Netone reverses price hikes after public outcry. How much should they charge?

Leonard Sengere Avatar
NetOne, UZ student steals lines, ZITF2022

NetOne gave the nation a shock when they increased their data bundle tariffs by a significant margin. They had announced that prices would be going up today but few would have foreseen the entry level 10GB package’s price going up by over 3.5 times.

The memes were flowing on social media about how ridiculous the new tariffs were. Many were pointing out that most Zimbabweans do not even earn the ZWL$99,000 NetOne was demanding for its 80GB package. Which is true if we consider Zimstat poverty statistics.

Users were not amused.

Tweet says: Dear Putin, there is a Ukranian Company called NetOne operating in Zimbabwe
Tweet says: Interesting times in Zimbabwe. I have files of about 40 Gig to send to South Africa … It’s now cheaper for me to fly to South Africa with a Hard Drive, leave my documents there and remain with change to do a bit of shopping than to buy 50 gig NetOne data at $400 USD

One twitter user summed it up nicely:

Tweet says: From NetOne to MaOne

NetOne reverses course

NetOne could not ignore the cries that their customers let out when they saw the new tariffs. The feedback was loud, incessant and sharp. NetOne had to respond,

Tweet says:

Public Notice

Review of tariffs

In light of the recent tariff reviews, NetOne would like to thank our valued customers for your feedback which is greatly appreciated and is of paramount importance to us.

We are in the process of looking into all the concerns that you have raised and we will keep you posted on further developments.

Reason has prevailed at the state-owned mobile network operator’s headquarters. While they ‘look into’ our concerns, they have reverted to the old prices.

Left: New exorbitant prices, Right: Old prices

Earlier today, we noted how the new tariffs would price everyone out, driving them to WiMax and Wibroniks.  On social media people were encouraging each other to switch to Econet or even Telecel. However, considering that the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe had okayed the new prices we were sure that Econet and Telecel were going to raise their own prices to something similar. If not for the push back we could have had to settle for those prices as the norm.

Even if the competition would not have raised their own tariffs to what NetOne had, they would have been empowered to get a little extra than they had planned. That is because although we resisted NetOne’s exorbitant prices, we are all painfully aware that prices have to go up. Such is the Zimbabwean economy with its depreciating Zimdollar. We are not opposed to tariff price hikes but whatever new prices still have be within our reach. They cannot be more than our salaries.

I imagine the Econet and Telecel teams who could have been looking to go even higher than NetOne are thanking their lucky stars. NetOne became the guinea pig for them, testing out the market’s limits for everyone else. NetOne gets the bad publicity and Econet and Telecel come out as heroes even if we don’t know what they were planning for us.

What range of prices would you consider fair?

Like we mentioned, prices have to go up. NetOne will be coming back to us with more reasonable hikes. But maybe we as the customers can help let them know what we will and will not accept. So, please share what you would consider acceptable prices for the One-Fi bundles. We’ll share all of it with NetOne. It will then be up to them to weigh their costing calculations against what the market can accept.

I gotta say though, its lovely to see social media be put to good use. Ya’ll berated a huge corporation into tracking back on price hikes and this should be normalised. We should always engage with these companies and even the government. If they proceed with whatever it may be, they should do so knowing where we stand.

We are allowed to go overboard with our conspiracy theories, even as some were suggesting that NetOne’s price hikes were intentionally too high to price out the masses. Those peddling that theory imagined the govt was trying to get the loud anti-government Zwitterati off their favourite platform. That’s probably not the case but now we live in a time when the technology allows us to share such theories with the world. In this case, it worked to reverse a crime against humanity.



What’s your take?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Doug

    Maybe their systems cannot accommodate such large figures and they failed to enter the new tariffs into it. They may need to upgrade the servers to effect the increase,as this can take time and resources. Let us enjoy the previous tariffs for the time being.

  2. DK

    Maybe their systems cannot accommodate such large figures and they failed to enter the new tariffs into it. They may need to upgrade the servers to effect the increase,as this can take time and resources. Let us enjoy the previous tariffs for the time being.

  3. Techmetell

    There are those of us in top positions who are in the habit of ticking everything for approval without even checking what it is we our stamping APPROVED. I think there is someone feeling the heat rising from the comfy seat right now for that signature.

  4. Anonymous

    Soon Netone prices are going up again but in a different way

  5. Juno

    Thank you for being part of the outcry Techzim.

    1. Barf!

      Well said, Juno!

  6. Barf!

    How does anyone determine a “fair” price for anything in Zimbabwe? With the rampant inflation, erratic power supplies, and no hope, let alone hint, of improvement in, say 2 – 5 years, of anything in ZImbabwe, a “fair” price is impossible to put in place.

