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Sunday, 4 June 2017


Subscribers to mobile telecommunication networks have always had the problem of running out of airtime credit without concluding their talk time conversations. When this occurs in a location or situation where the mobile phone user could not recharge the mobile line airtime, it sometimes becomes an emergency. This necessity brought about the introduction of a new innovation in the mobile software technology which enables a subscriber in need of an emergency mobile communication airtime to borrow from the network provider.
This new airtime borrowing technology has been called many names. One of the Africa's leading telecommunication & network service provider MTN Nigeria called it The MTN ExtraTime. MTN has proven to be an efficient player of this airtime borrowing technology. In this case however, an MTN subscriber who borrows airtime is expected to pay back the borrowed amount at next recharge. Thus, if one borrows for instance 200 NGN, any subsequent recharge made on that mobile line would be deducted until the borrowed sum of 200 NGN is completed.
However, this whole transaction may not be straight and simple as may be perceived. The terms and conditions of the airtime Top-up or ExtraTime imposes some rules which shapes the way this borrowing technology.
For the MTN ExtraTime, one of it's policies stipulates a service charge of 15% of total amount borrowed. This means that for every 100 NGN borrowed, 15 NGN is surcharged. How friendly is it then that when I recharge a 400 NGN airtime, I am left with 340 NGN for my calls. Afterwards, I am also made to pay back the entire 400 NGN. Is this really subscriber friendly?
Other networks like GLO, AIRTEL, ETISALAT etc nay all have such airtime borrowing services with their service charges. You may find out how much you network provider charges upon any airtime borrow.
Another amazing but unfortunate allegation which has not been independently verified is that when making calls on borrowed airtime like the MTN's ExtraTime, your available ExtraTime airtime runs out quicker than a normal tariff airtime.
It is true that although this alleged observation has not been verified, so many mobile network users usually complain about it.
With these disaffections from millions of mobile network providers, what then is the real essence of borrowing airtime for emergency uses. It is alright to have a service fee to each airtime borrowing transaction but in the case of MTN Nigeria, a 15% deduction is too much. Secondly, the ExtraTime or airtime borrow technology should be wholesomely transparent to ensure that mobile subscribers enjoy full talk time duration as they would do on their normal tariff plan airtime.
Have you ever experienced any such issue with airtime Top-up or ExtraTime usage, please share your experience with us in the comment box below. You may share this post CIA your Facebook and other social media for a friend's contribution too.
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