I travel quite often and a few times I received a bill at the end of the month which none of us want. I am sure many of us had the same issue.
A lot of people are of the opinion that you should buy a local sim card when you arrive in the country. Sure I agree that is the easiest, except that nobody know's the number. If you travel for business, you want everybody to be able to contact you. My problem is with the data charges. Here is a few messages that I received when travelling into Botswana yesterday.
I truly believe that the problem with the extortion in the data charges is not the technology, but the greed from the Service Providers, and the ease for them to make money out of them.
Vodacom welcomes you to BOTSWANA. For assistance, dial +2782111 or use the Contact Us page on the Vodacom App, both for free. Dial +2782141 followed by the last 9 digits of your number for voicemail retrieval then press 1 during announcement. Std rates apply. For more info visit www.vodacom.co.za/roamtc
Please note the following statement from the Message: For assistance, dial +2782111 or use the Contact Us page on the Vodacom App, both for free.
My problem with the above message:
Please note the following statement from the Message 1: For assistance, dial +2782111 or use the Contact Us page on the Vodacom App, both for free.
I have been in technology for many years. I have learnt that if you set something up, it will work for most scenario's. My opinion on this is that if you can set the About Us page on a website for free, it should be possible to set the rest up for free as well. I am however not expecting to get this for free. Bear in mind that you already pay the service provider you standard data rates and you are paying the roaming charges in addition to the standard free.
All I am asking is that it is a fair rate, as the charges are negotiated between the service providers. You can see this by the difference in charges in different countries. See the article below.
While some countries have more favourable data roaming rates, others, like Thailand will cost you anywhere between R120.27/MB on Telkom to R300.00/MB on MTN. So a couple of Instagram sessions could easily cost a few thousand rand!
You can view the full article here
You're roaming on the Vodafone World plan. On Network Mascom Wireless you pay R6/min for local calls, calls to SA or Int'l R6/min, receiving calls R6/min, R2.75/SMS and R17.50/MB for data. For T&Cs and rates visit www.vodacom.co.za/roam
You're in a Vodacom Travel Saver country which means that you can save while roaming. For R60/day, R7.50/min for calls, R2/SMS & R7.50/MB for data. SMS 'SAVE' to +2782123 to activate. T&Cs apply. Visit www.vodacom.co.za/saver
My problem with the above messages:
So clearly my Service provider Vodafone negotiated a deal with Mascom, which is a service provider in Botswana. I know this as the message states you are roaming on a Vodafone World plan. I am also in a Vodacom Travel Saver company, so another Special is highlighted.
It is just weird that the same company, Vodacom and Vodafone,(yes Vodacom was bought by Vodafone a few years ago) have different specials deals. And the deals does not make sense. Why will I pay R60/day, to pay more for my calls to SA. The difference between R6/min on the Vodafone World plan and the R7.50/min for calls on the Vodacom Travel Saver.
The cellular industry is driving me nuts, as I know that technically, it does not cost them much more when I travel in a different country. All that actually happens is that the call is routed through a different Switch or router. I am fairly sure that the billing solution that they use to bill us , would've been more expensive than just routing at no cost, through a router that they already owned.
To top this all, I do not believe the service that we receive from these companies in general are up to scratch in any case. I experience dropped calls and slow networks on a daily basis.