Econet showers subscribers with 700% worth of bonuses as it eyes spike in airtime topups

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
Bonus Airtime, Econet Zimbabwe

The increasing economic pressures bearing down on Zimbabweans have had a significant impact on consumption patterns and this has forced every service provider to think of ways of encouraging demand.

It’s something that local mobile network operators have also been adapting to with their own service iterations and a battery of promotions.

Earlier today we attended the launch of one such service tweak, Econet’s 7X Bonus Airtime promotion which is a rewards campaign for all Buddie subscribers.

Touted by Econet as the most generous in the market, it’s the latest strategy from the operator clearly designed to trigger a spike in airtime usage.

The promotion offers subscribers rewards in the form of bonus voice, SMS and data. It is already active and can be accessed on the *143# Menu.

For the next 90 days, Econet’s prepaid subscribers will benefit from a daily airtime bonus allowance worth 7 times the airtime they use up. To qualify, each subscriber has to spend a minimum amount of airtime that is set by Econet as a daily target which is customised to each subscriber’s airtime usage patterns.

Once the subscriber has met the daily target they will receive the bonus which is worth 7 times the target amount. So for example a target of $1 earns a subscriber $7 worth of bonuses. The bonus is split into voice, SMS and data rewards which add up to the value of the bonus earned. The bonus is valid until midnight.

Econet is offering 7 times worth of bonuses to its subscribers. Like every other freebie and reward from operators in a harsh environment, it’s a positive and welcome development.

However, this promo has some technicalities that put a damper on the whole “seven-fold worth of rewards” idea. The fact that Econet apportions the bonus across voice, SMS and data rather than letting you decide what you want to do with it is a bit disappointing.

I hardly use SMS and voice calls are not a priority in a world where instant messaging and VoIP are the most convenient alternatives. It’s something that every other broadband subscriber who uses OTT services as communication substitutes will also attest to.

Then there’s the limited window period which doesn’t seem like a big deal for small targets, but is an issue when you receive $14 worth of bonuses spread across texts you don’t need to use because you already IM everyone in your circle, and voice minutes (for on-net numbers only by the way) that you can’t use up before midnight.

Hopefully, these are the things that will be changed as feedback is gathered, something that Econet has promised to do during the promotion’s 90-day run.

Here are some images from the launch


  1. macd chip

    All those people people came and gathered to launch a simple program like that??

    No wonder Zim is just a talking nation with little action plan!

    I do not believe people will get value for money. Econet is a business not a charity, there is profit to be made and thats where we should be looking at.

    But with Potraz holding their own talk shows, no one is going to look this in technical detail and make sure Econet deliver value for money.

  2. don

    Too complicated from econet. people just want something simple and easy to understand. why not just give free econet calls when i recharge my phone or even free off peak calls. that is easy to understand and much easier to market. and who in this day needs free sms.
    Econet needs to tailor products to suit what consumers want and not simply push products that we don’t want.

  3. vusa

    Too comlicated ! and it expires .Another ineffective promotion like the previous scratch and win totally not apealing.

  4. Chris Mberi

    How I want is to be able to choose or tailor make my bundle.

  5. dre

    I should just recharge and get rewarded not this nonsense

  6. Dr R. Musasiwa

    Can one use the bonus to call any network or only Econet? Not yet clear on this one.

  7. Nicky9tr8

    Am i able to call across networks with these bonuses.

  8. Anonymous

    Bonuses are for on net calls only

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