If you look at the date and times of the following Vodafone SYS ALERT messages, you will notice a pattern in the times of day.
I will not top up my Vodafone prepay account for a few more days and see if these messages continue.

Date: 9/1/2008 2:36 PM
Message: Invalid Prepay account status. Please contact Customer Care

Then I get another SYS_ALERT with the same message
Date: 9/1/2008 4:28 PM

Date: 9/1/2008 4:56 PM

Another Date: 10/1/2008 2:36 PM

Another Date: 10/1/2008 4:28 PM

Another Date: 10/1/2008 4:56 PM

Another Date: 11/1/2008 2:36 PM

Another Date: 11/1/2008 4:28 PM

Another Date: 11/1/2008 5:03 PM

I received two more the following day and then topped up my account before the usual third message... and then the messages stopped.

Well after 3 months of not getting any SYS ALERT messages. (Probably because I was topping up my account within a day or so of my credit expiring) I must have been a bit slow topping up my account this last time because I started getting them again two or three days after my credit expired. One on the 25th April at 3:23pm and another one on the 26th April at 3:34pm. Well at least they are only sending one per day now. I wonder if the lovely people at Vodafone can disable this reminder they send me every time my credit has expired for more that a couple of days. Time to ask them I guess.

I recorded the phone calls so I could type excacty what I was told.
My first call to customer services goes something like this,

Me: Hi I am just enquiring about a SMS message I receive from Vodafone once my prepaid credit expires, that says SYS ALERT invalid account status, I was wondering how I would go about getting these messages stopped.

Vodafone rep: OK, err it’s a service that Vodafone use to offer... and it’s one they are slowly working out of the system, so in a… hopefully within sort of a few…….
Then the phone goes dead... I was cut off… Damn! Oh well

Thinking over what he had just said and thinking that they are working on it and the messages should soon stop, I nearly didn’t call back, but I was interested in how long they thought it would take, was he going to say a few days, a few weeks, months or years? I also thought that in this day and age they should be able to just turn it off, not slowly work it out of the system. So I call them back. This time I got someone different

Vodafone rep: Welcome to Vodafone this is M*****, how can I help you

Me: yeah hi mate, I am just enquiring about a text message I keep getting when my credit expires that say’s SYS ALERT, invalid prepay account etc, I was just wondering how I would get that stopped!

Vodafone rep: You mean the actual text messages?

Me: Yes

Vodafone rep: What’s the phone number?

Me: 0408701602

Vodafone rep: The inquiry pin number?

Me: *****

Vodafone rep: I'll just put you on hold while I get those stopped for you. (Well that’s what it sounded like he said.)

Vodafone rep: Ok I have put that through for you, but it will take about 48 hours to kick in, I don’t think you will run out of credit before then, when you do you won’t get the message.

Me: Oh ok, err is this something that Vodafone has just started doing is it?

Vodafone rep: oh yeah basically it’s just a reminder to let you know to recharge so you don’t loose your number.

Me: Ok... umm but don’t you get to keep your number for like a year after your credit expires even if you don’t recharge?

Vodafone rep: yeah exactly. Umm… the thing is on the caps once the 30 days runs out you can’t receive calls either.

Me: can’t ya?

Vodafone rep: Nah... So you have to recharge because it goes into like a grey status.

Me: Huh? When did this start happening? So are you telling me that when my credit expires I can't receive calls either? Because I'm certain that I have received calls and txt messages after my credit has expired before!

Unfortunately at this point my phone stopped recording the conversation, so the following is from memory.

Vodafone rep: Umm no... You can receive text messages and phone calls for 30 days after your credit expires, then after that you cant.

Me: oh ok, so you can receive calls and text messages after your credit expires but only for 30 days.

Vodafone rep: yes.

I went on to ask him if there was an easier way to get the SMS's to stop. Like replying stop, or does everybody have to call customer care. He said that there is no easier way and you have to call customer care.
I also said that when I first got the message I thought that something was wrong with my account and that I thought the words in the message were a bit strong, maybe misleading and maybe a bit alarming... He agreed and said he doesn't know why the message says that and had his messages stopped as well.

So there you have it... My personal opinion is that these reminders should not be so missleading and maybe they should start sending them two or three weeks after your credit has expired, not two or three days. Anyway, If you want to stop receiving these SYS ALERT messages you can ring customer care for free on 1555 and they can turn it off for you. of course you will have to recharge first.

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