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Refocused consumer offering from Neotel

Neotel, today unveiled a refocused consumer offering that offers ordinary South Africans improved access to affordable voice and entry level broadband data products. The company has also enhanced some of its existing packages and announced measures to improve customer service, while reaffirming its commitment to the consumer market.

Neotel’s revised offerings are based on customer feedback and market research and follow a comprehensive review of all the systems and processes that ultimately impact on retail customers.

‚Neotel takes its commitments to the consumer market extremely seriously,‚ says Neotel MD and CEO Ajay Pandey. ‚We’ve been listening to what our customers and the market have been telling us and we’ve taken heed of the feedback. For the past several months we’ve been working hard to refocus our consumer business and enhance the customer’s service experience,‚ he says.

The salient features of the revised offer, several of which challenge industry conventions, include:

¬∑ Identical voice tariffs across all prepaid and post-paid packages ‚ an industry first:

· Availability of prepaid options for both voice as well as high speed data services:

· Free Neotel to Neotel calls between 18h00 to 07h00 daily, all day on weekends and public holidays:

· An affordable entry-level high speed data service (R99 p/m: free 500MB Data: free 500 SMS p/m):

· A new home phone at a reduced price of R399:

· Increase in bundled minutes and data allowance of additional 500 MB on most existing packages, resulting in significant savings for consumers.

Following the launch of Neotel’s pre-paid offer in August the company has also introduced smaller denomination recharge vouchers (R25, R50, R100 and R200) that will make it more affordable for customers. Recharge vouchers can be purchased at Sasol forecourt petrol stations as well as Neotel stores and will soon be available through additional retail outlets. Discussions are also underway with leading financial institutions to allow airtime to be purchased via them.

Customer service improvements

Billing issues, a common source of frustration for customers, will soon be a thing of the past as a result of a new best-of-breed billing system that has dramatically improved billing accuracy and information. Customers have already begun experiencing quicker turnarounds in query and complaint resolution following a total overhaul of the systems and processes in the customer call centre. This has included an upgrade to the CRM system as well as the establishment of a dedicated complaints team to address escalations and identify root causes of service failures to prevent recurrences.

There is huge focus on training and upskilling call centre staff and this is already yielding positive results with a noticeable improvement in customer satisfaction ratings over the last three months.

‚This is an ongoing process and we are confident we are moving in the right direction,‚ says Pandey.

Although Neotel has decided to discontinue some of its high-end CDMA packages (NeoConnect Prime 10G, 15G and Unlimited, as well as NeoFlex Data 10G and 15G), products such as NeoBroadband Wimax which are targeted specifically at the larger fixed data user, provide compelling alternatives.

‚While our CDMA network is appropriate for the majority of our customers, we have started moving high-end broadband users to Wimax where they will be assured of high speed for both downloads and uploads. At the same time, this is alleviating the strain on the CDMA network which has improved bandwidth speeds for our normal to moderate users,‚ says Pandey.

‚There remains a significant portion of the population who need entry-level products. We see a gap for differentiated, affordably priced voice and data offerings, and we believe we are best placed to satisfy this demand as we continue to grow our network,‚ he says.

The revised consumer offer is available with immediate effect and is coverage dependant. Consumers can consult coverage maps and get more information on the Neotel website

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