July 26, 2016

If you drove on any highways, listened to radio, watched TV, or chatted to any friends in 2015, you have no doubt heard about Cell C’s Buyout Deal. This was the deal whereby Cell C offered you up to R10,000 (which was revised up to R20,000 earlier this year) for you to cancel your current contract and switch to Cell C.

This campaign was launched with a bang, but cancelled with a whisper. After some investigation, it appears that Cell C is no longer offering this deal to consumers (at least through Cell C stores).

If consumers would like to still take advantage of this offer, they can do so through Cell C’s call centre (084 145). BUT it isn’t simple. In order to even find out how much you could get for porting to Cell C (Cell C notes that they will pay you up to R20,000 but the actual amount varies based on a number of factors), you would have to submit a plethora of information to the company, including:

  1. 3 months of bank statements
  2. Your most recent payslip
  3. A certified copy of your ID
  4. Proof of Address
  5. Cancellation quote from your current service provider

Cell C’s Buyout Deal is still available to businesses though. But this is no surprise as all mobile operators will offer a buyout deal to entice businesses to move all their corporate contracts to them, provided it makes commercial sense for the operator.

Cell C tries hard to be seen as the “consumer champion” in the South African cellular landscape, and they have launched many campaigns to support this. This Buyout Deal was one such campaign, which finally gave the consumer the same negotiating power that corporates have, and empowered consumers to be able to switch mobile operators in the middle of their contracts without paying exorbitant cancellation fees. The end to this short-lived campaign unfortunately brings with it the end to consumers’ empowerment which is sad to see.

And so, it’s back to us being treated like just another number by these cellular service providers. At least until Cell C's next big campaign..

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