MTN buckles under pressure, scraps automatic out-of-bundle plan

MTN South Africa has buckled under consumer pressure and will no longer implement its plan to introduce a “universal” 1MB out-of-bundle rate, from consumers would have to opt out.

“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,” said MTN South Africa consumer business unit executive Mapula Bodibe on Friday.

A week ago, MTN informed customers of its intention to make an automatic 1MB universal bundle available to customers, when their bundles expired.

The move, the company said, was in accordance with the additional changes brought about by communications regulator Icasa “a day prior to the implementation of the amended end-user and subscriber service charter regulations”.

“The revised regulations state that where a customer does not make an election (to opt in to or out of out-of-bundle data), and in circumstances where an operator chooses to continue to provide data services (which means not ending the data session), such services must be on the same terms and conditions applicable under in-bundle usage,” MTN explained in a statement.

“The aim of the automatic 1MB universal bundle was to ensure that customers would remain connected and would have avoided customers being cut off mid-session.”

‘Heard the concerns’

Said Bodibe: “The automatic bundle was designed to better serve our customers’ connectivity needs and at low rate. Our intention is to provide our customers with user-friendly solutions … in a manner that best connects them to their daily lives.

“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.

“Currently, all customers that have not actively chosen to opt into out-of-bundle usage remain blocked from using out-of-bundle data, as per MTN’s implementation of the regulations in February this year.”

MTN reiterated that customers can at any time to opt in to our out of out-of-bundle data using the USSD shortcode *135*6#.

“The updated menu offers customers two simple choices, to either opt in or to opt out of out-of-bundle usage, and they can block and unblock this functionality as they choose.” — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media