After numerous complaints by the public about the variations in SIM card pricing in different areas, the Zambia Information and Technology Authority (ZICTA) has confirmed that it is illegal to sell SIM cards over the standard K5 price.
Most traders are complaining that they charge higher than the stipulated amount due to transport costs as they bring in the SIM cards from distant places.
The thing is, traders buy SIM cards for resale in bulk at a discount, so the margin between that discount and the K5 is their profit. Them charging extra for the card is basically just them ripping off people. Most of them who sell SIM also sell airtime vouchers, which they also buy in bulk at a discount, meaning they are making a profit from both the SIM cards and the airtime vouchers in the end. C’mon!
This goes for airtime too. Traders are not allowed to sell the vouchers at a price above their value e.g a K5 card for K6. As you often hear, offenders will be punished by the law.
We might as well talk about SIM registration. It’s supposed to be free. So any place that charges you to register your SIM card is actually breaking the law and should be reported.
So what do you do if you find a trader selling SIMs for more than K5, or charging you for SIM registration? Report to ZICTA. They even urge you to do it on their Facebook page. First word that popped up in my head was ‘snitch’ but hey, we’re trying to maintain standards here. You can also email your complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to do it anonymously.
Image Credit: Sim Cards Free, Tim Thumb