following the band(width)

“you are such an internet junkie!” i hear this from people from sometimes as i’m checking my iphone for the gazillionth time a day. “and your point is?”, would be my usual snarky response. though i guess the fact that  the bf sometimes acts as if the interwebz is/are his personal rival should tell me something! 😉

anyway, i digress. now that the bf is working from home, we are burning through bandwidth like  we still live in the u.s. where uncapped doesn’t mean you’re going hatless or are minus the arms and legs you’ve paid for your internet connection. this month we’ve had to boost our 5gb package not once, not twice, but 3 times. 9.5gbs all in all  – and i’m hoping it lasts us the day before we roll over into next month’s package.

now, i originally got my web connection 2 years ago on a dstv/mweb package. it made sense at the time – discount on a pvr recorder and  a combined dstv-internet bill, which is what i was used to in l.a.. that didn’t last too long though, before the 2 split and i was getting 2 bills in any case.

here’s a screengrab of the  mweb fee structure  at the highest 4mg line-speed, which is what i have (of course!)

mweb price-list

now, i buy the 5gb bundle, but i probably use about 8 a month. i usually boost by buying 1.5gb at R99. sometimes i boost at least twice, which has me spending R777 for 8gb. however, if i bought the 7.5gb package  which is closer to my actual usage, i’d be paying R42 more for less bandwidth. i don’t get it! surely there ought to be an incentive for buying a larger bundle!

for some reason i was struggling with boosting for the third time and had to call mweb in order to do so. then, while i was talking to the call-centre guy, he told me that actually, these are old prices – the new price for 7.5gb is now R952!!! WTF?! and that’s where they lost me. a few twitter conversations later and i’ve now emailed mweb my cancellation letter and i’m hopping onto the afrihost bandwidthwagon where i can get 10gb, note, TEN gb, for R290+R413  telkom line rental which gives me 2gbs more than i currently get, for more than R74 less than i’d be paying mweb.

i may be an internet-junkie, but i hate feeling like i’m being ripped off. so mweb, so-long, fare well off someone else’s money, not mine.


12 thoughts on “following the band(width)

  1. We had endless problems with Mweb overbilling us (by thousands) and finally ditched them back in August. We got Neotels 5gig package (Dataflex) but we are also considering upgrading to the 10 or 15gig. Their coverage is pretty good, and we have *never* had a billing issue with them. Their out of data billing is also reasonable.

    They offer a really reasonable unlimited package (R999) which includes their ‘phone’ system with something like 1200 free minutes too – which is an awesome deal.

    Mweb has ripped people off for too long (ditto telkom).

  2. i also got excited when i heard about neotel – only problem is that i live on probably the *only* street in my area that doesn’t get coverage! sucks! i’d rather not have to use telkom either, but unfortunately i don’t have a choice. 😦

  3. I had a mweb 1g contract, and i was constantly paying LOTS extra in out-of-bundle fees, because of their inability to cap me.

    I now have a 500mg vodacom 3G contract that came with my laptop, and they cap me the minute i run out. I then switch to my pay-as-you-go vodacom simcard, and buy the databundles as i need them.
    I also don’t live in a neotel area, and i love the mobility 3G gives me.

  4. Wow, that is a hell of a rip off!
    We use Afrihost and we love them!!!
    I had to laugh when you said you had burned through 9.5gb… we have a 50gb package and on many occasions we have to increase it bu a few gigs at the end of the month!

  5. R777!!! That is like, what £60? Sorry I have to translate here. We pay £10 per month for unlimited internet. Shame man, SA really has to get its ass into gear.

    • can you believe it? unfortunately i refuse to give up my connection to the rest of the world, which is essentially what the internet is for me, so i guess i have to pay!

  6. South African service providers are completely loopy when it comes to explaining how their package structures work and why they charge what they do. Its infuriating.

  7. This is how it is in Australia and I HATE IT. I like it back in the us where you pay a flat fee no matter how long you’re on.

  8. Hi,

    We are real sorry that we have lost you as a customer recently and hope that our new uncapped product is attractive enough to bring you back to us.

    Our latest pricing model is highly competitive and while your usage habits are currently limited to about 8GB per month, we advocate that using an uncapped solution like ours will change these usage habits and allow you to use more bandwidth intensive services online.

    I really hope that you find our pricing more appropriate.

    Thanks so much.

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