Why should data bundles and airtime expire?

 Why should data bundles and airtime expire?

Dear editor,

May I ventilate my concerns regarding the limited validity of data bundles and related pre-paid services.

How is it that when we pay for water or electricity prepaid services, we enjoy the services we pay for until the units purchased are exhausted. Not so with internet bundles and airtime. Why?

Is technology stuck somewhere such that it’s impossible to let data last as long as it is not used? Or is this playing well to the vantage of service providers at the expense of the clientele?

I find a similar anomaly with Pay TV in which case we pay for what we do not need or benefit from. For instance, on Multichoice Zambia’s Dstv Compact Plus bouquet ,my family and I watch about 10 channels out of the hordes of channels in that bouquet. Moreover, the bouquet includes channels with languages we cannot even understand.

To show that we really pay for what we do not need, our screen is awash with advertisements targeting audiences in Nigeria and South Africa. Is this fair even by standards of advertising? Essentially, we even pay to watch advertisements about all sorts of products such as insurance offered South Africa.

How would we benefit from data packages available in Nigeria? We see those advertisements with data packages in Nira(Nigeria’s  Currency).

Another area where we are not getting value for our money is PAY-TV particularly Multichoice Zambia’s Dstv Bouquets. Apart from the odds identified above, Dstv subscription does not take into consideration the fact that we may not have signal or we may have traveled out  or there is no power as is the case now upto 12 hours continuously in a single day as it happened in Meanwood Ndeke in Lusaka on Friday 30 August 2019.

Our subscription simply falls through at the end of the subscription period regardless of whether or not one watched anything. Clearly, most people are not getting value for their money – literally paying for nothing and for all fairness, it is imperative that this be rectified.

Service providers should ensure that internet data and airtime last as long as it is not used.

Similarly, Pay – TV should only charge per actual hours of viewing and allow their customers to choose which exact channels to pay for. For instance, one may prefer Bundesliga to Italian League – Serie A.

Therefore give such an individual an option between SS8 which is dedicated to Serie A and a channel that beams the Bundesliga assuming that it exists. The whole issue of packaging bouquets should be tailor made to suit a client’s preferences to the extent possible.

May be Consumer Affairs should intervene.

Elarm Chalusa



The Independent Observer


John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism

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