Powertel responds to the market, offers data promotion

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The new PowerTel logo

A little over a month ago Powertel drew cries from many of its subscribers when it switched from an unlimited package to a pricier usage based system that left subscribers buying 1GB of data for $23.

In a market that is highly price sensitive it wasn’t surprising that a lot of Powertel subscribers swore to move on to other providers like Africom that had just launched an unlimited package around the same time. Now it seems Powertel is trying to retain clients and hopefully angle for more users.

In an act of good cheer the local ISP has introduced a festive season promotion that gives subscribers double the amount of data for each bundle bought. This means, for example, that your $23 purchase will get you 2GB instead of just 1GB.

Called the Power Double Double Festive Season Promotion, it extends to all data purchases and is running until 31 January 2015. The success of this promotion will largely hinge on how many subscribers are willing to remain loyal to the Powertel brand. It hardly seems like a campaign to bring in new users.

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The question though is whether this promotion is enough to prevent subscriber flight. One thing for certain is that even in just retaining existing subscribers , Powertel has to do more than just double its data offering.

The draw card for Powertel was always the offer for unlimited internet for just $1.20 a day. This was instead replaced by a tariff structure that doesn’t come anywhere near the previous $35 deal, no matter how much the data offering is doubled.

Granted that the ISP might be facing host of changes that called for some product adjustment, but such issues are hardly relevant for the thrifty user like your average startup trying to contain data costs.

With usage based packages and an aim for a target market keen on the the sub-$50 price range, Powertel is now up against providers like TelOne ADSL ($35 for 20 GB) and Africom ($25 unlimited browsing) that by all accounts seem to be offering subscribers more bang for their buck.

What are your thoughts on this data promotion from Powertel?

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31 Comments

  1. Observer says:

    Powertel just messed up with their new prices. I for one swear to never step into their offices again. The change in their pricing was too drastic. I want to download stuff, update my software etc, that 2Gb will last me 3 days at most. At least if they did like telone and offered 20Gb at that price of $23 but just 2Gb ah suka, only the rich can afford these ridiculous prices…………

    1. tendy says:

      same here

    2. h.m says:

      Powertel was misinformed, increasing charges to such levels with the current liquidity crunch is unwelcome. Most of their clients were students in colleges and universities, with such high charges there is nowhere these students can get such kind of money. Powertel must think twice regarding their move

  2. QC says:

    Unlimited data was one of their few virtues, but if they insist on keeping this new billing model, they had better make that 2gb the fastest, most stable and geographically accessible 2gb I’ll ever get. Otherwise this promo is just whistling in the wind.

  3. Asijiki says:

    I never want to hear anything about Powertel. As I was reading this article some paragraphs I literally skipped because I know there is nothing interesting on Powertel. In fact, why do you admin still keep writing articles about these guys? Their business philosophy does not even have customers at heart. The entire Powertel team should be removed from top to bottom then start afresh with fresh new ideas – this is a competitive market , they have the bandwidth but they have absolutely no idea what a competitive market is or what it means to treat customers like kings. They didn’t treat me right. Well I have said enough………

  4. komzy says:

    this is not a promotion, it does not even compare to telone’s normal tariffs. Powertel needs to come up with something better if it wants to retain its customers, some of us are already looking for other providers with better charges not Powertel’s insane tariffs….#powertel yasara isu hatidzokeko

    1. driver d says:

      powertell disapointed

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not impressed!!

  6. tendy says:

    i dont know what powertel has to do to get back the customers they lost with the price change , but certainly not this promo. “unlimited” was their brand. I for one feel like i was violated and disrespected by the move and fortunately i was pushed into the capable hands of the best ISP in the country, though paying through my nose, its worth it and i’m not leaving anytime soon

  7. Jack Siziba says:

    Powertel hasnt hit rock bottom yet, that’s why they can send out this half-hearted attempt. Its not about trying to please us customers but so that managers can have something to talk about to the powers that be. Imagine the applause when they sat in a boardroom and agreed that this was okay. They will all pretend to be surprised when it doesn’t work and they throw out another feeble attempt.

    If they were to give us real value then they would have to have cuts elsewhere. This could mean no new double-cabs. However soon enough they will be struggling and then they will have to be seriously about their business( eg. TelOne). Then we will see something enticing for customers. In the meanwhile look out for new cars with their logo around town.

  8. REWMO says:

    what can you do with 2gb? cant even update apps on my phone. a proper game for android or ios needs abt the sme amount of data. this is absurd. their internet is not even broadband.

