Airtel’s New Data Plan a Hoax?


It’s too good to be true. Who wouldn’t dump his or her present network and go for this? My simple non-mathematical brain tells me data at 0.1kobo per megabyte translates to one naira per gigabyte (N1 for 1Gb of data). Even though I have had an experience regarding typographical errors (deliberate or otherwise) from Airtel, then Zain in the past, there is no way I could pass this offer off.

I first saw the advert on the page 4 of Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper on Wednesday 20th March 2013. So the next day, having no spare Airtel line, I headed off to the nearest store and got myself two new lines. Yes! Two new lines. I need to get the maximum benefit from this new data plan which was specifically mentioned as “not a promo”.

My Experience
The two lines purchased were registered at the point of purchase and I was told they would be live by evening of that same day. The next day came and the lines were not working. I was getting worried. When by Saturday, they still never worked, I went back and the boys at the shop, with knowing smiles, registered the two lines over again and promised a 24hour activation time. You can imagine my frustration when by Sunday, the two lines still refused to work. Could it be that a lot of people were rushing just like me, to buy Airtel lines and take advantage of this offer thus causing a congestion in the registration/activation process? Or could it be just the usual challenge you face when registering a line?

Second frustration and a blow came yesterday. The lines came up yesterday and I promptly loaded them with N200 each and dialed the required code *758*2#. The screenshot below is what I got as a response.


The frustration and anger I felt is better left to your imagination. What went through my mind were quite unprintable to say the least. The adverts in the papers clearly stated that THIS IS NOT A PROMO. Even if we assume it is a promo, who them qualifies for it?

Is this new data plan thing a big hoax? Are the newspaper adverts typographical errors? Or is Airtel trying to mis-inform the public so as to boost sales?

Are they playing on our needs for a more affordable data plan?
What do you think about the whole thing? Is Airtel sincere?
Please let us know your experience if you have tried this data plan.

Leave your comments in the comment box below and please do share this post to let Nigerians know what the telecom coys are doing to us.

8 comments for “Airtel’s New Data Plan a Hoax?

  1. March 26, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Airtel is probably the only Nigerian network i have never subscribed to. Don’t know why.

  2. Afewgoodmen
    March 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    this is what you expect from networks in Nigeria where they are not properly regulated or monitored. what is NCC doing? a toothless bulldog? what about number portability? same story? damn then all!

  3. saiddigge
    March 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Maybe you should ask them what makes you qualified for the plan. I’m sure you’ll have to reach a certain criterion before you start browsing at such ridiculously cheap rate. Call the customer care

  4. Steve
    March 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    But what do you expect?

    If I were you, I wouldn’t bother wasting my time going through all these and wasting my money. But I guess someone has to bell the cat for the rest of us. 😀

    I recollect that Airtel, then Zain, did a similar thing to a group of people including yourself some years back when they sent text messages of a 1000Mb plan for N1000. It later turned out to be a deliberate typo error for which they apologized after Mobility.com site published it.

    Looks like the guys that pulled that trick are still in Airtel and doing tricks.

  5. Seun
    March 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Most times when I see such bogus adverts I often don’t take a second look at them – am a natural sceptic, life has taught me to be so. Except I’ve gotten assurance from several users confirming the credibility. Despite this albeit haox from airtel, they in my oppinion still have the most customer friendly data plans in the market.

  6. Steve
    March 26, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Seems more “light” has been thrown on the Magic Box Plan for the 0.1k per Mb mentioned in this post.

    See: http://www.africa.airtel.com/wps/wcm/connect/africaairtel/Nigeria/Phone_Services/MagicBox/MagicBox_FAQs/

    The question is: does anyone understand what is being said in this FAQ?
    Looks more confusing to me. Can anyone go through the link and throw more light on the subject?

  7. March 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Steve, I have gone through the link and the FAQ. The whole thing is really confusing I must confess. But it seems to me that what Airtel is offering is just mere 5Mb allowance per day to be used at 0.1kobo if you have N100 in your pay as you go balance.

    So much for the noise. 😛

  8. Harry Echemco
    March 26, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    It is said that if anything sounds or appears too good to be true, they usually are. There’s no plausible reason for Airtel to make such an offer when it is obviously their infrastructures are already stretched.

    It is simply to removed from reality to be true. You really needn’t have been frustrated so much because I believe you should have it at the back of your mind that such a thing is not possibly in our climes or even in Europe and America.

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