MTN cancels automatic 1MB data bundles

MTN has backtracked on its plans to launch a 1MB data bundle which renews automatically when a customer’s data is depleted.

Last week, MTN said it would launch an auto-renewing data bundle similar to Vodacom’s Data Refill service, which automatically took effect when users depleted their data.

MTN said the aim of the automatic 1MB universal bundle was to ensure that customers would remain connected.

“The automatic bundle was designed to better serve our customers’ connectivity needs and at a low rate,” said MTN South Africa CBG executive Mapula Bodibe.

“Our intention is to provide our customers with user-friendly solutions, off our world-class network, in a manner that best connects them to their daily lives.”

Consumer backlash

There was significant concern from consumers that Vodacom and MTN’s Data Refill and auto-renewing bundle services were just a repackaged form of out-of-bundle data usage, however, and were not aligned with the spirit of ICASA’s End User and Subscriber Service Charter.

“We remain committed to compliance and respect both the intention and spirit of the regulations and laws that govern our sector, and we have also heard the concerns raised by our customers in response to this proposed offering,” Bodibe said.

“Our customers have made it clear that they do not want the automatic bundle option and we have therefore taken the decision not to implement the change,” Bodibe said.

Currently, all customers that have not actively chosen to opt in to OOB usage remain blocked from using OOB data.

MTN customers can select whether to use OOB data or to block OOB usage with immediate effect.

The company added that it has also implemented an improved and simplified OOB menu on the USSD code *135*6#.

This updated menu offers customers the choice to either opt-in or to opt-out of OOB usage.

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MTN cancels automatic 1MB data bundles