An open letter to Econet Zimbabwe

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Dear Econet

The management, technical and support teams.

This is a letter based on experiences using Econet products by Van Lee Chigwada. I am a software developer.

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I have been an Econet subscriber since 2010. According to usage statistics developers get from Google, you account for over 75% of the traffic they handle. You have monopolized the field.

Who doesn’t associate mobile money with EcoCash? Or start with 077-something when asking for someone’s mobile number?

Thank you for the products and services. However, with great power comes even greater responsibility. 

The EcoCash debit card

The EcoCash Mastercard does not work for Google Play Store payments. Google simply rejects all payments. Please fix this. A handful of banks issue Visa cards by default. And those have some high charges, Barclays’ up to $5 per transaction. To pay for a $0.99 purchase that is too much.

The card also refuses to work for bill payments with American companies, Hostgator is one.

Network coverage in Bulawayo

It is the second largest city in Zimbabwe. I have contacted customer care more than twice about this. In the Nketa area the reception is bad. I have since relocated to Bradfield and the story is the same. The best response I got was, “These are problem areas.” Please look into it some more. I tend to purchase daily data bundles that I end up not using.

While on the broadband topic, if Broadband was a person I would have blocked them. Sadly I cannot. I get three texts notifying me that my data bundle has been exhausted. The same three texts for one notification.

Also, I get a text notification at 1049hrs that my 1Gig bundle will expire at 1129. The system could maybe notify earlier for larger volume bundles?

I am not well informed on the workings of the infrastructure but I will take a shot at it. Please upgrade some areas from 2g edge networks to 3G. We have proved we are loyal, we purchase bundles on a regular basis, we make calls too now and then. The people I interact with on a day-to-day basis use Econet sim cards. If not for the web, it is for EcoCash.

Last is the missed call alert system. Sometimes it just goes on leave altogether. Then when it gets back in office I get notified about missed calls from two days back.

Outside of that good job to everyone and thank you for the awesome service.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys a subscriber base of more than 9 million, undoubtedly the largest in Zimbabwe. Among other services, it has acclaimed dominance in telecommunications services, providing solutions in mobile, fixed telephony services, internet and satellite access and payment solutions, and mobile money services. Read More

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe’s second largest city. Its location was selected by the last Matebele king, King lobengula. Bulawayo used to be one of the country’s most attractive cities and a major transport hub for Southern Africa until Zimbabwe entered a period of economic depression in the early 00s. The name Bulawayo is loosely translated ‘the place of slaughter’ or ‘the place of killing’, which is derived from the Ndebele word ‘bulala’ meaning ‘kill’. Read More

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that th platform is said to handle on a daily basis.Apart from just sending money, the platform also allows users to make purchases, settle debts among many other monetary transactions Read More

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