Airtel Zambia Networks has launched a new package called ‘So Che’ that allows users pick out bundles that suit their wallet and still be able to access cheaper voice, data and SMS rates in that 3-in1 combo package. However, days after the launch and what some users found is they could not access this service using the designated *140# short code. A call and some emails to Airtel’s Corporate Communications department brought forth this response about why others could not access the So Che packs, just like that:
“The ‘So Che’ pack is essentially a product meant to suit a subscriber’s communication pattern and usage of our services. For now the pack is only available to pre-paid customers except the following;
• Post-paid customers
• Pre-paid customers on CUG plans
Kindly note that this particular pack has been designed with the pre-paid user in mind who is being offered a discounted pack to be able to have a great customer experience. It is worth noting that the other groups mentioned above that are exempt from using/buying the pack are already on specific tariffs which are already discounted in some way or another. These bundles will be segmented such that each customer will only view the bundles that have been tailored for them.
Some customers may receive messages requesting them to await for a customized proposition e.g. “Dear Customer, thank you for your interest in SO CHE packs. We appreciate your patience while we prepare a customized SO CHE pack for you. Thank you”.
We are glad to inform you that most of the customers who received this message can now enjoy packs tailored for them. The ‘So Che’ proposition is a dynamic offer that will evolve over time to cover more facets of the customers’ mobile phone service.”
Well, it’s Saturday and the packs were launched on Monday (18th May, 2015) and the numerous numbers we at Techtrends used to carry out a check on the packs still can’t access them yet. Glad their statement read ‘most of the customers‘ so let us know if you are able to access anything when you dial *140#. We would like to know that this ‘most‘ they refer to is not actually the entire subscriber base.
These are the frequently asked questions so far about So Che, according to Airtel:
What is So Che?
So Che is a pack that consists of Voice minutes, SMS & Data and is available to prepaid customers. So Che has two types; Airtel Pack & All Networks Pack. The Airtel Pack can only be used to call Airtel numbers only while All Networks Pack can be used to call all numbers from Airtel, Zamtel & MTN
How does it work?
A customer dials *140# and chooses to buy an Airtel Pack or All Networks pack, with the options of daily, weekly and monthly packs. To check the balance, a customer dials *140# and selects option 3.
Can I use the minutes to make international calls? No. International calls will be billed according to the customer’s tariff plan. The customer can, however, subscribe to discounted International calling rates by sending INT to 5522.
What are the benefits of this product? The packs are very affordable. Each customer has a customized set of packs available to them when they dial *140#. Minutes can be used to make on-net calls only (Airtel Pack) or both on-net & off-net calls (all networks pack). Customers can purchase as many So Che packs as they wish, there is no restriction. Daily packs do not expire at midnight but last for exactly 24hrs from the time of purchase. Customers can buy as many packs as possible be it daily, weekly or monthly packs, or they can buy multiple So Che packs at the same time e.g. a customer with a valid Airtel minutes pack can still purchase an All-networks packs.