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)


No problem. Someone has to tell CellC what they are doing
wrong or right.

I can tell you one thing. Five free sms per day on your
website just does not cut it.
I have seen this single fact that Vodacom has 20 free sms a
day on their website be the deciding factor when people
choose what network that want to be on. I would seriously
consider changing your insufficient daily limit. It is not
that everyone uses all 20, it is just the fact that you
know it is there if you need it.

It is a pity that CellC is the only network that cannot
provide GPRS to prepaid customers. Here are a couple of
reasons why:
Firstly, the number of applications that require GPRS are
growing. Take mxit.co.za for example, the South African
company that is experiencing rapid growth in its services
Lastly, the million rand industries for ringtones/logos/etc
are usually heavily reliant on GPRS.
CellC is unfortunately missing these markets (and

Even if you have to bring out GPRS for prepaid customers at
a higher price than the competitors do, it is better than
nothing. In addition, it will prevent you from losing more
customers because of this factor.

You can bring these issues forward to management as well.

I look forward to hearing what comes of my views.

David De Caires E Freitas

3) Their website free sms doesn’t stimulate usage amongst users. (Only 5 free sms)
4) Way behind on their basic GPRS offerings when they should have woken up back then.
Clearly MXit Mobile was going to be huge, one could see it in 2005 already.

On Tue, 6 Sep 2005 10:06:17 +0200
“Customer Services” wrote:
> Good Day, David.
> Thank for taking the time to express your views as this
> is much
> appreciated and will be brought forward to management.
> Unfortunately we
> need to advise you of the reason why a Prepaid client is
> not able to
> make use of this services. As you may well be aware of
> the fact that all
> international call are billed in arrears and the use of
> GPRS is also
> billed in arrears we can not offer this service to our
> Prepaid clients
> as the cost for using the service is quite expensive and
> for this reason
> we urge our clients rather to take out a contract, if
> they wish to make
> use of this service.
> For any further assistance, please feel free to email us
> at
> [email]custserv@cellc.co.za[/email]
> Kind regards
> Nazeem Marshman
> Client Liaison Consultant

Look, if you make excuses and don’t listen, you ought to go down the drain. And if someone is giving you advice that would have you cost you thousands of Rands via some “consultant”, I would take it and RESPOND to it!

I can usually spot something that will float or sink before the time.

This was the first email I warned them with:

: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 10:33:55 +0200
To: “Customer Services”

Dear CellC co.

Thank you for responding, in due time.
I would recommend you put this information (about
international roaming on prepaid) on your website, so that
customers like me can find it out without having to waste
human resources.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gradual
disappointments with CellC.
I have been a customer with CellC from the very beginning.
A prepaid customer albeit. Which it seems, CellC has no
consideration for, seeing that there are no services for
prepaid customers.
How can a cellular company be economically viable in South
Africa when they aren’t catering for the biggest market

Clearly CellC is not attempting to make a good impression
with ACTUAL service.
In times when 3G has been rolled out on other networks,
CellC cannot even provide 2G services for prepaid customers
yet. Absurd.

Never mind the fact that your customers have to PAY to have
their MMS settings sent to them?
Moreover, the fact that CellC MMS gprs does not work on my
simcard anymore is really pushing my irritation with CellC.
(The customer service people do not even listen to
customers, all they do is restate the lines given to them
by management. Might as well have answering machines.)

It is all good and well that you try to have ‘trendy’
adverts appealing to the youth and all. However, at the end
of the day, word of mouth, from people like me can make you
or break you. I have been pedalling CellC amongst peers,
trying to persuade them to use CellC ever since I started
using CellC. Nevertheless, CellC’s disregard for service
provision has made me reconsider. With millions of
customers choosing to go to the major network Vodacom, can
you really afford to lose more?

You should consider that prepaid customers usually become
or recommend your contract customers. I have experienced it
In addition, the prepaid customers will spawn into your
business customers eventually.
A customer like me, who has spent literally thousands of
Rands on prepaid, would like to know that he is
appreciated. Otherwise, my money could well be spent on a
network that actually has services available.

