Some of my colleagues laugh at me when we discuss my search for clarity on mobile phone packages. They don't say it, but I suspect they think I'm complicating things that are simple enough to understand. Afterall, they managed to navigate the jungle and finally find mobile packages that suit them, so why can't I?
For those who came across this blog post in isolation, I’m currently conducting research to find out how easy it is for an ordinary South African consumer to sift through available information on mobile phone packages in SA so he/she can make a well-informed buying decision.
Ideally, the service provider would offer packages from all three mobile providers, giving the consumer choice, and the opportunity to compare offerings, in one place. Later I will also look at Virgin Mobile's offerings to see if they priovide the simplicity they talk about.
So far I’ve visited the web sites of Nashua Mobile and Altech Autopage Cellular. Read more Part 1 of the experiment here.
Today, I’m exploring the web site of Altech Supercall’s web site to see how easy it is to sift through their offerings.
The shopping process
Buoyed by the promise of simplicity on the Web Site's front, I clicked on “Tariffs” on the left hand page, chose a “Hybrid” plan [made up of a post-paid contract with pre-paid top up facility].
Unfortunately, I couldn’t access offerings of Vodacom, MTN and Cell C on the same page. So I had to manually click on each network service provider, then get the various packages they offer on the Hybrid plan.
To try to simplify things further, I chose plans that cost almost the same across all three networks, so I can determine what value that amount of money offers me for the different providers.
Like Altech Autopage Cellular, the user on Altech Supercall’s web site has to note the data from each network provider, then compare it manually. It’s easy enough to do, but still doesn’t beat Nashua Mobile's web site for simplicity.
That said, I especially liked the fact that Supercall provides a good breakdown of what the packages entail (the monthly payment, the once off connection fee, what you get for monthly payment you make).
They also provide a solid description of the phones that are on special through the “Tools”, then “Phone Selector” icons. So when I was looking at handset options, I didn’t have to constantly wonder “that’s nice, but what does it really do?”