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Recharge card price increase: MTN economical with the truth – Dealers

MTN recharge card dealers have said the telecoms operator is economical with the truth by saying it didn’t authorise the increase in the prices of…

MTN recharge card dealers have said the telecoms operator is economical with the truth by saying it didn’t authorise the increase in the prices of its airtime.
MTN recharge cards have, recently sold for more than the amounts stated on them by some vendors in the country.
But the telecoms operator last week said that it did not authorise increase in prices of its cards.
Yesterday, the dealers’ spokeman told Daily Trust on phone that MTN met with them last year where a decision to increase the prices of its recharge cards was made.
The spokesman, who pleaded anonymity, said MTN had told them that from this month they would no longer get the cards at prices it used to sell to them.
He said: “Before N100 denomination used to be sold to us at N90, then we, in turn, sell at N93 or N94 to sub-dealers and they sell at N97 or N98. And that is why it was sold by the vendors at N100 then. Additions were made by MTN on the other cards, depending on the denomination. But now, MTN sells to us at N95, we sell at N96 or N97 sub dealers sell at N98 or N99. And this is why vendors are forced to sell at N110 in some places.
“And this decision (to increase price) was taken after the meeting MTN held with some of us. The company even said any dealer that couldn’t cope with new price regime was free to leave dealing with it.
“I wouldn’t if this was what made them to prune down the number of their dealers nationwide. You know, some of the dealers are no longer dealing with MTN cards.”
Many MTN’s subscribers in Abuja and Lagos have continued to condemn the sudden increase in prices of the telecoms operators’ recharge cards.
Subscribers, who spoke with our reporters yesterday, called on government to call MTN to order.
However, MTN insisted at the weekend that it has not increased the price of any of its cards.
MTN’s Corporate Services Executive Wale Goodluck said: “We have not effected a price increase and the retail prices of the various denominations of our recharge cards and recharge vouchers remain the same. The recharge vouchers come in the following denominations: N1, 500, N750, N400, N200 and N100.”
Goodluck who spoke against the backdrop of reports that MTN recharge cards are being sold at prices above their face value in some parts of the country said: “Any such hike is contrary to MTN’s wishes or knowledge. MTN has a well-established distribution structure and all our authorized partners within this structure are obliged to sell recharge cards at their face value. Any variance from the authorized face value of recharge cards is without MTN’s knowledge or authority.”
He explained that MTN’s 55 million customers can purchase airtime via recharge cards or recharge vouchers as well as through a virtual top up.
Goodluck disclosed further that the airtime recharge options are generally distributed via a very extensive trade and distribution network which has over the years successfully enhanced accessibility to airtime and customer convenience.
He assured customers that the company is currently working assiduously to arrest the situation, saying that in the meantime, “We urge our esteemed customers in the affected areas to explore other options of purchasing airtime such as MTN Virtual Top Up (VTU) or MTN Auto-Top Up.”
Similarly, MTN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs Corporate Service Division, Olufunmilayo Onajide, has earlier said: “The price of every recharge card is the amount stated on it. MTN has a well-established distribution structure and all our authorized partners within this structure are obliged to adhere to this. Any sale of recharge cards at variance from the authorized face value is without MTN’s authority.”