Maybe CellC is not quite ready yet, maybe one day you will
have people behind the scenes who actually know what they
are doing. But, till then, I have to reconsider. And put
that CellC Contract application on hold.


David E Freitas

5 No appreciation for individual prepaid users who are recharging a lot. (Rewards or something)
6 I ripped them about their adverts: all the wasted money on promises, but no action/service helps no one.
7 No understanding of basic business principles.

8 The previous commenter was right probably – their careers are all BEE based. It’s not a charity, but a business, hire people who can make it work, regardless of colour. Else no-one is going to have work there.

Quick resolution?

Want a faster response to your query? Seems if you put it on HelloPeter.com, they will actually call you to help you. Because they don’t want to look bad on their website.

Send free CellC to CellC sms everyday.

About the author

David will tell you if your business is good/feasible in no uncertain terms and with high accuracy and amazing insight.


  1. JBagley Said,

    October 5, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

    Legendary post.

  2. Yasser Said,

    October 5, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    Fantastic post Defza!!
    after taking what u’ve mentioned into this post, im must say, im VERY worried about cell c indeed..
    i think cell C needs to hurry and save it self before it goes down =>(the drain)
    by the way, is their business profitable since their launch a few years ago?
    im curious to know..

  3. def za Said,

    October 5, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

    It’s quite funny, I was spending a few hundred rand a month on CellC, and totally stopped that about two months ago and just started recharging my Vodacom simcard instead.
    You would think they would have done something hay? Call me and give me some sort of incentive to come back or at least show some concern? Nope, nothing.

    The nice thing is 1 SMS for every 2 minutes of a call up to 5 SMS’s per call! So, at least you get something for your money! Which is actually better than Vodacom’s where you need to wait till you get 150 points before you can claim free SMS’s.

    Funny is when they made my day and gave me 3 (THREE) free SMS’s for all the recharging I did one month. Wow, didn’t I feel sooo special 🙂

    Anyway, I was a bit harsh on them actually – but I thought I’d help them by being a bit hard on them. And I’m sure they might have actually contemplated some of the points.

    Their prices are good actually. Maybe I just had a few bad experiences that shouldn’t have happened.
    And I’m sure they are trying to turn things up.
    The one thing that most people complain about is their contracts – I think they are trying to milk it too much and not being flexible with their contract customers.
    The nicest bet would be the CellC ControlChat – where you can’t spend more than your monthly credit. If I had that contract with a free phone, I would probably be happy with CellC.

    CellC isn’t really that bad – I wish them all the best, and they have the potential to be the best actually! I mean, I wouldn’t have stuck with them all these years if it wasn’t so.

  4. def za Said,

    October 6, 2007 @ 12:10 am

    Cell C cuts its data prices

    They are doing something you see – They just released the cheapest data bundles!

    People do actually like their ads even. I think?

    They have cool things like – Wooza Weekend – 120 minutes free Cellc2Cellc calls if you recharged at least R10 in the week.

    About their profits: they aren’t listed, so you can’t find their financials, but some articles say: “We know it has 3,4-million active users who spend a relatively healthy average of R157 a month. Revenue for the six months to June was R3,6bn, with a gross profit of R1,3bn. That was up 23% from a year ago, so it is clearly getting something right.”
    BUT they also say: “A more immediate issue is achieving a net profit.”

    Gross profit is How much they made LESS how much it cost them.
    Net Profit is the Gross Profit LESS every other expense not related to the actually product sold. (Interest, salaries etc).
    So they can claim to make gross profit, but their other expenses eat it up to leave no nett profit.

  5. Damaria Senne Said,

    October 6, 2007 @ 1:29 pm

    I forwarded a link to your post about Cell C to their communications people, essentially pointing out that they are not communicating with their customers as well as they should. I’m a journalist at ITWeb and maintain a blog on My Digital Life ( http://www.mydigitallife.co.za/mobilelife.

    I’ve also written a few articles where Cell C denies it’s going down the drain.



