September 28, 2016

Cell C have just released a range of new Pinnacle packages. And it’s not a question of how much these will cost you, it’s all about how much you’ll get back…

Say What??

Yep, that’s right, Cell C will give you cash-back for subscribing to these new Pinnacle contracts. And this isn’t, we hope, just a marketing pitch, as the value of the cash-back is quite significant- ranging between R3,000 to R10,000 depending on which contract you choose.

What’s the catch?

Most cellphone contracts come with a built-in incentive that the mobile operators offer you to help “sweeten the deal” and reduce the price you’ll pay for the cellphone that comes with your contract. Although we are yet to see the handset-deals that will come with these new Pinnacle packages, we can assume that they won’t come with any of these subsidies built-in.

“So am I really saving at the end of the day?”, you may ask. You really are saving, and substantially so! Not only are the value of these cash-backs even more favourable than the subsidy that most service providers offer, but it is also really refreshing to see a mobile operator giving you the choice of how you want to spend this money. You’ll probably be able to use your cash-back to subsidise your expensive new phone, but you can use it to subsidise an even cheaper phone, or you can even keep your current phone and just take the money. It’s really encouraging to see a mobile operator giving this kind of freedom to the customer.

Cell C however haven’t released too much info on how this will work – will you have to spend your cash-back at a Cell C store, does it expire, etc, - and so we’ll have to wait to see how the fine-print for this deal looks.

What are the actual Pinnacle contracts like?

All these contracts come with the same amount of minutes, megabytes, and SMSs as is in their name. So for example, the Pinnacle 150 comes with 150 minutes, 150 megabytes, and 150 SMSs. However, if you bite quickly and get one of these contracts before the end of January 2017, you’ll get a whole lot more value included in the packages, which equates to double the regular inclusive value that comes with the contracts. So that same Pinnacle 150 will come with an extra 300 minutes and 300 SMSs. All of a sudden, these are becoming a lot more tempting.

But wait there’s more! All Pinnacle contracts also come with 1,000 worth of WiFi calling minutes, which is pretty neat and worth a lot of money. The only catch here is that you’d need one of the new phones which is WiFi-calling compatible, as well as a decent WiFi connection.

The prices for these new packages range from R39 for a Pinnacle 30 (with no cash-back), to R299 for a Pinnacle 250 (which comes with R3,000 cash-back), all the way to R999 for Pinnacle Unlimited (with R10,000 cash-back).

The packages come as SIM-only deals or packaged with a phone. We are yet to see how the phone deals look on these packages, however, as mentioned above, our gut is that Cell C are giving you this cash-back value rather than using that money to subsidise the phone, as all other service providers generally do.

Aren’t these new contracts very similar to Cell C’s Straight Up packages? Well yes, they are. Most of the new Pinnacle packages offer the same value as the Straight Up packages (this is excluding the extra promotional value that you receive if you sign up in the next 4 months). The Pinnacle’s are slightly more expensive than the Straight Up’s for the low-end packages (for example The Pinnacle 100 is R129 vs the Straight Up 100 at R110), however Pinnacle’s value kicks in at the higher-end packages, with the Pinnacle 1,000 coming in at R181 cheaper (and offering more value) than the Straight Up 800. Cell C’s Straight Up packages have historically been their best-selling, and best-prices packages, and it’s great to see an effective refresh of these old favourites.

Telkom caught the cellular market off guard a few months ago when they released their data-centric FreeMe packages, which give you a lot of inclusive data and cheap call rates too. You see, Telkom understands that cellular consumers are beginning to use much more data on their phones, while the use of call minutes is slowly dwindling. It seems that Cell C haven’t quite woken up to this new reality, as these Pinnacle packages offer a surprisingly sparse amount of data, really necessitating medium-to-high end data users to have to add a bolt-on data bundle to their package. And on top of that, Cell C are offering a whole bunch of extra minutes and SMSs as part of their introductory promotional offer, but it seems they aren’t as generous with giving customers an extra data.

But it’s not all bad news for data addicts out there, as the Out-of-bundle rates that generally come with the high-end Pinnacle packages (and we hope will apply to these new packages as well), come in at a cool 15c / MB which is really impressive.

Are they right for me?

The cash-back component of Cell C’s new Pinnacle packages is very tempting with you being able to get 10 months’ worth of subscription costs back from Cell C.

But to really find the right package for you, you’ll have to consider your cellular behaviour and specific requirements. Lucky for you, Tariffic is here to help! Use our free online tool (available at http://www.tariffic.com) to help you find your perfect package on any network, including the latest Pinnacle Packages from Cell C, once they become available on 1 October 2016. Using Tariffic, you’ll be able to see not only what the most suitable packages are for you, but also what bundles to add, and how much you’ll be expected to spend every month.

We can help you save up to 40% off your corporate cellphone spend

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