the complaint relates to advertising on broadcast media (e.g. television, radio or on cinema) information should be furnished on where and when the advertisement was screened / transmitted.

* Where signs, posters or any form of outdoor advertising is involved, the nature of the advertisement and the wording should be specified.

* When the complaint is about print advertising, the relevant advertisement should be attached.

* If possible, the contact name, address or telephone / fax number of the advertiser should be provided.

Complaints may be submitted as follows:

* By delivery, to the ASA at Willowview, Burnside Island Office Park, 410 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park, Johannesburg;

* By post to, PO Box 41555, Craighall, 2024;

* By telefacsimile, to +27 11 781 1616; or

* E-mail complaint to:

* Use the e-complaint form on this website

Their website is located at If you are as fed up with Cell C's misleading advertising and crap product, you now have a productive avenue of complaint. Use it!


  1. As a former SA citizen, now back in the US, what exactly is a Cell C Stick???

  2. It is wireless modem that is supposed to be lightning fast (they call it the "Whoosh!" stick) that is actually a useless piece of shit.

    It is NEVER fast, sometimes slower than the old dial up (so slow it can't connect to some websites at times or refresh them if it connected at a faster speed). It can't find its ass with both disconnects itself at it is staying connected to the network but has NO data flow. I've rebooted the stick five times in as many hours because it will work for a while immediately after it is rebooted.

    It is a piece of crap and they are advertising it like it was the greatest invention since the flush toilet. If it was a FREE device that I was Beta testing for them, I would tell them to scrap it, it is THAT bad!! Doesn't work, doesn't do what is advertised, unreliable, has drop outs that last hours (once for a whole day!). No thanks.

    It has to mean something to you when I say that Telkom ADSL is LIGHT YEARS better than this thing!

  3. Ok i entirely agree with the fact that it's useless! In fact i have two articles about my personal experiences in my blog....

    People don't get fooled by this product!

  4. To late, as international students we got fooled by this great company as well. I can't believe it, every day, every single day I get so angry that I throw this stick through the whole house...

    ... and that is the only time it is lighting fast!

    I changed already the stick, because the cell c shop told me that it is a matter of the modem.. bullshit.. it is the same.. it is just crap!


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