  6. shagrat69 Said,

    October 25, 2007 @ 1:06 pm

    I bought a CellC prepaid sim @ R5 and regularly recharge with R5 (until it required R10) to receive the wooza benefit (my girlfriend is with CellC) of 120 free minutes on weekends. Sounds like a bargain hey? Unfortunately this past weekend they cut me off after 107 minutes (couldn’t phone again afterwards, and it was on the Saturday)… Oh well. I guess thats where their disclaimer “Terms and Conditions…” bull applies. Just as soon they started to impress me they made another mistake.

    Indeed, that isn’t accurate, maybe their rounding off calculations aren’t properly checked yet… So you might be losing a free minute for every 13/14 minutes you talk… Who knows what goes on in the Telco’s systems…
    Contact the help desk and lodge a query/complaint, maybe it gets passed to someone who cares there.

  7. sharat69 Said,

    October 28, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

    Sorry I made an error – I got cut off after 67min not 107min, you must have thought I’m crazy 😛 So ya, they stole almost an hour…

  8. Jabu Masango Said,

    October 31, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

    Dude,cell c needs a total overhaul of its staff,especially da people who are workin in customer service.I’ve never seen such incompetency in my life.
    Somebody do something about those people, they are gettin away with murder.

  9. shagrat69 Said,

    November 4, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

    What a pity. In the beginning I (about 5 times) recharged with R5 during the week and then I made my 120 min worth of free calls over the weekend. It was such a bargain.

    Now I have to recharge with R10 and then I only get 60 minutes over the weekend… What a rip, it makes the wooza deal kind of obsolete now I guess. :/

  10. duke greeks Said,

    November 27, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

    besides da gprs n sms etc,cellc network is very poor on weekends,n onething dat i can see is that they ar trying to win lots of customers and that wont happen bcos,most ppl use cellc on weekends only.sorry cellc thats my view.

  11. greeks duke Said,

    November 27, 2007 @ 2:25 pm

    well cellc must just give away free starter packs maybe that will do…lmao.

  12. Siyanda N. Mava Said,

    December 21, 2007 @ 10:53 am

    i’m a vodacom customer,bt i do hv a cel c sim card…i also think cel c service is poor,even if u r calling a custormer service no. u while wait 4 more than 10 minutes…n thats so so POOR!

  13. Bongani C.Habile Said,

    December 27, 2007 @ 2:15 pm

    Well i’m a vodacom customer bt has a cell c contract which i use only to make calls,i was considering porting to them so i can jst continue using my voda number as my contract number for cell c. i didnt know much abt em bt after reading all the above msgs,i tink im cool with vodacom,besides ive been loyal 2 em 4 da past 8yrs. im sorry cell c,uve lost me as a customer.


    Look CellC have come along way since then, so give them a chance hay!
    They are even giving away Moola on MXit this month for their subscribers!

  14. Re@PeR Said,

    January 19, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

    I’m a CellC customer and fortunately I never had to deal with their customer service, but I do have some complaints on their poor GPRS service, especially while using GMail on my mobile 🙁
    Let’s hope they don’t go down like Eskom is currently doing.

  15. LUPFUMO Said,

    April 5, 2008 @ 7:40 pm


  16. Sue Said,

    May 12, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

    I recharge with R10 eveyday, and did not get my quota of free minutes on the weekend. How much do we get now? Now my boyfriend is accusing me of speaking to another guy.

  17. Thando Nxumalo Said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

    ive read all the bad things said about cell c. Just wanna thank them for the free minutes they give us on weekend.

  18. Franklyn Said,

    July 15, 2008 @ 3:12 am

    I’ve been a subscriber for cell c for almost a dacade and would like to say thumbs up for what you guys have done so far.to me cell c ,you are the most prefered network service in sa however you should do something about your customer service department.It takes them almost forever to help and i think you need to do something about the GPRS settings because when you request for them it only takes them 10 seconds to teel you that you will receive them shortly but however you will never receive those settings.i would like to say to them Guys don’t let us down that much because we’ve been solely behind you for almost forever.Work extra harder towards satisfying us as your customers otherwise thumbs up for woooooooooza weekend.

