Last month the government ordered businesses to start quoting prices in both USD and Zimbabwean dollars – a practice that they had made illegal a year ago. In our recent survey we noticed that a lot of businesses were not displaying both prices forcing customers to enquire the price. ZOL, Zimbabwe’s largest internet service provider was one of those companies but it seems that is no longer the case. The company now has USD prices along Zimbabwean dollar prices on their site.
Before you whip out you reach for your wallet and rush to make payment here is something you should know-the prices are actually higher than paying using Zimbabwean dollars. In what can only be called an act of laziness, ZOL has simply taken their early 2017 USD prices and reintroduced these. We don’t even know what to say!
Before we start ranting and raving here are the prices.
For Wibroniks here are the prices.
|Data||Validity Period||USD Price|
|2GB||15 days + 15 days rollover||USD3|
|3GB||15 days + 15 days rollover||USD5|
|5GB||15 days + 15 days rollover||USD10|
|10GB||15 days + 15 days rollover||USD19|
|15GB||30 days + 30 days rollover||USD24|
|20GB||30 days + 30 days rollover||USD27|
|25GB||30 days + 30 days rollover||USD33|
|30GB||30 days + 30 days rollover||USD40|
|60GB||30 days + 30 days rollover||USD60|
|100GB||30 days + 30 days rollover||USD80|
|Package||Data Allocation||US$ Price|
|Fibroniks basic essentials||50GB||39|
|Fibroniks family essentials||100GB||$89|
|Fibroniks Come Alive||150GB||$100|
|Fibroniks family entertainment||Unlimited||$149|
|Fibroniks modern family||Unlimited||$199|
|Fibroniks turbo pack||Unlimited||$339|
Where to even begin
Here is something most businesses currently charging in USD are keenly aware of: the US dollar of yester years and the US dollar right now are two totally different beasts. Back in 2015 and even in 2017 most people were earning in US dollars and there wasn’t the sort of foreign currency shortages like the one we have right now. Now the US dollar comes with much more purchasing power. Never mind the fact that the current lockdown has resulted in a rise in unemployment and a fall in actual demand.
Add to that the fact that people expect, for a number of reasons, internet prices to come down and not stay the same over 3 years. In fact at some point ZOL were selling their unlimited LTE service for $72 USD (which seems fair considering the quality of the service nowadays), reverting to the price of US$119 effectively means a hike.
Deep down ZOL knows
We could be wrong but deep down we think ZOL knows. In fact, its very unlikely that a lot of people will be paying in USD anytime soon. Not unless that pricing changes. One is better off braving the dark alleys of the foreign currency than paying ZOL directly. Eventually, ZOL will probably start offering better US deals once their tone-deaf pricing starts hitting their pocket.