I QUESTION the motive behind Econetâ€™s recent adverts in the press in which the â€œ Inspiredâ€ network is doing everything possible to justify its exorbitant tariffs as the cheapest in the region!
Donâ€™t they say self-praising has no recommendation? Let us the consumers be the judges.
I was annoyed to find that the Vodacom and MTN charges they are comparing with are not local South African tariffs.
Instead, they are roaming charges which we all know are expensive by any definition. Whenever one compares product prices the norm is to take those in the same category, like say Colgate and Close Up.
You donâ€™t compare the prices of Energade with Coke and neither can you compare a Mini Cooper with a Hummer!
Why Econet did not put on their roaming charges defies logic. Besides, they lied that you only use a contract from South Africa to roam. Almost every line can be activated for roaming.
If you take your South African Vodacom line to countries like Mozambique and Uganda where Vodacom is available you are billed using the South African tariff.
My own Vodacom-4-U pre-paid can roam without visiting Vodacom offices but by just activating via sms.
Econet did not add that Cell C offers free calls during weekends. They also forgot to tell us that all South African networks offer a host of services for free from call me backs, not less than five free sms, free mobile internet (I use this service to read Zimbabwean newspapers whenever Iâ€™m down south).
South African mobile network products also include not only 3G but 3.5G HSPA.Â They charge per second thereby making their tariffs the lowest because on the 71 cent tariff you are charged about 5,91 cents for connecting for five seconds whilst Econet charges you a whole 29 cents.
By the way, it is possible to call to Zimbabwe with R2 (US20 cents) airtime even though itâ€™s just for a few seconds. Is it possible on Econet?
The reason why most people want to have an Econet line is not your purported cheapness.
Itâ€™s because Zimbabweans did not like the unjustified refusal to grant Econet a licence when they wanted to start operations.
Econetâ€™s current tariffs and products do not give it any advantage over NetOne and Telecel. They all offer 1G service so thereâ€™s no need to choose it over the others.
Remember it is now two years since they ran adverts promising us 3G in a matter of weeks. That in itself should have made us re-think.
My prayers are that Potraz acts in the manner Patrick Chinamasa instructed in that they bring in regional price structures and standards so that we enjoy truly cheaper services rather than the current scenario where those who are fleecing us lie that they doing us a great service!