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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


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 ( )?

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)

__(‘Read the rest of this entry »’)

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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.


__(‘Read the rest of this entry »’)

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Google Calendar has free SMS notifications (for South Africa too)

Google Calendar – probably the best online calendar you will find.

UPDATE: Get sms notifications of events on ANY calender! In fact, now you can schedule reminders for events on your personal calendar or any other calendar to which you’re subscribed.

NEW: Google calender mobile cellphone version!

Visit on your mobile web browser.

  • Multiple calendars on one account – so you can separate the different parts of your life/schedule (work, home, etc)
  • Share events and calendars – You can let a calendar be show to the public or share a calendar with someone.
  • Planning an event? – You can create invitations, send reminders and keep track of RSVPs right inside Google Calendar.

star new item Now, the main reason for this post is the SMS/text notifications you can setup for any event! And it costs you nothing!

Staying on schedule
You can set up automatic event reminders, including mobile phone notifications, and instantly bring up anything on your calendar with the built-in search tool.

And they support all three networks in SA – MTN, CellC and Vodacom.

How to enable SMS notifications

  • Login to Google Calendar with your Google Account details (same as your GMail)
  • Click Settings at the top right.
  • In the Calendar Settings page click on the Notifications button.
  • Then enter your cell phone details and follow the instructions.
  • You’re done. Now any notifications you put on an event will come in an SMS/text to your cellphone. All for free!

Poor Google has to foot the bill for all the SMSs sent. I wonder how viable it will turn out to be?

Comments (4)

Free MTN sms – via wap

Free MTN sms – South Africa.

MTN logo

And so, I’ve created the third sms wap site!

By popular demand (ok, a few requests), I created a free interface for their 5 free daily sms. It wasn’t as bad as I thought.

What’s cool about registering on is that anyone can register (i.e. even vodacom and CellC customers).

MTN give you 5 free sms per day to other MTN numbers.


Just one left now… virgin mobile ZA!

Comments (17)

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