PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Holdanigono
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 441
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Holdanigono's badges.
 

What Afrihost's buyout by MTN really means for consumers

30 July 2014, 11:35

Advertised large on one of the homepage banners of Afrihost it reads “ISP of the year – We're proud to win for the 3rd year!” and rightfully so. Where else would you get access to email the CEO of the company personally? Afrihost has also been running great services at great prices and has made it their company motto to offer great customer service. Customers have been great brand ambassadors as well promoting their services to friends and clients alike resulting in a lucrative buyout from MTN.

My initial reaction to the buyout was fantastic; their hard work and adventurous campaigns have paid off and now hopefully they will have more clout to offer even better deals to the South African consumers. I myself had promoted their brand and was proud to be vindicated and to have shared this with my friends and colleagues.

My excitement however was short lived; it seems that Afrihost is set to be absorbed into the greed of the telecommunications monopoly and clients will be treated as the hapless cash cows they are meant to be.

I could come across three areas where it seems they are streamlining their business processes – I am sure there are more. While it is understandable from a business point of view, the way they have gone about it is appalling. This would be

  • putting an end to EFT transfers due not having the resources to pay for more staff

  • the end of their double data campaign

  • and last but not least, culling all their clients who have had problems paying their accounts on time


The EFT transfers it seems became a problem due to the company outgrowing its infrastructure. This probably also relates to the recent client culling. They simply do not have enough people to handle the phones and run the accounts and in their view it seems it will be too expensive to hire more. This is the official line in the CEO's auto responder.

“Please note that EFT or Electronic bank transfers are NOT a payment option. We simply cannot offer the prices we do and accept EFT payments as the amount of work needed to manage EFT payments efficiently drives up our costs dramatically. For this reason we only accept monthly debit orders or credit card payments.”

The company has been doing EFT's for years and now suddenly it is too expensive? That after growing the company to the best ISP 3 years running and selling half its shares for over a billion rand? So much for being a 21st Century internet company. EFT's put the power into the customers hands and allow them to manage their own money instead of giving over all their control and responsibility to banks and corporations who want to suck them dry. Credit Cards and Debit orders are the reason why people are up to their necks in debt in the first place. This is not about whether you can afford it or not, this is about getting rid of problems - call a spade a spade.


The Double Data campaign run by Afrihost was a truly adventurous initiative and it is great that people are offering up their own bonuses to keep the campaign running. I personally do not think it is an issue with affordability though as opposed to toeing the MTN line. Data is set to take the major share of profit for mobile operators and it is in their interest to keep it expensive so that they can milk consumers for every cent they worth. It is interesting that the MTN buyout and the announcement about the end of the double data campaign run simultaneously. For the faithful consumers who already have bought into the campaign, don't be surprised if it only continues for a short while, as was communicated to you in that heartfelt email, it is only guaranteed until the end of December. They have gotten their claws into loads of new customers and when the time comes they will make more than their money back when the customers pay standard rates.


The client culling is what really incensed me and set me off on this tangent in the first place. It seems anybody with too many bounces on their debit orders have been given a months notice with their accounts to be terminated, non-negotiable, indefinitely, forever. This is the company line:

"Please also note that Accounts that have been set for termination cannot be reversed. The ongoing costs and extra penalties levied on us by our bank for repeated failed payments means we unfortunately cannot continue to service clients whose payments are consistently returned.”

Unfortunately is probably the most hateful word in the English language. It is the politically correct way of saying: “Go to hell, we are not interested in dealing with you anymore.”

It seems somebody decided to get tough and eliminate ongoing problems by drawing the line with problem customers. While it is understandable to draw boundaries, it was a caring approach to customers that built the company to what it is today. I'm afraid that company culture is disintegrating fast. I wouldn;t be surprised of they change their logo colour from red to yellow.

These "problem" customers who are so ruthlessly discarded are the same ones who recommended their friends and peers to join Afrihost and helped build the company what it is today. I looked at this post on Hello Peter and could very much identify with the writer as I myself went through the same thing this year. Their response is cold and insulting:

She writes: “I must have been one of the very first of Afrihost's customers when they started years ago. Over the years I have been an ambassador for them and persuaded several companies and individuals to become part of the Afrihost family. I myself have several domains and other services with Afrihost.

The last few months have been a challenging in my business due to late payments from my customers and the bottom line is that the debit orders did not always go through on time but they were always settled within a few days maximum and my account is all up to date all the time. One tries to run things as best as possible in the challenging time we all have.

However I got a very harsh and ruthless email saying -

'You are hereby given notice that ALL services provided by Afrihost (whether in arrears or not) will be cancelled in 30 days. Once the 30 day notice period is over re-activation of services will not be possible, and your ClientZone account will be locked against any further signups. We are sorry that it has become necessary to end our relationship'

All I can say is wow - it has been a pleasure helping you build your company. I have served my purpose and now I am being terminated. “

Afrihost's response:

Hello jeany-za,

We apologise that our relationship has ended this way.

We do have terms and conditions pertaining to payment. We debit accounts on the 1st of every month. Those are our terms of service. If a client can't fulfil those terms, then we can't provide the service. Clients are given warnings beforehand regarding bounced payments.

We are sorry that our relationship has come to an end under these circumstances.

We wish you all the best with your business.

Regards
The Afrihost Team”

Personally I think Afrihost will continue and that these processes will work for them as it does for many others, but gone are the days of the adventurous company we knew and loved, they have been replaced by just another bloodsucking corporation sharing in the hypocritical monopoly.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Kalos eidos
The Oil Wars

The US versus Russia and the Middle East. Read more...

0 comments 239 views
Submitted by
Mkhuseli Vangile
10 things that annoyed SA in 2014

The list below contains issues, people and everything in between that annoyed the life out of South Africans in the year 2014.  Read more...

4 comments 777 views
Submitted by
Ian C Maliseni
Volunteering versus Voluntourism

Affordable volunteering in Africa is widely available. Voluntourism is also an option for many.  Read more...

0 comments 90 views
Submitted by
Knotta Gupta
The white elephant in the room

This country hasn’t got a single elephant in the room. It has, in fact, got whole herds of trumpeting pachyderms – which we choose to ignore for various reasons. Read more...

4 comments 301 views
Submitted by
Elbie Bekker Naude
Presidential spokesperson and hor...

A certain presidential spokesman went horse riding for the first time. He had quite a hard time getting onto the horse and he scarcely got his seating when the horse started moving. Read more...

1 comments 326 views
Submitted by
The Fox 5366
Christmas didn't make you broke

How frequently do we criticise ourselves for not having enough money, without realising that this is the inescapable status quo? Read more...

0 comments 99 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.