If you’re an MTN subscriber, we’ve got some bad news. The mobile telecommunications company recently announced it would be increasing consumer post-paid subscription or ‘contract’ fees and other rates due to a “challenging market environment”. Contract prices will rise by around 5% on average and will take effect from 1 April 2023, which is probably not the best time to introduce changes like this.
MTN could work on its comedic timing
While MTN says the fee increase averages 5.1%, it notes that some plans could see a higher increase, up to a maximum of 7.4%. Along with the contract fee increase, MTN is also raising its voice call rate per minute by 4% on average. As a consolation prize, it will decrease its out-of-bundle data and SMS rates by 25c/MB and 35c/message respectively.
The increases (and decreases) are set to begin from 1 April 2023, but depending on your chosen payment date, that could be the 1st, 12th, 17th, or 27th.
If you think any of this applies to you, you should expect an SMS from MTN in the next day or two notifying you of the change. If you don’t feel like waiting, you can browse this extensive list of plans to find your increase. The Right Control + F (Windows) or Command + F (macOS) ‘Find in page’ shortcut is your friend here if you’re on a PC.
MTN elaborated on what it meant by “challenging market environment” in its statement. “The impact of the current inflationary environment has resulted in increased input costs, driven by load shedding and rising fuel usage, which have been further aggravated by ongoing battery theft and vandalism.”
Most, if not all, South Africans are aware of those difficulties. Some might even feel a little sympathy for the tiny startup telecoms company. Especially when it says it wants to assure customers it’s working very hard to bolster its network with backup power solutions and will increase security to guard against theft and vandalism.
But many South Africans probably don’t feel that way. For most, the thought of yet another monthly expense increase probably evokes different (stronger) emotions. We don’t think adding a section in the FAQ reminding people that MTN definitely has the right to increase its prices will help dissuade those emotions.