The contents of this article are incorrect, Econet’s eLearning Bundles are indeed working. Please refer to the link below for the full story:
I have seen a number of people on WhatsApp expressing curiosity about the very affordably priced eLearning bundle that is available under *143#. Some have asked whether they should buy the bundle or if they are even allowed to do so. The answer is no on both counts. Do not buy that Econet eLearning bundle! Don’t do it!
What’s the worst that could happen?
I grew up in the Eastern Highlands and back when I started primary school soldiers would come to each school and conduct lessons about landmines and how to avoid them. You see when the Liberation War ended and everyone was celebrating their supposed new-found freedom, nobody bothered to go back for those perilous mines they had planted. As a result, a lot of people and animals lost their limbs and lives.
What am I on about? Well, Econet sometimes forgets live real code that actually debits your account when the associated service is not live. A case in point is their eLearning bundle which are prominently displayed but is not active. If you buy them you will lose your money and go through the nightmare of trying to get a transaction reversal.
The troubled history of bundles
eLearning bundles were introduced and scrapped last year by Econet in response to COVID-19 lock-downs which disrupted traditional learning. Econet and NetOne introduced cheaper bundles that were aimed at students but ended up being abused by black market syndicates.
In a widespread practice, individuals with an Econet connection (doesn’t mean they worked for Econet it just means they had an in) would create WhatsApp groups and ask people to pay a premium if they wanted the discounted bundle. These people would then submit the numbers and pretend the beneficiaries were actual students.
The end result was that there was a thriving data bundle black market. People didn’t mind paying the premium because even with the premium they would still end up way paying less per GB of data than they would if they bought for example monthly bundles or Private WiFi bundles.
While some resellers were genuine a lot of them were not. Scammers would create groups where only admins were allowed to post and create the impression that they had an in at Econet where they could get cheap eLearning data. They would ask hapless victims to pay for the data in advance and then once they had collected what they deemed enough money, they would disappear into the ether and set up shop using new fake details.
Buying eLearning bundles will not work
In response to all these things plus the fact that bundles had to be manually processed, Econet scrapped the bundle sometime last year. Officially Econet says they are working on improving the bundle but we all know better. I mean how hard is it to perfect a data bundle?
The bundle doesn’t work right now but for some reason, the eLearning bundle option still remains in the bundle menu. To see the option follow these steps:
- Dial *143#
- Select option 5 eLearning bundles
- Select 1 Monthly Bouquets
- You will be presented with one option of a Monthly Boquet going for $1720 for 10GB
- If you choose to go on you will be asked whether you want to buy for yourself or someone else
- Then you will be asked whether you want to pay using Airtime or Ecocash, if you know what’s good for you, you should stop here
Going further will see Econet either “eating” your Ecocash money or airtime and you not getting any data. As already pointed out, Econet has already stated that the bundle is not currently active as they are working on it. You will probably get your money back but anyone who has gone through the process of trying to reverse an Ecocash transaction knows it’s a nightmare.
You are better off buying Private WiFi bundles or NetOne’s OneFi bundles than throwing your money into the pit that is Econet’s eLearning bundle. It’s not clear why Ecocash has left this option available to the public when it clearly doesn’t work as shown by the countless people who go on their Twitter timeline complaining about not receiving their eLearning bundle.
It’s not the first time something like this has happened either. A while back Econet had a service called EcoShopper which was a grocery remittance service. Thanks to the bond note era chaos the service simply fell into one of Econet’s dustbins and the live code on the site was simply abandoned. Those involved in the project even went on to forget about the service.
Going onto the site for years after that would see your Ecocash wallet being debited when you attempted to place an order. Your beneficiary would not be able to receive the goods and getting your money was a painful process. These days the EcoShopper site is still up but thankfully someone has changed the price amounts for each service to $1 ZWL.
If you really must have eLearning bundles, the only network provider that has such bundles is Telecel. Their Funda bundles are aimed at students although their network speeds are almost always nowhere near what you get with the other two providers.