July 28, 2015

Ever since the Great Prepaid Price Wars of 2013/2014, some intrepid post-paid customers have been making the switch from contract to prepaid. There are usually three main reasons why someone would make this move:

1) call rates are cheap and simple;

2) a new handset isn’t necessary (because they prefer to pay for this in cash, finance it with their bank, or keep their existing handset); and

3) who wants to be locked in for a 24 month contract in a fast-changing industry?

(Just for the record- it is our view that if you find the perfect post-paid contract based on your lifestyle, there are many more benefits that you can get with a postpaid contract and you can bring your costs down considerably as well).

Lets have a look at that first justification. Are call rates cheap and simple? One would suppose that it’s as easy as walking into your local cellular store, requesting a pre-paid SIM, & then starting to take advantage of the cheap rates, right? Wrong. Believe it or not- not all prepaid rates are created in the same simple image. Each network operator would like you to think that they have the cheapest rates but the truth is there are now so many prepaid options that its really beginning to get difficult to tell who is cheapest.

So here’s the deal with prepaid rates (as at the time of posting of this blog):


1) Unless specified, all tariffs offer per second billing;

2) In addition to the above, each tariff plan also comes with a multitude of ‘special deals’ that you can pay for. These include getting unlimited calls for a period, Power Hour, My 5, PayAsYouGo Bundles and more.

The big catch with a lot of these tariff plans is that you have to opt-in to select the cheaper plans (this is usually done by calling a call centre or typing in a certain USSD code). And that’s the clincher - all the operators are very quick to advertise their incredibly amazing prepaid deals, but I think its safe to say that most of these deals are lost on many prepaid customers who aren’t aware of some of the fine print.

Historically, prepaid - with one set of rates - was simple while postpaid, with a multitude of different contracts & tariff structures, was more complex. But as you can see in the table above, the tides are turning with prepaid getting more confusing by the day. If you’re considering dipping a toe into this market, we’d suggest doing a bit of research before and making sure that you’re on the right plan for you.

Need help navigating this complex market and understanding the best post-paid contract to be on? Just go to the home page and Give our contract optimisation app a try.

Written by Antony Seeff, A Tariffic CEO

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