26 February 2013

Cell C contract considerations - just my opinion on how to save some cash

Cell C is - at least on the surface - doing a lot right at the moment, which to me is really no surprise since they've got the former Vodacom CEO now!

Simplifying the contracts has been a breath of fresh air - R1 gets you 1MB, 1SMS/MMS, 1 minute airtime (at 99c per minute per second billing).

Cell C offers you a bunch of these "bundle" deals from R30 per month to R800pm.

The way I see this unfolding is unless you intend to use SMSs and lots of data, you don't want to pay for the bigger contracts, and here's my reasoning, by means of an example:

Allocated Minutes
Used Minutes
Out of Bundle Minutes
Carry-over Minutes
Cost per month
Straight up 100
Straight up 200
If you sign up for R100pm (100mins, 100SMSs, 100MB) then you can use up to 100 minutes without paying out extra. If you end up using 153 minutes, you'd pay 99c * 53 (which is R52.47) on top of your 100 minutes (R100) giving you a total usage for the month of R152.47. The alternative is to get the next one up - the R200 per month deal. In the same example above you'll use 153 minutes, bank 47 unused, and pay R200 - you've wasted R47 because if you're not using those 47 minutes, they're just sitting there slowly accumulating and eventually expiring. That's a R47 loss per month on airtime you're not using. 

This is the important factor: Banking the minutes is irrelevant with Cell C because you will be storing up minutes you've not used, that you've paid for, and won't ever get around to using (exhibited by your average monthly usage) whereas the reverse is better - only pay for what you use and that's it - no risk of banked minutes expiring or paying for airtime you won't use

Of course, the ONLY benefit to the extra R100pm on contract is the additional 100MB and 100SMSes but if you don't plan to use that much data, you're better off with my idea.

Over one year the Straight up 100 will cost you R1 829.64 and the Straight up 200 will cost you R2 400.00 which is almost four months paid up on Straight up 100.

So, in my opinion, pay for what you need and then go on pay-as-you-use because you won't end up with extra minutes being banked. The cost per minute remains 99c out of bundle anyway, so actually from a pure talktime perspective, it's cheaper to go with 99c per minute than the R1 per minute in bundle.

25 February 2013

Outsurance R400 promotion is a farce

Okay, so the heading is a bit sensationalist but it gets the attention it requires.

Basically, I am venting, and what better forum to vent than on my personal blog with its tens of thousands of visits?

Outsurance is so confident that it can offer you the cheapest premium around that it to give R400 to anyone who doesn't receive a cheaper quote from Outsurance.

Their text is as follows:

We are prepared to pay anybody R400 cash if we are unable to beat his/her current car insurancepremium when quoted on a like-for-like basis. It’s quite simple, if our quote on your car is more expensive than what you’re currently paying and you decide not to switch your insurance to us, you get cash. If we are cheaper, you get cash through your monthly savings with us. It’s a win-win situation for anyone that is not already an OUTsurance client.

The important bit is this: "if our quote on your car is more expensive than what you're currently paying and you decide not to switch your insurance to us, you get cash."

When I phoned Outsurance to get a quote on my car, I was given a price of R50 more per month than my current premium with their competitor, and told them I had a comparative quote from King Price Insurance for R300 cheaper per month. I genuinely could not understand the difference and asked the call centre agent - Julian - to help me get a lower premium.

Julian was adamant that I should not consider King Price. He threw arguments at me about how King Price is an unknown entity because I've never had a policy with them before and they are new upstarts and so on. I responded by saying I've never had a policy with Outsurance either so they're also an unknown entity for me and if Outsurance is - by his reasoning - so spectacular now then it must be remembered that they also had humble beginnings so I could not ignore King Price possibly growing into the same perceived league domination as Outsurance has today. I then said if Outsurance can't beat my current premium, I want the cash.

Julian simply refused to pay out, saying I had obtained a quote last year so I can't qualify for it again. I pointed out last time the quote was around five Rand cheaper so I didn't move across to Outsurance because it wasn't worth the admin and pain. Julian insisted I don't qualify again, and I said I have never qualified before - am I now being penalised because a few months ago I chose to not move across to Outsurance so I am disqualified now from getting the payout?

After a long and draining argument with Julian growing incredibly rude and cocky, I spoke to his call centre manager (Karl) and obtained some explanation that the last quote was received within the past 186 days (six months) which disqualifies me from getting a payout.

I don't understand how that's possible since I have never qualified before but there you have it - if you have ever received a quote from Outsurance up to six months prior - regardless of whether it was more or less - you cannot qualify for the R400 payout.

I wonder if I get my wife to phone in whether it will still reflect on their system...