If the promotions coming out of Telecel are anything to go by, the Red mobile network is literally scrambling to regain solid footing as the lead competitor in Zimbabwean telecoms.
First there was the number matching service, meant to make the process of crossing over to Telecel a lot easier. This less than lukewarm offer was hardly impressive because the specials that Telecel was putting on the table to entice lost subscribers back into its arms were hardly special.
Now Telecel is back again with an offer for 2 bonus points for every $1 that prepaid subscribers top up in their account. This carrot ought to smell familiar to subscribers because Econet once extended the same “amazing rewards” to its subscribers. I still don’t remember anyone enthused by that offer back then.
The point is (no pun intended) to reward you for every dollar you spend on the network with points that can be aggregated and redeemed for different services that include on-net bonus minutes, SMSes and bundles of data.
The lowest redemption point is at 10 points or $5 spent on airtime. This gets you a measly 5 SMSes. Bonus data kicks in when you spend $15. You’ll get 1MB of data, 5 minutes of Telecel to Telecel talk time and 15 SMSes. The best you can expect to get from this whole bonus points offer is 50 SMSes, 5 MB of data and 20 free minutes.
Ok, we get it. Times are tough and freebies can’t be as generous as they used to be, especially from Telecel. But is this the best these guys can come up with to boost their Average Revenue per User (ARPU)? If telecoms is more aggressive this year and Telecel has lost subscribers shouldn’t it be making it more attractive to cross over and tell someone?
As far as promotions go it sounds a lot like these offers weren’t thought through thoroughly. They might be extensions of goodwill and viewed just as customer rewards, but surely isn’t there more you can offer someone who has spent $50 on your network?
Is this all a feeling of defeat and resignation from the Telecel team? Now that telecoms licence and ownership challenges are hanging over the mobile network’s head and it has lost second place to NetOne perhaps this has trickled down to the whole team? It’s a tough business terrain so ambition should be made of sterner stuff.