Guide to: Vodacom cellphone contracts

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The most coveted smartphone’s retail price being about a middle-income earner’s monthly salary is one reason to get a cellphone on contract – you get to have a good smartphone while paying it off over two or three years.

Vodacom has a wide range of smartphones you can get on contract, at different price points, from an entry-level basic smartphone like the Mobicel Neo LTE Gold 8GB on a Red Flexi 130 Top Up for R99pm x 24 months…

Screenshot: One of the cheapest Vodacom contracts is the Mobicel Neo LTE for R99 x 24 months, which includes R130 airtime.
Screenshot: One of the cheapest Vodacom contracts is the Mobicel Neo LTE for R99 x 24 months, which includes R130 airtime. Source: Vodacom.co.za

… to a two-for-one deal we found on the Vodacom Double Deal for two Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro mid-range smartphones. The deal is based on the RED Core 500MB 50min plan for R399 per month over 36 months.

Screenshot: A 2 phones for 1 contract deal, featuring the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro. Source: Vodacom.co.za

South Africa’s biggest network provider has a diverse range of smartphones and tablets you can buy on contract on their RED price plans. The price plans may bundle voice, SMS, and data bundles together in varying degrees. Some cater to high-volume callers and people who use gigs of data bundles every day. But, Vodacom will first need to verify your details before they deliver a phone to you.

This guide aims to simplify the RED price plans and Vodacom cellphone contracts into bitesize chunks of picking a price plan, contract type, how to qualify, and the easiest way to get a phone.

How do phone contracts work?

When you apply to get a phone on a contract you as an individual sign an agreement that you will pay an amount of Rands per month to Vodacom and they will give you a cellphone of your choice determined by what you qualify for. You will also receive minutes, airtime, SMSes, or data depending on the price plan.

Mobile network operators have made it quick and easy to get a cellphone on a contract because they know it’s one of the ways to build up a good credit record.

This is what you can expect when you apply for a phone contract

  • You can start by selecting your desired phone
  • Then choose a suitable Vodacom RED price plan
  • Select your preferred number of months to pay off the phone. It is usually 24 or 36 months.
  • Apply online, in a store, or by calling the sales call centre
  • Your application will be sent for verification and approval
  • If you qualify you will be notified within one working day
  • Taking delivery is as easy as walking to the shop you applied at, or waiting for your phone to be delivered by RAM couriers

Vodacom RED price plans explained

The latest Vodacom contract price plans are called Vodacom Red plans.

They can be categorized as:

  • Red Flexi – For non-predictable use of voice calls and mobile data, and non-predictable spending on recharging airtime. It allows for Top Up as standard.
  • RED Core – For predictable use of voice calls and mobile data, and predictable spending on recharging of airtime. It does not allow for Top Up unless the Red Top Up plan is selected.
  • RED VIP – For heavy use of voice calls and mobile data
what you getRed FlexiRED CoreRED VIP
do you get airtime or minutesAirtimeMinutesMinutes
is data includedNoYesYes
can you top up your data/airtime if you run outTop up as standardonly on Red Top Up plansminutes capped at more than 9000 minutes
if I top up, will my data/airtime expire?recharge airtime won’t expireexpires next calendar monthexpires next calendar month
Vodacom RED price plans. Source: Vodacom.co.za

What are predictable and non-predictable use and spending on recharge airtime? If you were to get a cellphone from your employer/sponsor it could be that the minutes and data are all the employer/sponsor will allow on the contract so that they can manage how much they will spend on the contract.

However, if the phone is for personal use then you will spend more or less according to how you see fit. That would be non-predictable use.

With the Red Flexi and RED Core Top-up, you could buy more airtime and take advantage of Vodacom’s many promotions by converting your airtime to data bundles.

Choosing the type of contract in a Vodacom RED price plan

Some people do not know that they can ask for a soft lock on their phone so that it will stop making calls or using the internet once the data or minutes have been depleted. This phenomenon is called bill-shock because they find themselves being billed thousands of rands more than they wanted to spend.

Unfortunately, some people avoid getting phones on a contract because of this misunderstanding. But, here is a simpler way of understanding the types of contracts available from Vodacom:

Standard contract

A standard Vodacom contract that is bundled with data/minutes includes the term that if your minutes/data run out and you continue to use them then that cost will be added to your bill at the end of the month and invoiced to you.

Top Up contract

When compared to the standard contract, a Vodacom Red Top Up contract allows for a soft lock on your phone when your bundled voice/data is finished, but you can buy more voice/data bundles, or recharge with airtime that you can convert to voice/data bundles.

Red VIP

For heavy voice/minutes users Vodacom has the RED VIP contract, most suitable for those looking for a business package, with a minimum cap of 9000 minutes for its lowest option. That’s an average of over 4.5 hours of usage a day. There is also a range of data you can choose from, starting at 15GB right through to 100GB.

The 24-month and 36-month contract period

Over your initial contract period, you will receive your monthly allocation of data, minutes, SMSes, or airtime. This depends on the type of price plan you have chosen.

