“There have been greater instances of overcharging in recent times, arising partially from the introduction of the GCT on the Special Telephone Call Tax on prepaid cards”
Excerpt from the interview with Recharge Manager Annalise Harewood by the Financial Gleaner, Friday August 2, 2013
Digicel it seems is very much concerned about the issue of people being overcharged by street-side vendors overcharging customer to buy FlexCard Vouchers as distilled in noted resident blogger Horace article Has your Digicel prepaid Credit been vanishing lately?. So much that they’ve launched a campaign to correct this irregularity, aptly titled the “Pay The Right Price” Campaign.
After all, despite Digicel’s new Six Pack of Plans introduced on Friday June 14th 2013 as described in Digicel’s New Rates make Credit Last longer despite no Postpaid Options announced, you’re Prepaid Credit won’t really last any longer unless you can get it for the right price. Basically you’re caught in a spider’s trap, if you’ve read my article The Prepaid Cycle and How Prepaid Credit gives your SIM Card access to the Prepaid Network explaining the Prepaid Cycle, you would’ve realized that each Credit Voucher has a preset Airtime.
Digicel’s Game of Phones has becomes obvious
If you activate the The Brawta Plan, Gimme 5 Extra Plan and The Double Bubble Plan as described in Digicel’s New Rates make Credit Last longer despite no Postpaid Options announced, you’ll get all those benefits but your Call Rates revert to the older Call rates from before. If you chooses the $2.99 Plan (all with per second billing), the $2.49 Plan or the $2.89 Sweet Plan (per minute billing), you’ll get the lower rate of calling minus all the Gimme 5 Free Text and Gimme 5 Free International Calling.
But no matter which Plan you use, you only have active Credit until the Airtime for your Credit Voucher runs out as explained in Digicel’s New Rates make Credit Last longer despite no Postpaid Options announced. You can see this clearly once you peruse the details in Digicel’s Tariffs & Rates!
Customer are finally catching on to this and so are complaining of being overcharged as they’re not quite sure what else they can do, given the nebulous nature of Prepaid Credit. Hence the Genesis of the “Pay The Right Price” Campaign on August 2nd, 2013 less than a month after the new MTR (Mobile Termination Rates) were announced.
Retailers who charge the correct price for Credit bear a Green tick logo, somewhat similar to the white tick with the blue Background used by Twitter and Facebook to indicate that the account is a verified account belonging to the persons whose name it bears.
According to Recharge Manager Annalise Harewood , they have no reason to charge more for Prepaid Credit as they’ve gotten discounts, quote: “Retailers already receive a wholesale discount when purchasing Credit for resale. However, some sellers try to earn more from each sale by charging a higher price to customers. Through this Right Price campaign, Digicel is saying that the consumer should not have to pay inflated costs”.
As you may know from my article The Prepaid Cycle and How Prepaid Credit gives your SIM Card access to the Prepaid Network, there are three (3) main Delivery Methods for Prepaid Credit based on LIME Top-Up Method Webpage and Digicel Top-Up Methods:
Digicel already has a network of 2000+ such Official Retailers which I mainly use when buying Credit, even if it means walking to New Kingston or going Downtown:
- Digicel dealer stores
- Supreme Ventures locations
- BNS and NCB ATMs
- Paymaster outlets
- GraceKennedy Money Services stores
- Burger King fast-food outlets,
- Mother’s fast-food outlets
- Courts furniture stores
- Digicel’s own website
But what exactly should those prices be? Take a sniff at my list, “yea you”, courtesy of Digicel’s Press Release:
- A JA$108 Prepaid Credit should be sold for JA$135
- A JA$200 Prepaid Credit should be sold for JA$250
- A JA$1,000 Prepaid Credit should be sold for JA$1,250
Digicel’s doing the right thing to avoid more customer complaining in frustration to the CACU (Consumer Advisory Committee on Utilities), an arm of the CAC (Consumer Affairs Commission). Especially in the light of complaints in September 2012 of Calls going to Voicemail, which was the result of increased traffic after the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) had lowered the Cross Network, on-Net and International Calling Rates on Tuesday June 5th 2012.
Customers felt back then that they weren’t getting value for their money as when they make calls, they expected to get the number they dialed, not voicemail. A similar sentiment expressed by customers about the price of Prepaid Credit may have prompted the “Pay The Right Price” Campaign, now so visible in the Traditional Media via Newspaper, TV and Radio Adverts.
Digicel however, is still focusing too heavily on Prepaid and has yet to announce any Postpaid Plans or reduction in Data Services as I’d hoped in Digicel’s New Rates make Credit Last longer despite no Postpaid Options announced.
So this inevitable future of Lower Data Rates as Digicel has already introduced the JA$4500 plus GCT DL600 smartphone to customers for JA$7000 (including GCT) as noted in Kelroy’s article Digicel to launch Affordable Android-powered 4G Smartphone in May. The DL600 smartphone is a very generous albeit secretly marketed and introduced deal to boost “4G” Data Usage .So lower Data Rates are coming to match their lower smartphone prices.
LIME had thrown down the gauntlet in a knightly challenged to Digicel in a 3 Year Campaign for Mobile Dominance as opined in my article LIME drops Cross Network Calling rate to JA$6.99 to kick off a 3 year Battle for Mobile Market Dominance. Digicel had responded back then and they have responded now. Dear reader, Digicel’s “Pay The Right Price” Campaign with the Green Tick is a Game of Phones against LIME’s 3 Year Campaign for Mobile Dominance.
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