By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito.
Remember the greatest tech battle of the yester year, 2013, when Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and Telecel Zimbabwe had a gloves off emanating from price wars subsequently leading to switch offs sucking in Potraz Too.
The battle had its own phases but it seemed they all finally agreed to fight each other with gloves back on, by drastically slashing their charges much to the joy of subscribers who saw promotional rates extend for ages.
Econet responded with a rather luke warm punch when they officially slashed their tariffs from 25cents per minute to 10cents, which surprisingly broke all hell lose forcing Potraz to ban this move as they said it fell beyond Econet`s Jurisdiction..
Econet cried foul and ended up calling it a promo and offered 10minutes for a $1, then 22m for $2 and 46 minutes for $5 much to the subscribers` joy.
So from then they left the war planes on auto cruise and Zimbabweans were slowly getting accustomed to these new pricing structures with Netone too unveiling the most affordable platform ever in Zimbabwe.
Both the Print media (Newspapers &magazines) and the electronic (internet &radio) media were awash with the full pages of the price slash and adverts on the move.
For Econet a dollar became so valuable for most people since it only used to last about 3 and a half minutes while even more value was realised by higher amounts.
Unfortunately, it looks like subscribers are about to kiss candy good bye as the good times are all slowly but varnishing.
Telecel started the changes by silently scrapping the value of the 50cents on 90minutes to 70cents for the same minutes.
Then recently Telecel pulled out even more, they cancelled the off peak era for these incredible offers forcing subscribers to only enjoy their promos during peak hours.
All these changes were not done publicly as they did their initial promos, subscribers were surprised to see a warning message alerting them of the move only after topping up, while converting to bundles.
Econet did it even in a more subtle way, they never announced or warned their subscriners, infact they chose an irrelevant error message to divert the focus on the real issue.
For a dollar top up Econet was sending a message that you qualify for more bundles, subscribers would continue trying till they call it quits.
The same strategy was also recently used on the $2 bundle subscription and subscribers can no longer convert either the $1 or the $2 amount for more voice bundles.
Telecel and Econet have been silently moving away from these “moments of madness” but it looks they have forgotten to publicly “tell some”, or atleast their own” buddies” about the move.