image credit – NetOne
NetOne, Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile network operator recently announced that its Dollar A Day promotion will now be offered as a bundle under its existing lineup of VAS services.
Subscribers now have to dial the *171# USSD prompt and actually buy the specific bundle that they want instead of the automatic allocation that used to follow any airtime top-up.
The “New and Improved” DAD (Dollar a Day) bundles are available for 50c, $1, $2, $5 and $10 options with allocations for voice minutes SMS and data.
They come with a lower allocation of on-net (NetOne to NetOne) voice call minutes for peak hours (15 minutes for $1) and instead of the unlimited calls offer for on-net calls made during off-peak hours, subscribers will only get 120 minutes.
First launched in July 2012, this is the latest change to Dollar a Day which has been tweaked over the years through reduced offers for on-net calls and even the launch of promos like Mahala Weekends which were meant to complement rather than replace it.
One of the reasons why NetOne has kept this promo alive for close to four years now has been the significant contribution it has made to the growth of its subscriber numbers. It’s been an easy to understand promotion with a huge value proposition.
Even with a slow response to the broadband services launched by competing mobile operators and a weak presence in other popular VAS services like mobile money NetOne has enjoyed a phenomenal subscriber growth which has been credited, in part, to promos like Dollar A Day.
Which makes it hard to understand why it is making these drastic changes to a promo and running the risk of isolating the subscribers it has won over these past few years.
A string of negative comments have been sprayed on social media suggesting that subscribers aren’t too pleased with the changes and are failing to understand the benefits that NetOne is trying to sell through the Dollar a Day promotion.
Complaints have been aimed at the limits placed on off-peak calls, along with the rearranged value which allocates some of the benefits to SMS and data.
Despite all these alterations which aren’t being viewed as entirely positive, NetOne has decided to wrap all of this up as a package that offers exceptional value. In one of its adverts, it states
The New Dollar-A-Day bundle offers you 26 times more value than do the next best competitor.
which is a swipe at Econet’s 7X Promotion which has also been sold to subscribers using numbers that calculate the huge numerical benefits that come with buying and using up airtime.
While NetOne will probably hold on to the changes that it has made the feedback on the new Dollar a Day actually speaks to what subscribers prefer. It’s actually a cautionary tale of sorts for telecoms operators.
Products, services, and promotions shouldn’t be complicated. Something simple to understand which offers a lot of value will last for years, anything else will be slammed or worse still, ignored.