Why Melon Mobile’s Unlimited plans show limited calls and SMSes

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Melon Mobile says subscribers on its Unlimited packages should not be concerned that their profiles are showing limited allocations of voice minutes and SMSes.

The issue was first brought to MyBroadband’s attention by a Melon Mobile customer who had subscribed to one of the Unlimited products.

He noticed that his app dashboard showed that he was allocated 1,000 voice minutes and 1,000 SMSes on the 10GB option.

The reader complained that Melon Mobile might be misleading customers.

A MyBroadband staff member who had also signed up for the promo subsequently checked their app and found they were allocated 500 voice minutes and 500 SMSes on the 5GB plan.

The MVNO launched its Unlimited products in November 2023, offering plans with unlimited voice minutes and SMSes, coupled with one of five allocations of monthly mobile data — 5GB, 10GB, 15GB, 25GB, or 50GB.

Priced from R199 to R599 per month, these packages offer some of the best value of any mobile plans.

The promotion was launched shortly after Melon Mobile’s roaming partner — MTN — introduced its three SuperFlex plans.

These also come with unlimited calls and minutes, paired with 10GB, 15GB, or 20GB data, priced between R299 and R479.

MyBroadband confirmed that the MTN mobile app showed that subscribers with these plans had unlimited voice minutes and SMS messages.

Screenshot showing limited voice and SMS allocations on an Unlimited Melon Mobile package. The minutes and SMSes over 500 were carried over from a previous package.

We asked Melon Mobile why subscribers were only getting a finite amount of voice minutes and SMSes on its packages when they were advertised as unlimited.

The MVNO reiterated that calls and SMSes were unlimited on all the Melon Mobile Unlimited promo packages.

It explained that it did not have a mechanism to make the unlimited allocation automatic when it launched the offering, so it loaded subscriber accounts with the maximum it could.

“The promo went live with this mechanism in place, because it was the only option available to us,” Melon Mobile said.

“This is something we are working on, with a new mechanism that will automatically allow unlimited allocations to take place,” Melon Mobile said.

This mechanism will also show users that their voice minutes and SMS messages are unlimited.

Melon Mobile checks for violation of terms of service

As it stands, Melon Mobile customers who consume their allocations must contact the Melon support team on WhatsApp to refill their minutes and SMSes at no charge.

However, this comes with one condition.

“As long as they haven’t been using their voice or SMS allocations against our terms and conditions, the support team will add the necessary allocations,” Melon Mobile said.

The MVNO explained that the product was only sustainable if used for its intended purpose, namely for personal use and not for business, as stipulated in Melon Mobile’s terms and conditions.

“If our investigation shows that a user is using our services to run their business, we may not allocate unlimited voice minutes and SMSes to them,” Melon Mobile said.

“We have set a few parameters to make sure everything runs smoothly.”

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Why Melon Mobile’s Unlimited plans show limited calls and SMSes