At 14:12 on the 17th of October last year I received an SMS from Econet, encouraging me to register for something called Elevate. I dismissively glanced at the message giving it no thought whatsoever. On this fateful day, however, I should have known that Econet was just beginning what would become a common practice. An immensely irritating practice at that.
Since the 17th of October, I’ve received a staggering 44 (yes I counted!) text messages from Econet encouraging me to register for their Elevate service. I thought I was the only one who was irritated by this constant spamming of my inbox but after I asked around in the office and at home, I realised almost everyone I know is tired of this Elevate stuff.
Considering the levels of unemployment in our country I checked Elevate’s website. I was trying to figure out what they are really about and I left the site with more questions than answers. There is no clear outline of what Elevate is or what form of employment they are offering. There are also multiple prompts asking you to enter your number so they send you a pin. The website is so vague and secretive it almost feels like you are signing up for the Illuminati or some other secret society.
A colleague assured me that he understood what Elevate is about and that it actually makes sense. I will follow up this article with another one that breaks down the programme. Of course I am skeptical my colleague really knows what Elevate is but we’ll see. Now back to the texts:
The fact Econet has not given users an option to opt out from receiving these messages is ridiculous. This is not what we’ve come to expect from Zimbabwe’s leading mobile network operator. The frequency of these messages also means I don’t even check the contents of Econet’s messages.
Worse, Elevate texts have contributed to me missing a lot of important messages from friends and family because everytime an SMS comes in I generally just ignore thinking it’s that same old boring message that promises me a life of glitz and glamour if I just join the coolest youth empowerment movement.
Why not create a system that can track responses and stop sending these messages if a subscriber is not responding. How about the fact that receivers get this message even if they are above 34 which is the age limit entry. If Econet already has details indicating that you are above 34 why should you have to receive 30+ messages for something you are not even eligible for?
I know I speak for many people when I say we are tired of these messages and I’ll ask Econet politely can you please stop sending these so frequently or at least give users an option to opt out and stop receiving these messages.
What do you think about Elevate? Is it actually beneficial? Have you managed to get employed through it or at least know someone who has? Please let me know how your experience has been thus far in the comments below.