Some subscribers of Ghana’s largest mobile phone service provider, MTN are unhappy with the fact that the company is charging its customers for entry into it’s latest promotion “Text and Go 2010”. And these customers chose Facebook to express their displeasure.
On Saturday, August 28, 2009, MTN sent a text message to its customers on the ongoing promotion. The text message reads, “We are giving away GH¢3000 everyday. One 4×4 a week and two jackpots of GH¢100,000. Today only, reply to MTN to get 10 chances to win.” And the message adds that the text would be charged 50Gp.
One customer Aba Da-woode began the debate by writing this on her Facebook status:
“MTN. always finding smart ways to rip us off. Buy Zain and Vodafone credits and you automatically qualify to be part of their promotion (you got to register in the case of Vodafone though). MTN however encourages you, to use your credits to text as much as you can (each text is GH¢0.5, i.e 5 whole thousand old Ghana cedis). Basically, buying their credits at this time of stiff competition still doesn’t mean anything to MTN.
A swift response from Edward Amteifio reads, “shows how strategic they are dear. They have captured a greater percentage of the market. Especially with the kind of niche they have, they will always rule. (Laugh out loud).
“The switching cost is getting lower and lower Eddy,” said Aba.
“Yes but remember their niche is the youth. You left uni and lost your friends, the only memory some might have now is your contact, old contact and that is the most expensive part. After all, what are these new networks giving that are so exceptional, nothing new my dear. They are all the same operating in an oligopoly market. Stop me before I start giving to a lecture.Nice day,” says Eddy.
King Faisal joins in at this point and adds, “Eddie. I think you are right. They are all the same.”
Isaac Tetteh Donu directing his points to Eddy, had this to say, “if your idea of oligopoly market is anything to go by then you are missing the point because the telecom industry has grown, so it is all to do with our policy makers to protect our interest.CHECK THE ELASTICITY OF DEMAND is it makes economic sense. RIP OFF,” he emphasises.
And then Linda Moore chips in, “I received my text on my way home yesterday and was so pissed girl. They share my salary with me and still want the little I manage to save. Wahala will soon stop using a phone because enough is enough.”
At the end of the discussion, Aba remarks “customers are more discerning and nobody wants to feel cheated especially when there are options,” and she adds, “waiting for Glo to appear.”
This debates obviously opens a door into the mind of the average mobile phone subscriber in Ghana, especially MTN subscribers and what they think of being charged to enter a promotion.
MTN earns an average of $8 dollars a month from each of its 6.8 million subscribers, making the company to rake in about $54.4 million a month based on these figures.
Are the subscribers right about a rip-off?
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi