Make it real

Vo­da­com and MTN are teas­ing con­sumers with pro­mo­tional pric­ing. Again!

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY - Simon Din­gle

Cost re­duc­tions for broad­band are al­ways cause for cel­e­bra­tion, but I’d like to put my rant up front: enough with the pro­mo­tional pric­ing al­ready. MTN and Vo­da­com have an­nounced big price re­duc­tions for pre­paid cel­lu­lar data ser­vices in April, but are lim­it­ing them to the span of this month and then, well, maybe they’ll con­tinue them, maybe not.

This should frus­trate con­sumers. First, the pro­mo­tional pric­ing isn’t ap­plied overtly – you have to spe­cially re­quest pro­mo­tional data bun­dles, oth­er­wise you’ll be charged the reg­u­lar amount in the case of Vo­da­com’s spe­cial.

That said, the spe­cial pric­ing is spec­tac­u­lar. Vo­da­com is of­fer­ing 2GB bun­dles at R249 while MTN has the same for R245. Vo­da­com also has a mas­sive 20GB bun­dle for R500, which is usu­ally priced at R3 200.

Th­ese spe­cials fol­low on the ag­gres­sive pric­ing by Telkom’s 8ta and Cell C – with the lat­ter an­nounc­ing its own pro­mo­tional pric­ing last week, in­clud­ing a 100GB bun­dle for R2 500 that is valid for a whole year.

Now don’t get me wrong – we all love a spe­cial and it’s nice to see some com­pe­ti­tion from the un­der­dogs push­ing down prices. But it’s also opaque and doesn’t give con­sumers what we really need – con­sis­tent pric­ing that doesn’t hide be­hind a pro­mo­tion.

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