Why Virgin Mobile SA hasn’t “succeded” yet

When Virgin Mobile ZA launched in 2006 – I visited their site and really couldn’t figure out what’s going on there. Immediately a bad sign!

Me being me, I tried to help them…

Fri, Jun 23, 2006 at 11:59 PM
To: sortmeout@virginmobile.co.za


OK, I can see you are trying to make it simple….
BUT, I really can’t figure out what’s going on on page 2 (http://www.virginmobile.co.za/virgin-portal-customer/RefineYourPackage.do )?

I’ve got experience with contract details and all that jazz, but you guys have lost the track…

First you ask for a down payment value, then some minimum willing to spend monthly (you should really make this a dropdown of possible values, because I’m sure the logic behind triggers on discrete boundaries only anyway),
then there’s the confusing “Finance” block with a couple of choices (what is that now? Paying off the phone? Is it included in the R100pm quoted? Or is it over and above the R100 that has to be paid?)

Where’s the line between contract and prepaid? Or what’s your story? It isn’t clear. Try to make it more linear instead of putting blocks of information on one page that confuses the user (for the “create your package” section)

All I want to see is: How much is it going to cost me per X months, final value. No Commitment value AND some other payment value of which the relationship is unknown.
Keep it simple.

Also, you pay R100 commitment, but you fail to mention if you get that as a credit value? And what about the other payment in that Finance block?

It’s just not “there” for the user, i.e. not clear what the cost is…
All because of that “finance” block.

Also, does this commitment amount mean FOREVER? Or is it for some random period of time???

OK, hope you get it right….
(it’s usually easy to understand something that YOU designed; just remember to test it on users first….)



Virgin Money ZA‘s site is awesome in comparison to Virgin Mobile ZA.


They have changed their site a lot since then, but still, everyone I know does not understand how virgin mobile works! They are supposed to be “different” and “simpler”, but it’s just not coming out right.
Basically, they are confusing, and customers look and it and say “huh?” and then just walk away.

The site still suffers from too many input fields, options and dropdown boxes; and that’s suppose to be making cellular simpler?

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8 Reasons CellC could go down?

I predicted this in 2005.

You can read in the news how CellC seems to be performing poorly.

I sent them these emails back then, which they said they would forward to management, but probably didn’t. Which leads to the second reason they will go down – their 1) customer service people are useless.
(2) Not to mention they call them “Client Liaison Consultant”s, bleh)

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Google visiting in South Africa

Just got an email from our Computer Science Department


Google besoek ons Dinsdag 12:00.


Translated from Afrikaans:

Google is visiting us Tuesday 12:00.

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From Windows to Ubuntu Linux

I use Linux a lot – for programming mostly.

It’s capable of everything else too though.

I’ve been using Mandriva Linux (previously known as Mandrake) for a few years now. A pity, the thing just has not been getting better.

I always wonder, “Why are there so many different types/brands of linux?” (called distro’s, short for distributions).

Windows logo icon
Most people use Windows (XP). It’s a fact. Developers, office workers, you name it, they all use Microsoft Windows.

It’s not easy for them to exactly try something else.

Well, try this: Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Logo


Go to the Ubuntu site and you can get a free copy to install (or test) on your computer for free.
They will send it to you free of charge too.

* If you are someone who likes to explore or play around with your computer, then this is a great way to start learning linux, etc.
* Scared of the black screen command line? Don’t worry, with the new Linux desktops out, you won’t even have to see one.

Comon, let’s stop using a hundred different (distrowatch.org) linux distributions, and start focusing on making one great and popular, Ubuntu!
Microsoft has a Windows fits all. Why can’t there be a free Operating System (OS) like that?

Ubuntu is free. Windows is not. Just by the way.

UPDATE: Even easier to try Ubuntu:

  • Use a virtual machine – A program that runs a whole computer in a window. So you are in Windows, but you can switch to a window where Ubuntu is running and it thinks it’s its own computer. (Make it full screen, and you won’t even know it’s just a program in Windows.) Try VMWare or Virtual PC, both Free VM‘s
  • Wubi, Install Ubuntu the easy way – No need to change your hard drive partitions either, install Ubuntu in windows as a program (into a folder). Then when you reboot, it’s an option to boot into Ubuntu. Here: wubi-installer.org

There’s plenty of help for Ubuntu users on the internet. And it’s really easy to get help should you want to find out how to do something!

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iTunes U: Free Audio and Video Lectures (Education)

In a previous post I made on audio books etc, I listed some free sources of audio books and MP3’s for you to listen to on your iPod (MP3 Player), or Mobile CellPhone or any portable device. For those times that you spend waiting/travelling.

NEW: Apple, the legends, iTunes brought out iTunes U , U stands for University I guess.

iTunes U has arrived, giving higher education institutions an ingenious way to get audio and video content out to their students. Presentations, performances, lectures, demonstrations, debates, tours, archival footage — school is about to become even more inspiring.

Great, another place where you can get world class information for free.

Isn’t it amazing that the internet can allow me to get content from the top universities in the world, for free, from the comfort of my own country?

apple.com/itunesu/ – University and educational material (MP3’s etc) via iTunes!

Some universities’ iTunes U sites:

Mostly American universities.
Who will be the first South African university to have an iTunes.domain? itunes.sun.ac.za? or itunes.uct.ac.za?
apple.com/education will help you.

Google also broadcasts the talks that are given at the Google Offices to the world for free. Again, without technology, those talks would have fallen only on the ears currently in the room. Now anyone can be there, without actually being there.

Check out my previous page: time management i for some more links.

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