South African operator Cell C has launched UltraBonus, a promotion that gives prepaid users triple the airtime when they recharge. UltraBonus customers receive three times the value every time they recharge, regardless of the recharge amount.
Customers receive a bonus equivalent to 100 percent of the recharge amount, which is valid for calls to any local network (including Cell C), as well as for SMS and data. In addition, they receive another 100 percent bonus for on-net calls plus SMS and data. Bonus airtime is valid for 24 hours from the time of recharge but can be extended with additional recharges prior to the bonus value expiring.
The bonus airtime cannot be used to purchase bundles or pay for premium-rated services and it cannot be transferred to another person. All new customers who join Cell C will get the bonus. Existing Cell C prepaid customers who want to migrate to the UltraBonus tariff plan can do so by dialing a code.
As we have written on quite a few occasions, data giveaways, while variably costly to operators, have many benefits in terms of boosting usage habits for the future and helping with retention and acquisition of customers. Cell C’s bonus-data offer gives services away, but does so in a way that is dependent on the customer using already-paid-for services. In that sense, it stimulates use of the services in the near term as well as in the long term.
As a bonus amount, 300 percent is, of course, very generous and should be appealing to most, if not all, customers. However, the operator was savvy to design it so that part of the bonus is applicable only to on-net calls, thus saving itself some expense; the same applies to the exemption of bundles and premium-rated services. As far as data is concerned, though, all of the bonus is valid to all at all times, and data is most likely what will be most important to users. We can expect that UltraBonus to be very persuasive in attracting customer to sign up to Cell C’s prepaid plans.