TEL-ONE has digitalised its operations and embraced a pre-paid system in a bid to enhance service efficiency and recover money owed by customers across the country.
The company’s sales and marketing representative for Matabeleland region, Newman Sibanda said the parastatal was owed huge sums of money in unpaid bills hence the adoption of the pre-paid approach.
“We’ve been having a challenge of customers who’re using their telephones without paying their bills. This was making it difficult for us to operate and with this new system we hope to bring that to an end,” he said.
“Under this system the telephones will operate just like cell phones. In order for customers to make calls they first have to put in some money. We’ve introduced a platform, which is no longer post-paid but pre-paid. Failure to pay means that customers will be receiving calls only.”
Sibanda said customers with arrears were expected to make a payment plan, which allowed them to clear outstanding bills in instalments.
He said while customers would be making their new payments they also had to clear their outstanding bills as well.
While the pre-paid system is aimed at easing the burden on the telecommunications company, said Sibanda, it would also relieve telephone users as they would no longer accumulate huge bills.
He said Plumtree District was the first area to experience the new system throughout Matabeleland region.
Sibanda said the pre-paid system was set to roll into other parts of the region soon.
“We launched the programme in Plumtree as it is one of the areas where there was outstanding development in terms of telecommunication services. We’ve also introduced a digitalised type of exchange system in the town, which is a shift from the previous analogue system.
“Under this system we’ve changed the numbers within the town from a three digit number to a seven. The code has also changed from 019 to 0219,” said Sibanda.
He said the telecommunications company had for the first time introduced ADSL broadband services in the border town, which now allowed customers to access the Internet over their telephones lines.
Sibanda said they would be holding a promotion exercise in the border town where staff members would explain the newly introduced services and others, which were in the pipeline.
Customers in the town welcomed the digitalised system, which they said was long overdue.