Vodacom ups ante with 50c/minute rate

The operator has effectively cut its prices again, introducing a new calling plan. But there are a number of catches.

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South Africa’s mobile price war appears to be intensifying, with Vodacom announcing on Friday that it would cut its effective prepaid rate, on a promotional basis, to 50c/minute for customers who buy its new “Chat for 20” product.

The new “promotional bundle” offers 20 voice minutes for R10 to call any network at any time of the day, meaning an effective tariff of just 50c/minute. There are, however, a number of catches, including the fact that calls are billed per minute rather than per second.

The new deal comes just a day after Vodacom revealed plans to cut its prepaid tariff to 79c/minute — matching rival MTN’s new rate.

Both the 79c plan and the Chat for 20 product are valid until 14 July only. MTN, whose 79c plan was introduced on a promotional basis, too, has now lodged it as a permanent tariff with communications regulator Icasa.

According to Vodacom, Chat for 20 is available to all prepaid, top-up and uChoose customers.

There are two rather large catches, though: a maximum of seven Chat for 20 bundles can be purchased during the week between 6am and 10pm, and can be used until midnight on the day of purchase only. Also, calls are calculated on a per-minute rather than a per-second basis, meaning the effective rate is higher than calls billed per second.

Once customers have used up their daily allocation of 20 voice minutes, they will begin paying again for voice calls at their current price plan rate. So, if a customer’s Chat for 20 bundle runs out while they are on a call, they will be billed at their applicable tariff for the non-promotional segment of the call.

Customers on Vodacom’s new 79c plan can’t take up the Chat for 20 deal. It is also not available for contract customers.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

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  • Davebee

    Softly, softly, reality is reaching these operators in that they have been taking us, the Great Unwashed to the cleaners for years and years with their EXTORTIONATE prices.
    The SA cell phone network has paid for itself over and over, again and again for decades and now it’s time for the CUSTOMER to call the tune, as it always should have been.
    Doesn’t Moore’s Law apply across all ICT technologies?

  • Andrew Fraser

    …and the promotional rate is only valid in months with an R in them, when the wind is blowing from the southwest, and on even numbered days of the week. To qualify for the rate, a DNA profile is required as well as a 5000 word essay on the meaning of life.

  • SouthAfricanPatriot

    MTN makes 79c rate cut permanent! A win for the public, if Vodacom reverts after July they’ll be only ones HIGH LOL! So promotional my a-ss

  • Roger Bower

    Great if you want to make a call longer than 20 minutes, otherwise another useless gimmick from Vodacom, to be used at a certain time, hanging off a cliff at a 23 degree angle while licking a icecream.

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