iBurst recently introduced new packages, which offer a much better value than the previous packages.
Now there are three interesting things about this.
1) Customers have not been informed about the packages. I have not received any notification about them, and heard about it via mybroadband. From looking around there, it does not seem that anyone has been directly informed by iBurst. You have to fill in a migration form to be changed from the old packages (even though they have fallen away completely)
2) They have introduced a new pay-per-usage policy which is the default on new packages, and migrations. What this means is that you will not be capped/throttled, but will pay a fixed rate of 95c/MB when going over your cap. This is similar to the cell phone package deals, but is different from how things were handled in the past. It is possible to opt-out of this policy and have the "normal" throttled/capped service.
3) (and this is the clincher) A lot of the packages are now cheaper than before and offer more value. e.g. I am currently on a "Pro Intro" which gives me 1.5GB for R469 per month. The new package is called "Pro" and would give me 3GB for R449 per month. Wonderful! Here is the catch (which I am still trying to confirm)....
According to the migration form, this would classify as a downward migration as the monetary value of the package is lower. On a month-to-month package a downward migration attracts a fee of R199. On a 24 month contract it is the price difference multiplied by three, with a minimum of R199.
So what do you think of this? Is it just a clever way to inject some cash into the company, or a valid attempt to provide a better service?
It is certainly not a big fee to pay, but it totally takes the excitement out of the better value.
Here are the T&C from the migration form:
1. A downward migration is defined as moving to a package with a lesser subscription value (i.e. lesser monthly billing).
2. An Upward migration is defined as moving to a package with a higher subscription value (i.e. higher monthly billing).
3. Downward migrations on Month-2-month contracts are subject to a once off administration fee of R199 (incl VAT).
4. Downward migrations on 24 month contracts subject to a once off administration fee of the difference between the price in the old package and
the new package multiplied by three. Where this cost is less than R199 a R199 fee will be levied.
5. A migration instruction will be acted upon when this signed migration form has been received by iBurst, either a fax sent to
086 503 9111 or an email attachment sent to email@example.com or handed in to your local iBurst office.
6. A Migration instruction received before the 20th of the month will become effective on the 1st of the following month. Requests received after
the 20th will be effected on the first of the month thereafter.
7. An upward migration request may result in a once off pro rata payment for the difference between the current and new package option selected.
8. Data carryover on downward migration will be limited to the bundled data amount of the lower package
9. Migrations are subject to approval by iBurst.
10. A subscriber may only migrate if their existing account is not in arrears.
11. All Migration requests will result in Pay Per Use being activated on the contract, where additional data used above the monthly allocation will be
billed. Pay-per-use requests are subject to credit vetting.
12. iBurst reserves the right to vary the administration fees from time to time.