  7. The Empress

    Miricles still happen or maybe the person in charge of writing the government Statutory Instruments is now working for Netone.
    Netone rolled back their planned price increase!
    I’m confused nd shocked. This sort of thing never happens.
    In the Land of the Rising Prices this sort of thing never happens.

  8. The Empress

    Maybe this was the plan all along. Announce an insane price increase knowing full well that the backlash would be severe.
    Now pay attention this is the part of pure genius.
    2 weeks later Netone will announce another price increase but use the canceled price increase for comparison to make the new price increase sound reasonable whilst saying that the difference between the two prices is going to be swallowed by netone and not passed on to the consumer. 🤔

    1. Barf!

      Exactly, Empress! Unfortunately… 🙁

  9. kman

    It’s basic psychology.
    If you want to borrow $20 from a friend, to increase your chances of getting that loan, you present an exaggerated amount, say $80. When your friend obviously says no to the huge amount, they are more likely to agree to a lower amount, which in this case would be what you needed all along.

  10. kman

    Anyway it’s almost too late for data prices to be in any acceptable range.

    if people are finding the current prices acceptable: $40 USD for 10GB (6500zwl at bank rate), then there is no hope for true affordability.

    it’s insane to think that we pay such amounts for so little,
    what i think is the best price for 10 GB of Data is $5USD, anything more than that for 10GB is daylight robbery, MNOs taking advantage of an optionless public.

    1. Eric

      True that Kman $5 shld get u 10Gig at least nt these prices we see

  11. Cybercrawler

    Trying to play catch up ye 5g by robbing citizens is not acceptable NetOne .

    1. Hugh Jarse

      They’re only doing what zpf have done all along. They’re wholly owned by them as well, unfortunately…

  12. Data War

    10GB should cost the equivalent of 5USD

    1. Dgc

      Its still too high, compare to those fast and unlimited data charges and they are not the cheapest on the market

      Uncapped Broadband Prices in South Africa
      ISP Technology Download Speed Monthly price
      Afrihost DSL 5Mbps R279
      Afrihost DSL 10Mbps R397
      Telkom FTTH 25Mbps R399
      Rain 4G 10Mbps R479
      Vodacom Wi-Fi 4Mbps R499
      Afrihost DSL 20Mbps R597
      Afrihost DSL 40Mbps R697
      Vodacom Wi-Fi 8Mbps R699

  13. D1vant

    Netone was just trolling with y’all.

  14. Dribra

    Techzim come on you people. Data tarrifs in our country are already way high. Netone charge of 10gig of ZW$6500 is around US$52 using the official rate. ECONET’S charge of ZW$4920 is around US$39. Where on earth do we find such exorbitant fees. You guys should stop encouraging these guys to hike their basing on your fibble theories of the land’s hyper-inflation situation. I thought you were actually going to advocate for netone to align their data prices to acceptable prices in US$. If 15gig of data on Cell C SA is currently going for R149, approximately US$9. So why would techzim advocate for data price hikes when ours is already very high. This seriously boggles my mind.

  15. Anonymous

    Zimbabwean will complain for a few day and still buy such expensive data

  16. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Just waiting for someone to claim the “caring government” instructed the reduction. We’ve seen these tricks before.

  17. Sinokubulela Ncube

    They did not revert to old prices, the 25GB was $6500. This price is more realistic

  18. Anonymous


  19. jonah


  20. sibanda


  21. DGC

    #Data must fall

  22. 1 Letter V

    Mad Company

  23. Barf!

    It won’t be long, probably a month or two, before those prices will be reinstated. It can’t be helped. The same greedy, useless lot are back at the helm. Watch for the 1,000,000 dollar bills and higher, over the next 3 – 4 months, as Zimbabwe goes down the tubes (again!)…

  24. Hugh Jarse

    Those increases will be reinstated within a month, with some extra added! The ZWD, or whatever you want to call it, is headed for another head-on crash, into solid rock, at speed! It won’t be long before the good ole greenback is reinstated, but they’ll printing millions, billions, and probably trillions again, just before that!

  25. Fafi

    POTRAZ okayed the “new tariffs”? So basically, all across the board, no-one considers the average citizen, what we have had to deal with economy-wise, Covid-wise, etc. What’s fair? What’s fair is for them to consider their current market, their market before the last increase, the market that they want to capture, and WORK IT OUT!

  26. Fafi

    Q1: How much did they lose that day?
    Q2: How much more did the competition make that day?

2023 © Techzim All rights reserved. Hosted By Cloud Unboxed