We recently had lunch at a local hotel where we treated ourselves to a buffet. For $30, we were spoiled for choice over any food, or beverage that we longed for. In some few minutes we all realised that our small tummies could not contain any more and we roughly calculated that we had consumed not more than $10 each.
Immediately after the realisation, I thought of Telecel Zimbabwe. When you realise that you are being served with too much of services which you will never use, then the whole process becomes superficial.
By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Hotels and Telecel too are fully aware of this strategy and for long times have used it to spoil their clients with a pricy service they are well sure one will never exhaust.
For Telecel, I would be polite to say since August 2013, they have been wasting out too much of talk time since they launched their much publicised super voice bundles which gave away 200minutes for just$1 or 90minutes for 50cents a day, valid for 24hrs.
Although they later on reduced the offer, it was still outrageous at $1 for 70minutes, and I believe this move plus the bonus across all networks was one major provocative campaign against Econet culminating to Econet vs Telecel battles.
By merely reading between the lines, Telecel were so sure that though there were some idle subscribers out there, prepared to talk their lives out there, it was not practical for more than 40% of subscribers to completely utilise all of the minutes daily in less than 24 hours.
Telecel were offering outrageous minutes from just a dollar but were very smart to only give this airtime a lifetime of only 24hrs, which made it impossible for millions to finish all of the minutes in a day especially for those who spend the better part of their life at work.
Telecel noticed that the superficial minutes were now being “abused” after working hours as most people were now sleeping over the airtime before it expires then quick enough, they abruptly removed the super voice bundles during off peak hours.
Most subscribers were complaining that they only use not more than 10 minutes of the super voice bundles literally losing the remainder 60 minutes as they would then automatically expire , to make matters worse, the happy moments were removed from the off peak hours.
Although on paper, Telecel was said to be offerings much value to their subscribers, the truth is most subscribers were not benefiting to the hyped minutes and had regarded them to be superficial, preferring to only get part of the promotional minutes or settling for the full dollar unconverted which then lasted for almost 4 minutes plus bonus across all networks.
Slowly but surely Telecel were seeing that their superficial voice bundles were practically not useful and fortunately they had a better plan in place. They initially started by silently reducing the total minutes before announcing last week that the super voice bundle would breath their last on the 10th of April.
Telecel introduced a much better option last week coined Telecel Go with two plans, the Telecel Go Juic’r and Telecel Go Flexi.
Refreshingly Telecel Go Juic’r calls are at a flat rate of 15 cents per minute across all networks no matter at what time of day the call is made while the Telecel Go Flexi the per minute charges are 19 cents during peak call time, 11 cents per minute during off peak hours and 9 cents during the night call period.
All calls still being charged under the per second billing system while Data and SMS charges are the same for both plans. These are 11 cents and 9 cents, respectively.
To move onto the Telecel Go platform, current prepaid subscribers would simply dial *737# and choose the package they would like to go for.Subscribers have the option of switching between plans. They are however only allowed to switch plans once a month for free. Thereafter they will be charged 20 cents every time they change plan.
Personally what excited me is the Telecel cross Net Voice bundles, these are likely to be much more popular as they add real value with convience offering a minimum of 10minutes for per every dollar and 57 minutes for $5 across all networks making them real convenient.
Even after introducing the go juic`r, Telecel have not banned the popular mega promotion, communications and branding director Mr Obert Mandimika said that we do not want to inconvenience those who are unwilling to adapt to the new billing system.
“Instead of forcing every subscriber to opt between the prepaid platforms, subscriber may still remain on the current platform and enjoy the mega bonus promotion platform where they still get double of their airtime as usual”
The promotion is meant to last for the next month but should this be extended, Telecel would have returned their position as the most affordable network calling across all networks, a position which Netone has been holding for a long time.