Vodacom today announced the launch of a service that is going to proactively inform customers via SMS while abroad, about the roaming rates that are applicable in the foreign countries they travel into. The service, known as Roaming Tariff Information (RTI) SMS, is going to help customers avoid roaming bill shock.
The RTI SMS service will notify customers on arrival at their international destination that they are in the coverage area of a foreign network; and it will specify the exact roaming rates customers are going to pay on a particular foreign network.
Commenting on this new offering, Portia Maurice, Chief Officer, Corporate Affairs at Vodacom says, “This service augments our ongoing consumer educational campaign on how to help prevent roaming bill shocks. By proactively informing customers about the roaming rates, this will enable customers to manage their roaming use carefully.”
Customers should take note of the rates in the RTI SMS, and be aware that roaming is more expensive than using the same services back home.
When travelling internationally, Vodacom suggests the following tips to help customers manage their roaming bill.
Data Roaming tips: (more…)
From award winning concepts and designs created for other companies around the world, here is a sneak peak inside the very offices of one of those architectural firms. Gascoigne Associates, located in Auckland, New Zealand is a multi-disciplinary design and consultancy company that integrates architecture with interior and lighting design as well as retail branding consultancy services. Clients include many of the most successful retailers from Australasia as well as several multinational corporates such as Toyota and Westfield.
They designed a space of their very own to be a “stylish, yet practical and comfortable work space that reflects the culture of the firm”. The space focusses on simultaneously creating communal work areas that are conducive for a collaborative working experience and a sense of individuality for each workstation where staff can freely share new ideas. Large glass windows and sliding doors create a sense of openness and colourful furniture pieces, cushions, carpets and walls inspire creativity and comfort.
This summer, beach-goers now have a solution for finding their favourite beaches, without the hassle of first having to brave traffic and crowds to get there. BeachWatch, a useful new mobile app, ensures views from Cape Town’s best beaches are now only a click away.
Since the application’s launch, the only of its kind in South Africa, the developers from iSee Software Solutions have expanded and improved its overall offering and service to include desktop viewing as well as special iPhone based browsing. BeachWatch’s high-quality, live-video streams give beach lovers instant access to live streaming views from fourteen different beaches and surfing hot-spots around the Cape Peninsula including Muizenberg, Clifton, Noordhoek, Table View, Fish Hoek, Hout Bay and Strand.
Johann Stegmann, CEO of iSee Software Solutions, believes that the app will revolutionise Cape Town’s beach culture. Johann says that “Beach lovers now have a one-stop solution to reduce both time and hassle, and can easily plan their beach activities around the information provided by the BeachWatch service. Never before has a local solution been provided that supplies real time information on-the-go, and we strongly believe that this application will be invaluable to all eager beach-goers and watersports enthusiasts.”
iSee Software Solutions has also recently launched a Facebook application whereby users can now view live footage directly from the Facebook page too.
BeachWatch is free to download and is compatible with most non-smartphone handsets.
For more information and to download the BeachWatch app click here.
This will be an ongoing post, and I will update it as time goes on.
In South Africa we have a tendency to not really care about bad customer service, which really only makes us even more deserving of it. Worldwide the launch of a new iPhone is typically followed by a bit of a frenzy by loyal Apple fans. In South Africa, Vodacom and MTN are the only providers of the iPhone, so users need to use their “pre-order” channels in order to secure an iPhone.
Vodacom’s handling of this launch has been nothing short of shocking. I have been a Vodacom customer for more than 10 years, and every year I have had to deal with poor service trying to get an iPhone on launch day. I have been up for an upgrade for a few months, because I was holding out for an iPhone 4S.
This year is no different: After multiple calls with their call center, Twitter agents, multiple uninformed stores (“I think you mean the iPhone 4 sir!”) etc, I decided I would share my experience with the readers of this site. At this time I have still not gotten hold of an iPhone 4S, and Vodacom has not yet reached me to inform me when I will receive one. And the strange thing is, I doubt I am the only one in this boat.
Here is a timeline of my experience with Vodacom and the iPhone 4S launch:
Thursday, 1 December 2011 – Vodacom Pre-Registration Form goes live. I register within the first hour of the page being available. I also register with Cellucity’s pre-registration page. That set my mind at ease. (more…)
Travelstart, an online travel agency with its headquarters in Cape Town that has been in operation for 12 years, recently sought to find out why traditional travel agents charge so much more for flights than the online bunch. The data obtained was quite alarming, finding many bricks and mortar agencies charging customers significantly more in comparison to the cost of booking flights online.
