Mo­bile net­work pro­mos blocked Mar­ket­ing ads ‘not cleared’ by Po­traz

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

THE Postal and Te l e c ommu n i c at i ons Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity of Zim­babwe (Po­traz) has re­port­edly is­sued a di­rec­tive sus­pend­ing some mar­ket­ing pro­mo­tions by mo­bile ser­vice providers in the coun­try.

The ser­vice providers an­nounced the move to their clients this week al­though no ex­pla­na­tion has been ad­vanced by the reg­u­la­tor.

The sus­pended pro­mo­tions had cush­ioned sub­scribers from high costs of mo­bile tele­coms ser­vices.

These pro­mo­tions are, how­ever, sub­ject to ap­proval by the reg­u­la­tor as they con­tra­dict gazetted tar­iffs, sources say.

An out­stand­ing fea­ture of the pro­mo­tions was dis­counts on voice, SMS and data.

So­cial me­dia com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Press state­ments by the coun­try’s three mo­bile ser­vice providers since Tues­day in­di­cate that the reg­u­la­tor had not given the op­er­a­tors the green light to con­tinue of­fer­ing the pro­mo­tions.

Econet had its Data Dou­ble Up and 7x pro­mo­tions dis­con­tin­ued, while NetOne’s Bun­dles Reap­pear and Data Bun­dles Reloaded have also been blocked.

“NetOne Cel­lu­lar would like to in­form its val­ued sub­scribers and the gen­eral pub­lic that un­der the in­struc­tion of the reg­u­la­tor Po­traz, the fol­low­ing pro­mo­tions will be sus­pended from 1800hrs on Au­gust 4, 2016,” reads NetOne’s state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day.

Econet said on Tues­day: “We’d like to ad­vise that our pop­u­lar pro­mo­tions have not been ap­proved to go be­yond July 31, 2016. We are still en­gag­ing the reg­u­la­tor on this mat­ter”.

Tele­cel sent its sub­scribers mes­sages say­ing: “Due to a reg­u­la­tory di­rec­tive, we have stopped mega bonus and other pro­mo­tions un­til fur­ther no­tice. Apolo­gies for the in­con­ve­nience caused.”

Po­traz has given no ex­pla­na­tions as to why this di­rec­tive was given and the op­er­a­tors said they were not given the rea­son be­hind it.

Po­traz spokesper­son No­rah Zaranyika could not be drawn to com­ment say­ing she was out of of­fice.

Her of­fice had also not re­sponded to ques­tions sent to via email by the time of go­ing to print.

The sus­pen­sion of the pro­mo­tions has raised mixed feel­ing among sub­scribers.

Some sub­scribers ar­gued that they could not af­ford the nor­mal tar­iffs charged as they were too high while oth­ers said the pro­mo­tions were not re­ally fair to them.

“Some of these pro­mo­tions were rip-offs be­cause we didn’t get what was ad­ver­tised, so I can’t re­ally say I’m sorry to see them go,” said Christa­bel Khu­malo, a sub­scriber. — @Bian­caMlilo

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