  19. mpya Said,

    July 17, 2008 @ 11:34 am

    they need to get their wap going even if its without 3g.
    if they can beat virgin at their wap pricing of 5o cents a megabyte.
    then they will win.
    and or they must think of getting smaller priced data buindles.like 50 rands or so to rival vodacoms very expensive data bundles.

    then they will be ontop.because everybody has gone wireless.and we use our cellphones to connect to the internet.i use internet on my cellphone when im on the road and then i use at home on my laptop.simple.and im no the only one everyone is using wap.

    i was on virgin unfortunaltly they also suck.
    they service stinks when i have my laptop connected i cant have any pages loading on my bowser somes i wait literally 3 to 5 minutes for a page to load and then still it wont complety load.right now im on vodacom.it loads fast but i love the underdog and i would love to give me a chance all they got to do is break the monopoly and give us low prices and good service.espacially on wap forget the free minutes wap is the future,push to talk is the future,voice over wap is the future,so if you can ship cellphones that have voip apps on them and promise ur customers cheap wap.then you will have a grand migration the minute you educate people about what they can do on wap.

    last but not least for CELL C.
    they should stop bull shitting they clients.
    why should i pay for wap and mms settings to be sent to me when everybody is getting them for free on their networks.

    its like saying that you want me to come into your house but first i have to buy the key.
    but other people want me in their houses but they give me the key for free.

    now thats why i left cell c

    and the way it looks im going to leave virigin too cos i want to browse and i dont care how slow it is(not slower than 5kb please that would be painfull) as long as its cheap and the pages load on my browser and i can get things done.

    thank you.

  20. nikki Said,

    August 6, 2008 @ 3:11 pm


    Great stuff! Do you know if i can cancel my contract – due to shocking, appalling, revolting service – without incurring costs? I cannot tell you how much i loathe this company and everything about it – from the bad music you’re forced to listen to for up to 23 minutes at a time – to that woman’s voice!!!!!! I can’t anymore. I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than have to call that call centre ever again.

  21. Lusani Masindi Said,

    August 20, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

    I literally cut my cell c sim card into pieces, i was suppose to call my girlfriend on weekend for free but the poor network made it impossible.
    my friend has frequent disconnections while in Mxit, he is loyal to cell c but admits that it has poor gprs. i love vodacom It is the ONE!

  22. mkateko ngobeni Said,

    September 16, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

    i guess the say goes this way; m entintled 2 my own opinion. n cellc sucks really. wouldnt even careless if it goes down

  23. Mpya Said,

    October 4, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.and it seems they haven’t read my stuff yet!lol well

  24. Mia Said,

    November 7, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

    i am a cell c customer for 3 years now ok .and il be honest im only 15.i know your thinking right im just a teenager what do i know.but anyways if you still reading i think you should carry on.Its good that your cellular network is quite reasonable.your customer careline isnt too bad.but when it comes to getting signal its bad .sometimes i have to walk outside the house just to get a bar of signal and in this day and age i think its ridiculous with crime .i would rather pay abit more to know that im safe and will always get signal with other cellular networks.and when im on mxit i keep getting disconnected,because of the signal problem.i would have changed my cellular natwork a long time ago if i wernt on contract.and quite a few of my friends have already changed after vodocom has the R5 airtim awell as MTN.

  25. Sandile Said,

    March 2, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    I don’t know much about networks . But what I know is that cellc is the best . I have been with cellc for 8 years . It not that I did not try using other networks I did . But cellc is better then all of them . With cellc you can chat on mxit for free , You get 1 sms by making a call for 2 minute and now you can talk for free wheneva !!!! How is that for a network . Ok I do get problems some times with signal reception . But that also happen with all other networks .. Cellc keep up the good service !! From your loyal prepaid subscriber

  26. Xoliswa Xotongo Said,

    May 22, 2009 @ 12:55 pm

    I’ve been using cell c for about four years now. The network is poor and idont want the the new promotion whenever wherever. i want talk for free on weekends or i’m leaving cell c to vodacom a good network. try to do something about your network.

  27. Louis Courtois Said,

    May 27, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    Cell c customer service has no idea onhow to be a customer service. Percy F , after many complaints sent to him, informs me that eth problem I was refering to re: lack of service, lies with me! He also tries to inform me of my state of mind…he seems to be a part-time psychiatric!

