iBurst plans to dramatically increase the prices of its add-on data bundles for all their broadband packages.
iBurst recently announced five new broadband packages and higher data allowances on their standard broadband options, but what they failed to mention was that their add-on bundle prices may increase from the beginning of April.
According to correspondence received by MyADSL, iBurst will be increasing its add-on bundle rates, now called ‘Booster Bandwidth’, by up to 614%.
While iBurst did not want to provide details, they did confirm that it “has lodged its new tariffs with ICASA and awaits approval. The lodged tariffs include a drastic reduction in in-bundle rates and an increase in out-of-bundle rates.”
iBurst said that once it has received approval from ICASA it will make the out-of-bundle rates available.
According to a rate card received by MyADSL, the new prices for ‘Booster Bandwidth’ will not discriminate on the package type.
The new prices for add-on data on the documentation received will be R 110-00 for 100 MB, R 209-00 for 200 MB, R 495-00 for 500 MB, R 853-00 for 1000 MB, R 1540-00 for 2000 MB and R 2154-00 for 3000 MB. Their 6 GB bandwidth booster is priced at R 3630-00 and their 9 GB add-on will cost R 4950-00.
If one compares the previous rate of R 139-00 per GB for iBurst customers using a 9 GB account to the possible new rate of R 853-00, it is a massive 614 % increase.
When looking at iGo customers who used to pay R 139-00 for a 512 MB top-up, these customers will now have to fork out R 495-00 for the same amount of data. This is an increase of over 350 %.
Potential nightmare for resellers
Another nightmare may be looming for resellers.
It is never easy for resellers to explain to customers that prices are increasing, especially when they see other providers like Vodacom and MTN cutting their rates.
But it will be even more difficult to explain to iBurst subscribers that they may have to stomach the new rates for at least a month without having any option to upgrade their current packages to avoid the very high out-of-bundle rates.
iBurst’s aim with the increase in out-of-bundle rates may be to encourage customers to upgrade their current contracts, but according to an anonymous reseller customers have not yet been informed about these changes which means that they will not be able to upgrade in time.
An unconfirmed report suggests that the cut off date for changing a package was the 15 th of March.
The lack of communication about these price increases by iBurst to both their subscribers and the media is regrettable. iBurst recently punted their new service offerings and higher data allowances at a media briefing, but failed to point out that the out-of-bundle rates will increase.
iBurst have been criticized recently for their campaigns against WISPs and for not reducing their prices in line with market trends, and the latest price increases may not go down well with iBurst subscribers and the broadband community as a whole.