Dear Vodacom, I’m staying.
The imminent New Year means an important moment, my cellphone contract is up for renewal.
Cellphones are enormously personal devices, living in your pocket or within arms reach for their entire tenure with you, probably the closest most of us will ever get to an artificial limb. This highly dependent relationship with your phone means that picking the right package is important and a disaster if you pick wrong. Honestly, I can’t wait to ditch my cracked, laggy handset for one that can hopefully keep up with my swiping and tapping.
If I recall correctly, this will be cellphone number #5… 5 in 11 years to be exact. I’ve had Samsungs, an LG, an HTC and even a Sagem that made animal noise ringtones (in 2006 when that was cool). I also had at least 3 internet dongle contracts during my nomadic bachelor life. Throughout my mobile device usage the only thing that has remained consistent despite the leaps forward in technology, is the appalling service from mobile providers. I have personal experience with Vodacom and Cell C.
This year, Vodacom jacked my contract price up by 10%. I’m not even sure if “contract price” is the right phrase because to me the word “contract” denotes a committed consistency. It has put me in a quandary come renewal time. Is this a moment to exert my consumer power and switch providers? Or am I kidding myself if I think I’m going to find a better overall experience/package/deal elsewhere?
I’ve chosen not to dwell on the question for too long. I’m confident that switching is a waste of time; it only takes a cursory glance at comments about mobile providers on Facebook to see that all mobile providers suck — at best customers are indifferent to their provider. I’ve switched from Vodacom to Cell C and back in search of the mobile-unicorn and enough is enough.
Therefore, in a first world version of self-immolation, I’m going to renew my contract with Vodacom because they’re just as bad as their competitors. I feel like the best I can do is save myself the paperwork and queues involved in chasing the unicorn elsewhere.
Therefore, in a first world version of self-immolation, I’m going to renew my contract with Vodacom because they’re just as bad as their competitors.
Finally, to South Africa’s mobile providers — may 2016 be there year that you spend more money on your staff, your websites and your customer service teams than on your marketing campaigns.
If you can relate, why don’t you share this piece on your mobile provider’s Facebook Page or Tweet them — maybe we can start a mobile revival.