The research process, conducted by Synovate, included:
While Travelstart commissioned the research and identified six travel agency brands and 10 popular flight routes, Synovate selected the dates and flight times, the number of passengers and other elements that were used in the research.
View the infographic below:
Today, Google announced its annual Zeitgeist, a look at 2011 through the collective eyes of the world on the web, offering a unique perspective on the year’s major events and hottest trends based on searches conducted in South Africa.
WhatsApp Messenger – a cross-platform mobile messaging app for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Nokia – tops the list of fastest rising searches in South Africa for 2011. The Rugby World Cup follows at number 2 with the Royal Wedding claiming third position. The late Amy Winehouse, in fifth place, gets beaten by Facebook, ranked fourth on the list. Songbird, Adele, takes spot number 6, followed by deceased Libyan dictator, Gaddafi, and the iPhone 5, appearing in seventh and eighth position respectively. SA’s new low-cost airline, Velvet Sky (launched in March this year) appears second last on the list with Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, who passed away at the beginning of October claiming the number 10 spot.
Top newsmaker? You guessed it: Julius Malema, recently suspended President of the ANC Youth League. From marches to landmark speeches, a hospital trip and a hate speech ruling, Julius appeared in many South African and international headlines in 2011. The top celeb is none other then reality star, Kim Kardashian. She is joined by Idols, Beyoncé, Britney, Rihanna, Megan Fox, and Angelina Jolie amongst other Hollywood sweethearts.
The most popular questions South Africans were asking include ‘what is Facebook’ and ‘what is love’ alongside ‘what is life’. In addition, most searchers are singing along to Lady Gaga’s controversial track, ‘Judas’, according to the top song lyric searches for 2011. Other popular songs include ‘Super Bass’ by Nicki Minaj and ‘Man Down’ performed by Rihanna. For sports enthusiasts, Super Ruby and Wimbledon generated the most interest, while for TV buffs the winner of Survivor: Tocantins sparked the most searches.
In terms of the top global searches, American pop singer and YouTube star, Rebecca Black, is the top fastest rising search. The video of her single, Friday, went viral in March 2011, acquiring millions of views in just a few days. Google’s newly launched social network, Google +, takes second place on the list. Adele, whose album 21 has been nominated for a ‘Best Album’ Grammy, makes another appearance, this time in seventh place, while Steve Jobs ironically outranks the device he introduced this year, the iPad 2.
View the full list of Top 10 Searches after the jump:
The iPhone 4S has finally been launched in SA this past weekend – but the networks kept their cards close to their chest in terms of deals. Pricing was only officially announced on Thursday, and not through very public channels. Pricing is definitely better than expected, but it is clear that networks are trying to limit the choices of contracts you can receive a free phone with.
For example, last year you could get a free iPhone 4 with a Vodacom Top Up 275 contract, with 100meg of data at R379. This year, Top Up customers are not as lucky – I was quoted R3000+ pay in on the Top 315 contract. So if you want a iPhone 4S, you are pretty much forced to go for the more business orientated contracts. (more…)
A revolution has taken place in the world of music and it has been born out of Cape Town. According to Airborne, that will be launching soon with a line-up of 72 local and international artists, there are two truly important people in the music industry: the artist and the fan and what they set out to accomplish, was to find a way to directly connect them in an easy, inexpensive and efficient way.
During a time when music revenue has plummeted more than 60% in the past decade and the viral spread of file sharing is blocked by restrictive licensing resulting in the loss of millions of potential fans, Airborne provides the antidote and a new solution to the business of the music industry by providing fans with the music they love, and the artists with the payment they deserve. For just $1 a month, any fan, they call a carrier, anywhere in the world has unlimited access to the msuic they want with 70% of that going directly to the artist. Just minutes after an artist’s content is released, the fan can consumer and share that content.
The fan, or rather the carrier, can share music content, stored in the cloud, with anyone in the world on any device or social network. The idea is that with every link shared for an artist’s content, the more quickly its spreads creating a viral tidal wave of support for that artist and the spreading of similar music content between friends. Here, there are no restrictions or borders when it comes to sharing content and generating support for an artist.