Afrihost must pay fine for ADSL network problems

You will recall that in October 2015 ISPA ruled in my favor against Afrihost. I was not 100% satisfied with the ruling as ISPA did not rule in my favor for the other complaints I raised. As part of the well-established ISPA process, I could file an appeal which would then go in front of a panel and will be ruled. My appeal was filed shortly after the ruling in October 2015 and it took until June 2016 for the final appeal ruling which I am very happy with:

The Internet Services Provider’s Association of South Africa (ISPA) imposed a R30,000 and another R50,000 suspended fine against Afrihost for the poor quality of service it provided to clients in 2014 and 2015. The fine was imposed after ISPA found that Afrihost contravened several of it’s code of conduct.



Afrihost handed R50,000 suspended fine

In its original ruling, ISPA said Afrihost had contravened a clause in its code of conduct – Clause 8 – and handed down a suspended fine of R50,000. Clause 8 states that ISPs may only offer service levels that are within their technical and practical abilities.

Since the fine was suspended, Afrihost would only have to pay the fine if was found in breach of the same clause in the following 24 months.

In the table below you will see a summary of the code of conduct clauses, the original ruling and the finding after my appeal as ruled by the appeals panel:


ISPA’s appeals panel said Afrihost didn’t intentionally mislead or deceive customers. However, Afrihost failed to meet the standards of Clause 7.

The panel is also of the view that the member has used exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity to advertise its Business Uncapped DSL service.

ISPA said Afrihost should have offered a reasonable refund to affected customers when it became clear it could not fix its services. ISPA therefore replaced the original sanctions with the following:

For the breach of Clause 7: R24,000
For the breach of Clause 9: R6,000

Afrihost must also remove all statements that imply its Business Uncapped DSL service has qualities it does not have. ISPA also instructed Afrihost to highlight the “best effort” clause in its ADSL Terms of Use. The original adjudicator’s suspended fine of R50,000 remains in effect for 24 months from October 2015.

The full appeal document and finding can be viewed here: coc-875-appeal-dismissed