Unlimited mobile data? Now those are words we’ve not heard in a long time. At least, not since the days when Blackberry was king and, more recently, when Telkom tried to recreate the unlimited data hype through its then-new Infinite plans that cost a little too much for our liking. Whatever our feelings, they were apparently successful enough for Telkom to release an even more expensive follow-up in the form of the Telkom Infinite Max Plus mobile plan.
“In line with our Summer campaign of showing up BIG for our customers, the introduction of the Infinite Max Plus product as part of our Infinite portfolio that offers unlimited data, is a demonstration of how we are committed to simplifying our customers (sic) lives and being the Best Value Network,” said Boudier Coetzee, Portfolio manager for Telkom’s Mobile Postpaid products.
The main attraction of the Infinite Max Plus mobile plan isn’t the promise of unlimited mobile data, though it’s definitely a major factor. If unlimited data is all you’re after, save yourself quite a few bucks and stick with something like Telkom’s Infinite Standard Plan.
No, the real draw here is for those people that are always on the go. It’s got all the benefits of unlimited (if somewhat slow) mobile data and plenty of voice minutes to waste, sure, but you can find that or something close to it with a little digging. It’s the plan’s “range of lifestyle benefits” that might convince a rare few to sign up. We’ll get to those in a minute.
Unlimited means unlimited, right? When it comes to Telkom, kinda. Yes, the data is unlimited on the Max Plus plan, though your network speed will be throttled to within an inch of its life (down to 5Mbps) after the first 60GB each month. That’s joined by 3,000 all-network minutes, 6,000 Telkom-to-Telkom minutes, and that range of lifestyle benefits we already mentioned.
It’s worth noting that Telkom’s Infinite Max Plus is available in 24- or 36-month contract flavours that’ll pair with whichever smartphone you decide to pick up, and to all new and existing customers who sign up for SIM-only.
The Devil’s in the details
You’re probably not surprised to learn that spending R1,100 on somewhat unlimited data isn’t the best idea. And Telkom knows it. That’s what those “lifestyle benefits” are there for – to prop up Telkom’s weak-sauce deal.
“These lifestyle benefits include travel benefits where customers can get R400 domestic flight vouchers, or they can enjoy a monthly R1,000 weekend away voucher as well as dining benefits which offer a 2-for-1 dining experience with R100 off the second meal,” it said in a release.
One quick trip to the plan’s Ts and Cs will tell you that customers are only eligible for six of those R400 travel vouchers throughout the course of 24 months, making for a grand total of R2,400. To make matters worse, Telkom says these vouchers “can only be used on www.tlctravel.co.za for domestic bookings made online,” and cannot be stacked.
Those R1,000 accommodation vouchers aren’t much better, either. For one, customers are only given a choice of hotels through www.nationalhotelnetwork.com when using the provided PIN/voucher code. For another, they’re only valid for the month they’re sent. Can’t go out for a weekend away once a month over the next two years? Too bad.
Those are only a few of the onerous terms that Telkom’s set, though it’s worth reading all the Ts and Cs in full if you’re serious about adding the Infinite Max Plus plan to your credit card.