When I first got a cell phone back in 2001, I got one from MTN, mainly because it was easier to understand their pricing. It was a pay-as-you-go one, and I got it because I was running around trying to organise for a student to travel to Kenya, and getting passports and visas and had to keep phoning.
Now they started sending me all kinds of offers. I’d get an SMS once a week or so, urging me to recharge and get double the air time and things like that. I usually ignored them because I don’t phone a lot, and prefer e-mail to talking on the phone. Then they started sending them twice or three times a day.
Y’ello! Recharge today and get 500% your recharge value from MTN. Offer valid till 05-AUG-14. T&C’s Apply Opt Out: STOP to 30246 (FREE)
So after all that nagging, I thought I’d try it. I had about R78.00 worth of airtime on my phone, and topped it up with another R60.00. They sent me an SMS to say that the top up was worth R300, to be used within a week.
I’m hard-put to find enough to talk about for that long, but I phoned some friends I hadn’t seen for a long time, who lived far away, and caught up with their news. By the end of the week I’d used upabout R50.00 or so of the R300.00 they’d given me. So I expected that by the end of the week my airtime would be back to what it was before. But it wasn’t. It was R60.00, the amount I had paid for the recharge, but without the R78.00 I’d had before.
So it’s a scam. They sday they are giving you more airtime, but they take away the same amount at the end of the period. In the end, they give you nothing. They pretend to give you air time to make more calls, but the cost of those calls comes off your original airtime, when the extra airtime expires.
It’s all smoke and mirrors, a ripoff.
Well, I did like they said in that SMS, and SMSed STOP to the number they gave, and they said I’d been removed from their marketing list.
But it’s ironic to think that I first joined MTN because I thought their pricing was more transparent, that What You SEE IS What You Get (WYISYG). But it isn’t, not at all.
So it’s Boo! Hiss! to MTN.
Ayoba MTN? No, it’s Eish MTN.
Next time I want a cell phone, I know where not to go.