Computing Rants

iBurst Fails to Compete, So They Fake It

The world of consumer broadband is starting to turn a little cut-throat in South Africa. It’s a relief at least – I’ve been waiting for ten years for this to happen. Not to be left out in the cold, iBurst has also dropped their prices to place them on an, erm, even?, footing with the ADSL providers. And they did it not by matching the lower prices, but by splitting their single unified subscription cost into a “Subscription Fee” and a “Data Fee”, allowing the cost per gigabyte of bandwidth to appear cheaper than it actually is.
I’ve amended their pricelist with the appropriate cost-corrections:

How can the new “Subscription Fee” vary so greatly across packages? The account and equipment is exactly the same, whether you use 80Mb or 15 Gigs, yet there’s a difference of R335 between the two? Fuck you for playing me stupid, iBurst.

There has been a slight increase in the bandwidth allocation, mostly on the high-end packages, which is cool, but iBurst’s attempts to pawn this off on us as ADSL-competitive is tantamount to calling us retards.

They’ve also scrapped their “64k throttling” if you’re out of bundle – one of the original major draw-cards for me – if you want “uncapped anytime” now it’ll cost you R200+ per month, and if you don’t want to buy more bandwidth you’ll be hard-capped.

I guess what this really means for the average consumer is that broadband providers are now going to try trick customers using any marketing tactic in the book, and are going to play the numbers to try and convince you their service is cheapest and best.
Let the buyer beware – the spin doctors are in the house…

One reply on “iBurst Fails to Compete, So They Fake It”

When I got this email in December last year, I did the maths and quickly calculated that my monthly subscription was going to effectively increase, after their restructure.

The irony, was that they simply migrated me to their new package structure without asking my consent. I originally signed a 24 month contract in Feb 2008 for a 3.5GB monthly package. When they restructured packages in 2008 and replaced the 3.5GB with a 5GB package, they point blank refused to migrate me until I had signed forms and faxed them back, because that time, the restructure was actually benefitting me. But this new structure primarily benefits iBurst and now they’re grinning savagely and migrating me without asking.

They’re pigs. iBurst is going to go the same way Sentech went.

End of this month, I’m switching to Neotel. I’ll be paying R999 for their unlimited package. iBurst doesn’t have an unlimited package. Their equivalently priced package only gives you 15GB per month, which is a joke, because I routinely use over 30GB a month now.

iBurst is going to lose all their heavy bandwidth usage customers, and be left with people only prepared to pay bottom dollar to check their email a few times a day. And then they will go bust.

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