Cell C CEO Alan Knott-Craig said that “it is a fact” that Cell C offers the best guaranteed anywhere, anytime call rate in South Africa and to 50 international destinations.
Cell C shook the South African cellular market when the company announced a 99c per minute rate, billed per second, for all its subscribers. Cell C also extended this rate to numerous international destinations.
Cell C further simplified their pricing structure. All Cell C calls – including on-net calls, calls to other networks, and international calls to 50 destinations – are charged at exactly the same rate. There is also no difference between peak and off-peak rates.
Vodacom and MTN hit back, saying that they still offer a better overall value proposition when taking their promotions and special discounts into consideration.
On 16 May 2012, only hours after Cell C unveiled its 99c tariff plan, MTN said in a press statement that its pre-paid tariffs remain the most affordable in the market, despite pre-paid price cuts by its competitors.
MTN said that their MTN Zone price plan consistently offers customers free calls through MTN’s unique offerings of Mahala Thursdays, Mahala Nights, Mahala Weekends, and Mahala Day time rates.
Vodacom’s chief consumer officer, Phil Patel argued that many of Vodacom’s customers experience lower rates than Cell C’s 99c per minute because of the company’s wide range of products targeted at specific market segments.
Patel pointed to Vodacom’s pre-paid Day-Night Double free airtime promotion, where subscribers can get free on-net calls when recharging with R29 or more during the promotional period.
Cell C CEO Knott-Craig dismissed these arguments, saying that they “continue to offer the best guaranteed anywhere, anytime call rate in South Africa (and 50 countries). That is fact”.
“Cell C is also the only company willing to advertise the actual rates it charges its customers,” said Knott-Craig.
In recent articles consumers share Knott-Craig’s views, welcoming Cell C’s simplified rates and praising the company for dropping prices without any conditions.