  9. macd chip says:

    What a weird promo!!

    These Powertel pple are still living in there own fantasy internetland.

    Here is my simple poor man thinking:

    To get 6gig l have to pay $76 and that will not last me 5 days.

    Now, a bit shopping around around for a poor man!

    If l take $76 and go to Zol, l get unlimited fast internet for 60 bucks. Yes they will throttle it bt only during bizness hours

  10. Rangarirai says:

    I left stupid Powertel. I am now running with Africom!!!!!!

  11. Yves says:

    Bye bye Powertel. I have been with for two years and took patiently all their mishaps like not having service for 3 to 5 days and not one time but many times in the year. Trying to download at 15kbs, Now I am using a new service and it make me wonder how I could have stayed for so long with them. RIP Powertel.

    1. SIMON says:

      what are yu using now YVES, coz i once had powertel long back while they were still charging $50 per month unlimited…then i decided to close off my account with them…currently i was planning to go back to powertel and came across this article..

  12. Flint says:

    Had forgotten about Powertel and now that you wrote about it again I’ll have to start forgetting again! Thanks a lot Nigel ;-(

  13. Dube says:

    What a sham to this so-called internet provider! Getting connected to net musn’t be a Luxury but a cheap and affordable service for all. With your pathetic connection speeds & reduculars pricing forget! i will not even passby your Offices,i would rather use your modem to connet with Africom Simcard.

    1. scope says:

      i agree … powertel is fcking up w peple

  14. scope says:

    Powertel should revert back to unlimited packages and the student promos, i work there and i know things aren’t going well….. people shld enmass leave it for other competitors

  15. me says:

    internet is expensive in zim

    1. AKG says:

      Wrong button Powertel, wake up and smell the coffee , data costs continue coming down not up capitalise on your potential not to behave like start ups . You need real entrepreneurial strategists in your Excom lest you find your ship sinking , as above I been on Powertel for 2.5 years but presently I am actively searching out options that meet my expectations both in terms of service and costs

  16. SIMON says:

    GUYS SO WHAT IS THE BEST ISP in the market so far…in terms of services and pricing….and with coverage that extend as far as kuwadzana extension or norton….PLEASE need yo advice..have been cracking my head

  17. huniland says:

    ISU WE MADE IT CLEAR KUTI WE DONT USE LIMITED INTERNET…KUSVIKIRA MADZITA UNLIMITED INTERNET THATS WHEN WE WILL RESUME BUSINESS. THANK YOU

  18. naresh28 says:

    After reading your article, I also threw out Powertel and went to Iwayafrica. I was disappointed with
    Iway as their dongle was not working. They told me there was an issue with them and Powertel. They were
    still working on. I got my refund and maybe will try AFRICOM. Why do these ISP’s hook customers and then leave them in a lurch?

  19. pokaz says:

    haaa that aint even close to the word promotion, how can i pay $23 for 2Gb are they serious. vakatogara pasi vakatoona zvine musoro and customer enticing….they should wake up and smell the coffee coz we joined powertel family coz econet and telecel offer limited data bundles yet we got a lot to do on the internet.. now they showing us the door to africom since it offer zvinoenderana nemari yangu..am officially leaving powertel for africom with immediate effect

  20. Mr Dee says:

    Funny how businesses are running. Imagine how many $1.20 payments they would get on a given day.

  21. 4eyed kimo says:

    Idiots wil b idiots if powertel had hiked up their prices to 60$ a month I think I would hav complain a bit but stil would hav gone to pay. Iam now on ZOL first day download fifa 15gig using idm

  22. Anonymous says:

    Africom all the way now…sorry powertel

  23. Billy Kash says:

    Bye Bye Powertel…… Anyone wants the powertel Dongle For FREEE.

  24. Leslie says:

    Which ever idiots at Powertel decided to charge more than all its competitors for so called broad band internet need to be fired. Before its price increase suicide Powertel had spotty service, slow speeds and I had to deal with its service constantly going going down for several days. The ONLY reason the overwhelming number of its customers were only interested in the UNLIMITED aspect of their service offering as everything else was woeful. Powertel has lost me as a customer for good. At least I have moved to Africom which has infinitely better service and products.

  25. Panga Mazano says:

    Vanhu vane ndebvu kugara pasi ndokuona zvakakodzera kuti $23 for 2gig dze data? You need your heads examined!

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