Hidden cost to move your Vodacom, MTN contract to Cell C

Cell C recently launched its Contract Buy-Out offer, giving mobile subscribers up to R10,000 to cancel their MTN, Telkom, or Vodacom contract and switch to one of its new packages.

To qualify, users must take a new Cell C Epic contract package, which has some of the worst post-paid tariffs available from the operator.

Cell said the amount of money it would give to a migrating contract subscriber is dependent on the size of the Epic contract they take up.

Starting with R1,000 for switching to an Epic 200, and ranging up to R10,000 when switching to Epic 1000 or Epic Infinity, Cell C made the basic terms of the deal quite clear.

What was not mentioned, and which is not shown on the marketing page for the deal on Cell C’s website, is what you will pay for data, voice calls, and SMS messages on an Epic contract package.

Epic contract Fee Airtime/features Post-paid Buy-Out Value Hybrid Buy-Out value
Epic 100 R69 R100
Epic 150 R99 R150
Epic 200 R129 R200 R1,000
Epic 350 R229 R350 R2,500
Epic 500 R339 R500 R4,000 R4,000
Epic 650 R449 R650 R6,000 R6,000
Epic 1000 R699 R1,000 R10,000 R10,000
Epic Infinity R999 Unlimited calls + SMS, 3GB data R10,000 N/A

Terms & Conditions

The cost of voice calls, data, and SMS messages of the Cell C Epic contracts offer the worst of two worlds.

Not only does it have the higher of Cell C’s two out-of-bundle (OOB) contract data rates at 99c per megabyte, it also has the highest voice call tariff of any Cell C contract package.

While it is worth noting that Cell C’s Epic contracts give more inclusive airtime value than you pay in Rand value every month, the fact remains that if your airtime runs out you’ll be paying R1.89 per minute on per second billing for calls.

A high OOB data price is something that can be mitigated by buying data bundles, but that is not an option for voice services.

Cell C’s various out-of-bundle tariffs for its contract packages are summarised in the table below.

Service Epic SmartChat ChatMore Straight Up
Data R0.99/MB R0.79/MB R0.99/MB R0.99/MB
Voice R1.89/min R1.50/min R0.79/min R1.05/min
SMS R0.50/SMS R0.50/SMS R0.50/SMS R0.50/SMS
All tariffs apply to local services only. All voice billed per second.

Other important T&C’s listed for Cell C’s new Epic contract packages are:

  • The Epic packages are available on both Postpaid and Top Up for new and existing customers.
  • SIM-only Epic packages are available on 12, 18 and 24 month contracts.
  • Epic packages that include a handset are only available on a 24 month basis.
  • Inclusive airtime cannot be used for international calling, SMS/MMS, or roaming.
  • Inclusive airtime cannot be used to purchase data bundles.
  • Calls to Cell C, MTN, Neotel, Telkom, and Vodacom will be deducted from inclusive airtime, but all “special numbers” are excluded.
  • Cell C will not be liable for charges incurred where the subscriber dials non-qualifying numbers.
  • When inclusive airtime can’t be used, postpaid customers will be billed out-of-bundle and charges will be added to their invoice.
  • Parallel, upward, and downward migrations to and from the Epic packages is allowed.

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Hidden cost to move your Vodacom, MTN contract to Cell C