/ 24 May 2011

Vodacom’s new airtime advance

In the scramble to offer customers products to keep them loyal, networks are forced to come up with good ideas. And at first glance, Vodacom’s launch of Airtime Advance is one such brainwave.

If qualifying (make a note of that “qualifying”) prepaid customers run out of airtime, they’ll be able to communicate using mobile voice and
data services.

How it works is you’ll be able to request R10-worth of advance airtime from Vodacom and the amount will be deducted next time you recharge. This is limited to R10, so it’s really like being thrown a lifeline when you’re stuck. But you have to repay the full R10 advance before you take another one, which means this doesn’t function as a credit line.

To qualify, you need to have been active on the Vodacom network for 12 months or longer, you must have recharged with a minimum of R29 (including VAT) a month (this can be cumulative) over the previous six months, and you must have completed the Rica process.

To see if you qualify, dial *111*082#.

The catch is that a service fee of R1 will be charged for every R10 advance granted, so this isn’t a freebie. On the other hand, if a
simple “Please call me” won’t suffice — say, you need to explain to someone where you are, or whether you’ve been delayed at a meeting and
so on — then it’s good to know you’ll be able to make a call in a pinch.

Read more news, blogs, tips and Q&As in our Smart Money section. Post questions on the site for independent and researched information