Screenshot: Monthly allocated airtime on a RED Flexi contract.
Screenshot: Monthly allocated airtime on a RED Flexi contract. Source: Vodacom app.

The initial contract period is the day your contract begins to the last day of the contract. So, if your contract is 24 months and it starts on the 1st of August 2022 then the initial period ends on the 31st of July 2024.

The same goes for a 36-month contract. If it starts on the 1st of August 2022 then the initial period ends on the 31st of July 2025.

If you do not wish to continue with your contract after the initial period then you can cancel your contract.

How to apply for a cellphone contract

Vodacom gives you two ways to get a new cellphone on a contract – 1) a new contract, or 2) upgrade your current contract to one that includes a cell phone.

Like any new purchase when you want to get into a new credit agreement you will have to go through an affordability assessment before you sign on the dotted line. An evaluation will also be done on your profile if you are upgrading your current contract.

Which documents are needed for a new contract?

Generally, you will need the following 4 documents for a new cellphone contract

  1. Identification
  • South African bar-coded ID or smart card
  • A valid passport if you’re not South African

2. Proof of income or earning

  • Latest 3 months bank statements reflecting the applicant’s name and account number to debit, or
  • Latest official payslip

3. Proof of bank account

  • Bank statement showing applicant’s name and account number to be debited, or
  • An internet bank statement is also welcome as long as it has the bank’s stamp/reference number, and shows the account owner’s name and account number

4. Proof of residence

  • Proof of residence of the applicant. This may include a municipal utility bill or any other official letter that shows the person’s name and physical address on it

Where to apply for a cellphone contract

Online

One of the first places to start is online where you can see online-only specials, check retailers’ online catalogs, and buy right there online without leaving the comfort of your home. Apply for a contract online with Vodacom.

VodaApp

If you’re already a Vodacom subscriber you can log in or create an account on your Vodacom app. From there you will be able to start the process to upgrade or get a new contract on the app. The app is one of the essential tools of a Vodacom subscriber, with the ability to transact, view statements and manage your various SIM cards all in one place.

Open the Vodacom app, and then:

  • Tap on My Account
  • Under My Account, tap on Upgrades. You can then enter a number to check your eligibility to upgrade
  • Or, under My Account, tap on New Line to get a contract on a new number

Walk-in store

Vodacom has a whole host of physical stores around the country, with small towns even also enjoying the presence of Vodacom Shops. The feeling of shopping in-store, of touching and seeing in the metal phone is a pleasure. Plus, with the correct documentation in hand, you could walk out of a Vodacom shop with the phone of your choice. Vodacom has shops such as Chatz Connect, Vodacom Shop, Vodacom 4u, and Vodacom Express

Vodaworld

Vodaworld, located in Midrand, Gauteng, is a favorite for those wishing to browse and experience the full Vodacom shopping experience. They have a repair center, coffee shops, and cellphone brands such as Samsung and others at their headquarters.

Vodaworld in Midrand, South Africa. Image: instagram.com/ktn240/

The iStore, GAME, and other retailers

Retailers such as the iStore and GAME stores are also looking to attract you to their business. They offer extra services, for instance, where the iStore offers a trade-in service for your old Apple device.

How to contact Vodacom sales and contracts

How to contact Vodacom sales

From your Vodacom cellphone number call Vodacom Sales and Upgrade on: 082 17844

For Vodacom Business Sales, call the following number from your Vodacom number: 082 1960

Chat with the ToBi chatbot about your new contract using this link: help.vodacom.co.za/tobi/home/sales

Email Vodacom on: 12580@vodacom.co.za

Chat using the Vodacom WhatsApp number: 082 009 8624

If you are no longer interested in going further with your Vodacom cellphone contract, you can also cancel your contract by contacting Vodacom Cancellations on: 082 1958

Find your cellphone order by tracking it on RAM courier’s website, or on Vodacom here: Track Your Vodacom Order

Frequently asked questions on Vodacom contracts

Can I get a contract without a payslip?

Yes, you just need to show proof of income. It can be your latest 3 months’ bank statements that reflect your name and account number to be debited. Go online and apply for a contract by visiting vodacom.co.za.

How long does Vodacom take to approve a contract phone?

As long as your documentation is complete, in order, and verifiable then you will get a response within one working day.

How do I know if I qualify for a contract phone?

You may qualify if you show Vodacom your proof of income, have a valid South African ID or foreign passport, have a proof of address, and a bank account from which they can debit monthly.

Do you need a credit score to get a phone contract?

No, you don’t need to have a credit score to get a phone on a contract. But, if you have no credit record there will be a cap on the price of the phone you can get. Vodacom will reduce its risk by not letting a first-time buyer get a R35,000 cellphone with no credit record, for example.

Can you get a Vodacom contract if you’re blacklisted?

No. You will need to have a clear credit record. If you were previously blacklisted but have cleared your name you may apply again.

Can you get a Vodacom contract if you’re under debt review?

No. You are not allowed to start a new contract if you are under debt review.

Moemedi Segoje

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