And thus capitalism creates more problems for consumers…
E-learning bundles have been an acceptable compromise in the never ending datapocalypse and its uncontrollable advent of unbearable internet bundle prices. Yet even though we talked about their pros and cons in our first in-depth article about them, we didn’t expect the recent advent of scammers that’s popped up stealing money from students who want bundles at a cheaper price, or even the pseudo black market for cheaper bundles that has cropped up either. And all this just shows a flaw that these bundles have which might only get worse as time goes on: their distribution model.
Now as we said in our last article about e-learning bundles, their distribution model of using schools or student societies as essentially bulk resellers of the bundles is anti-consumer, working more to the advantage of Econet, Telecel or NetOne than any actual students. Not only did it needlessly complicate the process of buying said bundles, but it also indirectly discouraged users from bothering to buy them in the first place and of course, buy the much more expensive alternatives in the first place . Now it seems this exact approach has spawned a problem for both users and all three network operators. Scammers claiming to sell the bundles for ZWL $250 have reportedly stolen from quite a few students, and now the menace of them makes this whole reseller ecosystem come into question. After all outside of your actual school, who else can you trust to buy these bundles from? And why should you buy them from anyone else besides Econet or NetOne themselves? It creates a problem that simply wouldn’t exist if mobile network operators were simply willing to put in a little work and create a system for specified numbers registered at the universities to have access to those bundles instead.
Another interesting factor is the one of the “black market” that’s arisen due to the reseller model as well. You find people selling 10GB of Econet airtime for ZWL$350 or so and all of them are getting these through “deals”. Where these deals come from is a whole other story, but again, Econet and Co. have created a whole unsanctioned market that again students might have to endure all in the name of wanting cheaper internet packages. It’s the complete anti-thesis of what any service platform provider should do, as instead of adhering to customer demands or needs, they’re making customers jump through hoops just to get basic services, and that’s creating chaos as a result.
Now to fix all this these companies might need to start some sort of approval or verification program, providing a stamp of approval for actual sellers and of course putting out messages and online fliers that state who you should buy from. Again, all which could be avoided if they switched their distribution model, but of course we’ll have to see if any of them do that. It’s the annoying conundrum of the unregulated behavior of or network providers. Makes you wonder what we have POTRAZ for in the first place.