A while ago Econet joined the Eztopup platform. Eztopup is an online international company that allows people to buy airtime online using Paypal, Mastercard and Visa Cards. Econet did this ostensibly so those in diaspora can send airtime to their relatives in Zimbabwe. The platform however can be used to buy airtime for your own phone. Being an experimental sort I decided to take the service for a spin.
The following airtime denominations and their respective costs are available for Econet. (Telecel recharging is also possible using eztopup but since I do not have a Telecel line, I never tested this service for the network)
Airtime Cost Processing Fee Total
$3.00 $3.50 $0.61 $4.01
$5.00 $6.00 $0.72 $6.72
$10.00 $12.00 $0.99 $12.99
$20.00 $23.00 $1.48 $24.48
I would not be quick to call this a ripoff but it would seem the more you buy the more you get penalized. This retrogressive pricing model is obviously a put off and is difficult to understand in a world where people are rewarded for buying more. It gets worse: during the recharge you can send a promotional message to the phone being topped up telling them about eztopup,assuming you are recharging someone else’s phone, and eztopup charges you $0.49 when you are essentially promoting their product.
- Visit the Econet portal on eztopup here and make the desired purchase. Remember to uncheck the send message box otherwise you will be charged an additional $0.49
- You will receive a message from +263164 telling you EZTOPUP has sent you CALL HOME airtime. This is a wallet of sorts.
- To redeem the airtime dial *146*100# to get the Buddie Zone menu.
- Go to SEND HOME, option 3 and press send.
- Select LOAD, option 4 and press send.
- Enter the USD amount that you want to redeem and press send.
- Confirm the amount that you want to load and press send.
- Dial *125# to confirm that the airtime has been loaded into your account.
- A convenient way to buy airtime if you somehow have internet access but are away from any recharge card selling points-the North Pole for example.
- The service is a tad bit expensive and even if you have a loaded aunt in diaspora they would do well to use Mukuru.com to purchase airtime here at competitive rates.
- Eztopup charging people for promoting your service is plain strange, although I understand this is not Econet’s fault.
- Also the lack of detailed instructions on how to redeem the airtime can be a problem for some who are not familiar with Call Home airtime.
Frankly the service was a bit of a disappointment. The fact that they charge $4.01 for the $3.00 airtime and that there were no readily available instructions to redeem the airtime, I had to contact customer support which was excellent by the way, did it for me. Even if you have a loaded aunt she is better off using Mukuru’s well-established service and if you are in Zimbabwe just stick to EcoCash. If Econet wants people to seriously consider this option they might partner up with Eztopup to offer promotions to make the service more attractive.
Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge
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