  28. dee Said,

    May 29, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

    i have always been with vodacom until a month ago when i recieved a call from cell c about taking out a contract. I agreed aslong as i could keep my own no. I was told this is no prob and also no extra cost.
    A week later phone arrives – diffirent no.
    I ran around, phoned all and sundry, emailed i dont klnow how many times just trying to sort out THEIR mistake and get my original no. But to no avail after 3 weeks
    Eventually I went to the regional offices and told them i now want to cancel the contract as i cannot deal with the incompetency.
    Following monday and wednesday i had people phoneing to now do a number swop. My reply was that i now want to cancel.
    Do you think anyone will grant me this??? I either hear from them about the number swop or i dont hear from them at all…
    Their customer services are terrible

    Another thing – why do they not tell you that after 23 months of your 24 month contract you have to send a written months cancellation notice!!
    people find this out either by word of mouth or by getting caught
    How much extra money does this company make off people????

  29. David Said,

    December 2, 2009 @ 10:19 am

    Yes I have to agree. Cell C is totally pathetic. They dont answer their phones only the ones that are in the sales department. If they dont like your tone they drop the phone on you. Thats if they answer the phone in the first place. I regret going to Cell C and am taking out a contract with Vodacom again, I had been with them since 2000 but tried out cell c a year ago only to discover that they cannot be compared to Vodacom or MTN

  30. Matshidiso Said,

    December 22, 2009 @ 2:32 pm

    when i review my bank statement i realised that Cell C has been deducting a R100 since jyly 2009. i do not have agreement with CellC to deduct such money. what i know is that CellC tried to sell a phone which i returned because it was Faulty and they sent me a different phone. On cancellation i was told that R250 would be deducted for delivery of which they did. to my suprise i found out that R500- R100 each month since July- was deducted from my savings. i have ordered the bank to stop this debit. the bank managed to reverse the R100 deducted on the 30 November. therefore I humbly ask CellC to refund me the R400 plus the charges of 8.50 per transaction.

  31. englishman Said,

    October 30, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    hi guys

    FIRST off SORRY, this post is dead but i need to tell you guys something about SA telecoms.

    I moved here from the UK and WOW, ur telecoms are far behind the world! The UK is a little behind but this is silly. Check these points : In the Uk

    1: You would NEVER pay for a sim card/starter pack

    2: For recharging (equivilant) 100 rand per month you get UNLIMITED anynetwork calls and sms for 30 days on all 5 major networks (including vodafone aka vodacom)

    3: The minimum national coverage allowed by telecom law is 95.5 percent

    4: Call drop is extremely rare

    5: Rewards are much more than free text like O2 who not only give you ten percent back every 3 months but also give you 25 percent of your total LIFETIME TOPUP spend (or since your last claim) towards a new phone and thats for pay as you go only!

    This is just what i can think of quickly BUT my point is this, your cell operators do all this because they can, you guys all need to stand together and stop bitching and be pro-active, leave an operator if they suck not stay for 4/5 years and complain the whole time!

    take virgin sa, they give first class service and either 500 free sms for recharging 99rand or unlimited free sms for recharging 149rand it seems much better for most people ive met here!

    And the op was completely wrong, cell c has increased its market share and 5 years after his artical its no where near the drain!

    Please guys, try for yourself, dont read this crap. I wouldve missed the greatest holiday of my life had i believed a review about it similar to this! Some people hate golfs and slag them off! But others love em!

    Be individual!

    def says: Thanks for the feedback! Same goes for your comments – A TESCO MOBILE sim pack costs 99p in the UK 🙂 But I hear your point, and CellC has indeed upped their game, invested tons in their Data Offering and rebranded themselves. Things take a while sometimes… good for them!

  32. Ivan Venter Said,

    July 25, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    Well, nearly 2 years on from the last post, Cell C has got something right. A happy customer! I was with VODACOM since 1997. Mostly on a talk 120 contract (120min/mth) costing around R300/mth. I now get more for less – 200min/mth + 100 sms’s + half a gig data per month for around R250/mth! When my VODACOM contract came up for renewal, I shopped around & this was the BEST option available. Reckon It must have something to do with Trevor being on board 😉

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