Anger over MTN’s price hikes

MTN logo. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
MTN logo. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - Mobile network MTN’s planned price increases have sparked disappointment among several of its customers.

On Wednesday, MTN announced that it is revising rates for its contracts and data plans. Meanwhile, MTN said it is also reviewing its prepaid data bundle prices.

The mobile phone company sent Fin24 a list of the planned price changes (see below). The list indicates that most prices are expected to increase by 5%. The highest price change will be for the MTNChoice 2GB data plan which will be increased 17%.

The price changes for prepaid data bundles are expected to take effect on April 23 while changes for contract offerings will happen on May 13, a spokesperson for MTN told Fin24.

MTN has blamed a reduction in mobile termination rates, increased network investments, transport costs, handset price increases, falling exchange rates and increases in taxes for its planned tariff hikes.

Amid South Africa’s power crisis, MTN also said it has to invest more in generators and back-up batteries to power its base stations.

Fin24 users respond

But Fin24 users have expressed their displeasure at MTN which has followed in the footsteps of Vodacom and Cell C in enforcing price increases this year.

“It's bad to see that we have to pay the price of power breaks which we have no control of. It's unfair to us consumers,” said Fin24 user Phetole Rasodi.

Fin24 user Marlise has questioned the legality of MTN’s move but also expressed her dismay at all major operators that have implemented similar price hikes.

“I am disappointed as a MTN customer and the sad part is that we can't even move to other networks as they all did the same thing recently. I need my phone for specific reasons but the way I feel now is to leave it at a MTN store with my contract and a very, very nasty cancellation letter,” said Marlise.

Fin24 user Johan Mare says the MTN price hike could affect him negatively.

“I am a pensioner and find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Giving up my cellphone will soon be imminent,” said Mare.

Fin24 user Sabelo Dube is unhappy over how MTN’s price increases are adding to other stresses being expressed by strained consumers in South Africa.

“The increase is not favourable at all; it is so bad for our economy as everything is becoming so costly, economic distress is continuing. Everything is expensive. Hunger is striking our country in all material respects,” said Dube.

The MTN price increase is set to have a greater impact on those who own more than one device as well.

“This is not good at all because already I'm paying two phones,” Fin24 user Bongani Baloyi wrote.

And for others, MTN’s new fee structure is the last straw.

“With their increase, they would also get a notice of termination of service,” said Fin24 user Andre Coetzee.

See MTN's new voice and data subscription fees below or click here to view the excel file:

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