If you are struggling with your debt repayments you may be able to apply for a payment ‘holiday’ from certain service providers or companies, which could help you back on your feet. Local cell phone network provider MTN, for instance, is offering selected post-paid customers the opportunity to take a two month payment holiday from their subscription fee when taking out a contract in the months of January and February.
This offer (the Payment Break) is available to customers who sign up for a 24 month contract. It also applies to existing customers who take up a new contract or upgrade their contract (if eligible) in January or February.
The Payment Break
The network provider explained: “Customers who sign-up in January 2017 will only start making payments towards their contracts subscription from March and those who sign-up in February 2017, will start their subscription payment in April.”
The Payment Break plan is aimed at assisting customers who are struggling with financial strain felt over the festive season. With the two month payment break MTN hopes that customers will avoid getting into debt, and that it will assist their credit records.
Normal credit checks and qualifying criteria will apply to taking out a contract and enjoy the benefits of the Payment Break plan.
Larry Annetts, chief consumer officer at MTN SA, stated: “MTN is excited to launch Payment Break, which gives expression to our ongoing quest to provide customer-centric offers to our customers. As a caring organisation, MTN is cognisant of the financial crunch customers face particularly during this time of the year, hence this proposition which gives customers a breather and allows them to stay connected without having to worry about their monthly subscriptions.”
Competitors speak up
A spokesperson for Cell C noted: "Cell C does not normally comment on the products and services offered by competitors. However, Cell C has had a solution for deferred payment for sometime. Cell C’s cash-back bonus provides exceptional value and flexibility. Customers signing up for a new contract, can use the cash-back bonus for whatever they want, be it to buy school stationary, groceries or even paying for a holiday. Customers can also use the cash-back to credit their Cell C accounts if they need a payment breather. As an example, a customer signing up for a Pinnacle 250 SIM-only plan at R299 per month, can use the R3000 cash back to credit their Cell C account, which would give them a payment breather for ten months. The cash-back promotion is on until 31 January 2017."
Updated: A Vodacom spokesperson stated: "In the normal course of business we periodically review our product propositions to ensure that they are in line with the needs of our customers and that they make financial sense to the business. As part of this process, when it is deemed necessary, we will implement appropriate recommendations."
Handy tip: Want to keep an eye on your credit record? You can apply for a comprehensive credit report from Kudough on Justmoney.