MTN has launched an auto-renewing data bundle similar to Vodacom’s Data Refill service.
The mobile network operator has sent a message to subscribers to inform them that they will be automatically subscribed to the service next month:
“Y’ello! From 7 June, when your Data runs out, you will stay connected with MTN’s auto-renew 1MB bundle at 40c. Keep a positive airtime balance or Usage limit.TCs”
When queried about this message, MTN told MyBroadband that it plans to begin rolling out this new feature to prepaid subscribers from 16 May and to postpaid clients from 7 June.
It will be applied to all customers who have not selected to opt out of out-of-bundle billing (OOB).
MTN explained that subscribers will have to dial *135*6# to opt out of this new auto-renewing bundle on 16 May if they are on prepaid, and 7 June if they are on contract.
“If customers dial *135*6# now, they will only be given the choice to opt-in to OOB,” MTN said. That is, unless they have opted in to OOB data usage already.
“This means that customers will have the option to opt in and opt out as they choose, at any time. Customers will have the power to decide,” MTN said.
Compliant with regulations
MTN said that this auto-renewing 1MB data bundle is allowable under the ICASA End User and Subscriber Service Charter (EUSSC).
It explained that the regulations state that where a customer does not opt into or out of OOB data usage, an operator may choose not to cut them off when their data bundle is depleted (or expires) as long as the service is provided on the same terms and conditions applicable under in-bundle usage.
“The rate of 40c per MB is an in-bundle rate for the 1MB automatic bundle,” MTN said.
“The reason we are providing this service is to solve the problem of our customers getting frustrated when they are being cut off, in the middle of a message or online, when their data expires or runs out.”
The 1MB auto-renew bundle will automatically renew when it expires or when it runs out.
MTN has not yet stated the expiry window for the auto-renewing 1MB bundle.