News24

Vodacom launches airtime advance

2011-05-23 14:56

Cape Town - Vodacom has launched a service that allows customers to get an airtime advance when they run out, the cellular provider announced.

"Qualifying prepaid customers will be able to request R10 worth of advance airtime from Vodacom through this service, and Vodacom will deduct the advance amount from the customer's next recharge," Vodacom said in a statement to News24.

In order to qualify, a prepaid user will have to have been a Vodacom customer for 12 months, registered with Rica, and must have recharged with a minimum of R29 in the preceding six months.

"We like to think of Airtime Advance as a solution that could be a life line for our customers when they have no airtime and are in desperate need of it. With Airtime Advance, we are giving our customers the ability to communicate even when they have no airtime," said Portia Maurice, Vodacom chief officer of corporate affairs.

Vodacom has said that the programme's terms will limit fraud.

Expansion

"The qualifying criteria will ensure we offer the service to our loyal customers - been with us for 12 months or more, recharged with R29 every month for six months and registered for Rica."

In addition, a user cannot have more than one advance. Vodacom said that it works on a "take one, repay, take another, repay" system.

Vodacom has been on a drive to expand its footprint in the South African market.

After recently changing its branding to better reflect parent company Vodafone, the company launched a 43.2Mbps network in SA.

"Speed is good, but this allows us to better use the throughput of the network. It allows us to increase our capacity on the network. We're the first to make a 43.2Mbps network live in South Africa," Vodacom's executive head of media relations Richard Boorman told News24 at the launch.

At the annual results conference on May 16, Vodacom CEO Pieter Uys emphasised the company was growing its data networks and mobile broadband strategy, seen as a key driver of growth.

Uys also said that the telecom would focus on customer experience by improving its networks.

Subscribers

Vodacom hopes that this programme will drive customers away from other networks, but is reluctant to provide details on how many of its subscribers may qualify, citing "competitive sensitivity".

The company said it does not restrict how subscribers use the advanced airtime.

Prepaid customers will be levied R1 for every R10 advanced airtime they receive and have to dial *111*082# to access the service which was launched on Sunday.


- Follow Duncan on Twitter
 

Comments
  • Sergio - 2011-05-23 15:04

    Just another way for Vodacom to make more money out of poor people.

      Gary - 2011-05-23 16:52

      BINGO, hence the small amounts.

      tryanything - 2011-05-23 17:10

      Check uranus Is it a left hand or right hand thread....suckers..

      Barry - 2011-05-26 15:30

      Skelms

      Carl Muller - 2011-06-08 18:20

      Unauthorised item on my VODACOM ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!! I have received my Vodacom account with an unauthorised item on it. Content Services - R194.40 R27.22 - total R 221.62 I did not request it. Yet when I phoned VODACOM today they said I will not get a credit and I must cancel it from a certain supplier. According to Vodacom I requested it.

  • iareknersis - 2011-05-23 15:33

    We have this same IOU system in Ireland and it is great.

  • Ian Graham-Parker - 2011-05-23 15:33

    Another form of credit? Do we really need this?

  • estee.mente - 2011-05-23 15:35

    LOL, we've been having it, sounds like a contract without all the benefits, obviously they'll have some loyalty programme, where after a certain number of advanced airtime requests you can then qualify for larger amounts, and all that walla walla, before you know it, you'll be indebted to Vodacom, and not very different to a contract subscriber except that," You bought your phone" LOL

  • taariqs - 2011-05-23 15:38

    I've been experiencing signal issues where I stay for the last +- 24 months. I'm moving to another service provider

      Looter - 2011-05-24 05:20

      same here, i walk around in my garden and i get dead spots everywhere!

  • Q1 - 2011-05-23 15:49

    R10 credit wont kill anyone..... They not charging interest on it either :P

      Eris - 2011-05-23 16:04

      Prepaid customers will be levied R1 for every R10 advanced airtime they receive

      wayne2710 - 2011-05-23 16:09

      They're charging R1 interest. It's in the article.

      ILOVEME - 2011-05-23 16:14

      Q1 it will amount to millions considering the number of clients vodacom has - so do the math. It looks like R1- credit wont kill anyone but if you multiply by 100000 hallo....that is a hell lot of money on illegal micro-lending buddie

      Robschele - 2011-05-23 16:24

      R1 levy for every R10 per month. That's 10% per month. The same as being charged interest.

  • ILOVEME - 2011-05-23 16:12

    Is this legal - is vodacom now a micro lender LOL

  • Bongani - 2011-05-23 16:21

    So basicly...dey sellin us R10 airtime for R11...? How thoughtfull of u Vodacom

  • LBS - 2011-05-23 16:28

    Big deal!

  • Thriel - 2011-05-23 16:34

    WTF can a person do with R10, send a please call me ? pffft....

      ILOVEME - 2011-05-23 16:47

      i can buy bread

      tryanything - 2011-05-23 17:12

      Only just..

  • The Goose - 2011-05-23 16:42

    46.2 Mbps yeah right. Its not the networks that are slow.Its the devices with connects to these networks that become more "data hungry" as technology advances. Smart phones chow airtime because of this.Ai tog another way of making credit..

  • The Goose - 2011-05-23 16:43

    What about lowering your call rates in off-peak? i am sure this will be helpful when emergencies occur?

      Spoofed - 2011-05-23 19:35

      Better yet, why not make emergency numbers free from any phone?

      EDI2000 - 2011-05-23 20:04

      @ spoofed you can dail 112 from any cell phone with out a sim card in any part of the world... part of first aid training

  • YES - 2011-05-23 16:48

    I tried it. It's working. I hope Vodacom raises the amount to R29. It's appealing though and I think many like me will find it attractive and woould be popular in the township.

      Stewart Ridgway - 2011-05-23 17:12

      Yes it would be popular in townships, mostly amoung poorer people. Yet another scheme to get their priorities out of order; instead of buying food and clothes, parents will be focused on keeping their airtime afloat. It's only R10 now, but they will increase as the junkies demand more. R10 is a loaf of bread that could be bought before payday instead of giving away R10 before they even receive their wages. I don't like it one bit and it should be made illegal to lend money without a contract and without the terms and implications being fully explained.

      tryanything - 2011-05-23 17:12

      Then they can hit u R3

  • lulama - 2011-05-23 16:56

    So if 200000 ppl used this service Vodacom will get R200000 just on this alone. Airtime micro-lender.

  • SublimeOwl - 2011-05-23 18:08

    Hope ppl find a way to screw VodaDom over with this... esp the way they run their crooked business...

  • MeChirping - 2011-05-24 13:49

    My cell phone acc was quite high. I calculated my calls and decided to settle for a prepaid service from a new player in the market that provided me with the same airtime I used for less... unbelievable but true. That did not work out due to signal issues, if it was the new phone/provider/or the fact that we have very poor signal over the board recently. Anyway, I'm still on Prepaid, and find it frustrating when my time runs out, I think this is a great idea regardless of the R1 or micro lending. It's up to the user if they use it or not... it's a live line.

  • Carl Muller - 2011-06-08 18:17

    Unauthorised item on my VODACOM ACCOUNT!!!!!!!!! I have received my Vodacom account with an unauthorised item on it. Content Services - R194.40 R27.22 - total R 221.62 I did not request it. Yet when I phoned VODACOM today they said I will not get a credit and I must cancel it from a certain supplier. According to Vodacom I requested it.

  • pages:
  • 1