Why complicated? Well there’s so much to be happy about when it comes to being an Econet subscriber. Then there’s the litany of frustrating practices that warrant dismissing the Econet service and using another provider altogether. All this leaves one with conflicted choices about leaving or staying.
A few days ago Econet celebrated its 16th birthday marking another year of its existence with promotional airtime for subscribers and a commitment to endless possibilities for people in the “ecosystem.”
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Thanks to Econet, the local telecoms landscape was opened to aggressive competition that gave the majority of Zimbabweans a chance to own a SIM card through the introduction of a prepaid service. Let’s try to imagine for a second what the telecoms industry would be like with just NetOne dictating the terms for SIM card ownership.
There is of course a slew of services and products and services that have made a relationship with Econet worthwhile. Great network coverage, strong positive investment into the local economy, the introduction of mobile broadband, EcoCash as a widespread(keyword there) mobile money solution, Econet Zero, Bundles for WhatsApp and Facebook, innumerable promotions..Quite a long list actually. There’s a lot to fall in love with here.
Then there’s the other side to this relationship. Issues like a not so friendly pricing regime that has been complained about for years (remember the era of exorbitant priced SIM cards), vanishing airtime, exclusionary tendencies that have slowed the uptake of certain services, monopolistic behaviour, failed insurance products and a passive approach to customer care that they have been gallantly trying to address.
So what will the next 16 years from Econet mean? What can we expect? No doubt data and broadband services are all the rage for any provider in telecoms, greater strides into e-commerce, products like flexible mobile broadband payment plans, innovative VAS and OTT services and even ambitious offerings like pay TV seem to come to mind. Hopefully all this will be preceded with reduced tariffs for all services.
Assuming all this doesn’t happen, the bad practices are not addressed and its business as usual this will be one miserable relationship that I ought to get out of. That, however is easier said than done. If that was the case, everyone who complains as much as I do would have “crossed over”.
After 16 years in business Econet seems keen to consider what its Buddies want changed or improved. What would you want Econet to offer you in the years to come that will make your relationship with the operator worthwhile?
NB Some of our readers have expressed a certain level of discomfort with the headline for this article. We have since adjusted it to emphasise Techzim’s commitment to editorial delivery that steers clear of any level of inappropriateness.