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My complicated relationship with my network provider

econet @ 16My relationship with my network provider, Econet Wireless is rather complicated.

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.”

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.


Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

17 thoughts on “My complicated relationship with my network provider

  1. i seriously dont know where this hate for econet comes from. you can switch network providers anytime instead of complaining everyday. i guess it comes with success look at what they did to microsoft in the early 2000s.

    1. I can understand customers complaining about service. That is exactly as it should be. Every company should expect to catch some flack for poor service; how else can it improve? What I too do not get, though, is the career whiner. The guy who’ll spend years whining about how bad his service provider is, how he’s fed up and moving to the competition immediately. But this guy never leaves, and spends all his time trolling the company on social media. That, I don’t get. Why not go ahead and move over?
      Personally, I’d like to see better value from Econet. I’d like them to start under-promising and over-delivering, for a change. Their customer service should improve, and I’m glad they’ve become more responsive lately, especially on social media. Still loads of room to improve.

      1. as soon as number porting is avail, econet (in my opinion) might lose a third of their subs base. (and yes i just dreamt that number)
        people are not moving mainly because they will also have to change their numbers.
        vhurai porting muone!!

        1. It’s coming, if press reports, including here on TechZim, are to be believed. It’s a good thing. Porting has never resulted in mass migration elsewhere though. We’ll soon find out.
          The sad part is there just aren’t any options, outside Econet. I also use Telecel. They’re cheap, but that’s ALL they have going for them. Customer care is poor, coverage limited, and data speed atrocious – and non-existent in many parts, including here in Harare.

  2. Econet imbavha dze vanhu. They are cunning thieves! They survive by patronage and monopoly. They dont care about customers. Thank you portraz! If portraz was not there, who knows what econet could have done. They bullies. Will never open an account with steward bank. Their tactics are to give loans so by force they bind me to them if you fail to repay. Stay away. Want a free life.

  3. What people seem to be missing is the fact that as good as Econet is. They could be much better. Netone or Telecel you can see their faulure is either mismanagement or outright incompetence. But With Econet you get the feeling that they do just enough to remain Number One. Look at happens when one of it competitor’s launches some new service Econet will watch nd see the uptake on this new idea nd then release a counter that matches or is slightly better than the competitors service. So even though Econet could outright destroy the competition by providing better services nd products they don’t (DRIVE YOUR COMPETITION TO THE BRINK OF BANKRUPTCY ND KEEP THEM THERE ) By doing this Econet remains the market leader with competitor’s who think they have chance when in reality hell will freeeze over first before they become number one in the market. So what ? You ask well it’s disadvantage to customers because there is no real competition in the market nd so you the customer always end up paying more for what ever services you get from your Network provider…….IT COSTS YOU MONEY !

  4. I was loyal to Econet for years and for all my loyalty I got a spat in the face so I changed networks, slowly my contacts are getting used to my new number with time my econet line will be thrown away, jus now its a receiver I haven’t put money into it and I wont in a long time to come

  5. So the mystery continues. TechZim reporting new figures from POTRAZ. Econet continues to gain subscribers, Telecel continues to lose. Worrying trend, and surprising too given all that’s been said. Perhaps something to explore in-depth for TechZim – why is Telecel losing?

  6. The reason why people complain about Econet is their arrogance when it comes to dealing with their customers. For many years now many of us have chosen and adopted Econet as the one promising service provider, and certainly they have made some significant improvements in almost anything they do. But when they promise some of their services they are not as promised when they are offered to the customer. Recently, Econet decided to switch off some of us from using their internet service, we did not get any explanation and neither the apologies at all. But for those who were using weekly bundles or even monthly bundles, this simply means they lost out on those days when Econet was playing games. As much as they may be the best so far, but their arrogance reaches to the bone marrow.

  7. Econet is Rather taking Advantage of having the largest number of Subscribers but big is not always best,if Telecel keeps on innovating new services im seeing it becoming the best Service Provider in the country.

  8. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

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