CellC has been struggling to keep up with the demand for the iPhone after they announced the cheapest contract prices for the iPhone 5.

Apple News pre-ordered from Vodacom, MTN, CellC and 8ta. To this day Apple News has not received a call from any of the networks and had to call CellC.

Originally Apple News visited a CellC branch on the 14 December 2012 with all the correct documents and requested a 32GB White iPhone 5. Understandable they didn’t have stock, but that was expected. 46 days later and Apple News has not heard back from that CellC branch.

After becoming impatient Apple News phoned CellC call centre and applied over the phone. The process was amazingly simple, or so we thought. Ten days later we received  a black iPhone 5, after we had requested a White iPhone 5. Now they do state that they don’t guarantee what colour you will receive but if someone requests a colour it is because they want that colour! That’s like someone requesting a iPhone 5 and receiving a Samsung S3. It’s not the phone they wanted.

We didn’t think it was worth wasting our time to get it changed but what happened next just pushed us over the edge.

We waited for our current phone to disconnect from Vodacom’s network suggesting that the port had taken place. Normally this take about 8 hours but can take up to 24 hours. After 24 hours we decided to insert the CellC sim card into the iPhone 5. To our surprise the iPhone 5 worked and connected to the CellC network. We then received an SMS telling us about our new number! WHAT?

Immediately we got on to twitter and reported the error. We were told that to change the black iPhone 5 for a white iPhone would take some time as they don’t have any stock. We then preceded to ask what would happen with the contract as we were now getting charged for two contracts? The response was “We will do the port now”. This was on Friday morning, by Monday the port still had not taken place. We contacted CellC again and were told that someone was coming to collect the iPhone 5. We asked again about the payment of the contract which we could not use now. The response “We will do the port now”. We then ask how they thought that would help as we wouldn’t have an iPhone 5 to use it? The salesman actually asked if we don’t have another device that uses a Nano Sim! Do CellC sales staff not know that the iPhone 5 is the only phone in the world that uses a nano sim card?

To this day we have paid for a CellC contract, have no iPhone 5 and no sim card?

We have heard of many people having the same problem. Originally we suspected it was isolated incidents but obviously not. We have heard of may people requesting an iPhone 5 and getting an iPhone 4.

Is CellC unable to deliver the correct device to its customers?

Is the power in our hands as consumers or is CellC showing us that they dictate the rules of the game?


17 Comments

rdl1979@me.com · January 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I have had similiar problem, as much as i detest other networks and i am trying to support Cell C, they are making it hard. I have been into Cell C branch numerous times since end of Dec 2012 asking about a 16gb white or black iphone 5 and also applying on the phone and giving my details. they have taken my number on every occasion even a copy of my id with promise to call me back with news. If they cant keep up with demand cant they just put notice up on website saying they out of stock and when they getting stock and then the people who have been put on waiting list can be contacted in order they went on.

I am giving it another month then i am going back to Vodacom. what the chances they get it right before then.

rdl1979@me.com · January 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm

I have had similiar problem, as much as i detest other networks and i am trying to support Cell C, they are making it hard. I have been into Cell C branch numerous times since end of Dec 2012 asking about a 16gb white or black iphone 5 and also applying on the phone and giving my details. they have taken my number on every occasion even a copy of my id with promise to call me back with news. If they cant keep up with demand cant they just put notice up on website saying they out of stock and when they getting stock and then the people who have been put on waiting list can be contacted in order they went on.

I am giving it another month then i am going back to Vodacom. what the chances they get it right before then.

Chazz · January 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm

CellC is up to sh!t, always has and always will be…. I had my doubts about Vodacom the day that I ordered my phone in October 2012. When the phone was released, they only had 1 at the branch. I figured that a couple of days will not kill me. I ordered the iPhone 5 16gb White model. On the 21st Dec I was contacted to collect. I could only collect on the 24th Dec. They managed to keep the phone for me. So I am very impressed with Vodacom in Somerset West 🙂

microworld@lantic.net · January 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Unfortunately, I do not agree with above. I ported from the pathetical MTN to Cell C in les than 40 minutes. They do everything for me, and even got my new white I Phone 5 for me, where all the other networks couldn't do that in 4 weeks. Cell C have by far the best and cheapest iPhone 5 deal in South Africa. I only got excellent service from them, and I do not regret a moment I port over to Cell C. There service is excellent, and my signal strength and 3G strength is 5 out of 5. I feel sorry for the other unhappy customers, maybe I am lucky, but know of others here in Bloemfontein who also got excellent service from Cell C. Thanks again to the staff at Cell C, Waterfront, Bloemfontein, they are very professional, the other networks can learn a thing or 2 from them about service.

microworld@lantic.net · January 31, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Unfortunately, I do not agree with above. I ported from the pathetical MTN to Cell C in les than 40 minutes. They do everything for me, and even got my new white I Phone 5 for me, where all the other networks couldn't do that in 4 weeks. Cell C have by far the best and cheapest iPhone 5 deal in South Africa. I only got excellent service from them, and I do not regret a moment I port over to Cell C. There service is excellent, and my signal strength and 3G strength is 5 out of 5. I feel sorry for the other unhappy customers, maybe I am lucky, but know of others here in Bloemfontein who also got excellent service from Cell C. Thanks again to the staff at Cell C, Waterfront, Bloemfontein, they are very professional, the other networks can learn a thing or 2 from them about service.

Rory · January 31, 2013 at 8:11 pm

We have the opposite. We have been trying for three weeks to get two vodacom contracts. One for iphone5 and the other black berry 9320 off their so called online application (which isn't if anyone was wondering).
CellC was awesome here in Bayside. We phoned them on Monday about iPhone5 32GB and they had one in stock. They held it for my wife after 6pm when she could get there. By the next morning her number had been ported from MTN and the phone working. She was impressed with their service and decided to get the black berry contract from them as well.

alanswanepoel@gmail.com · February 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Cell C just posted their monthly booklet, with all versions of the iPhon 5 advertised on it's 1st two pages.

CellC: Nothing says new month like a new phone. Here's our monthly booklet: http://t.co/6pJQcKzy

One can also not help to notice their massive billboards along William Nicol etc bragging about a product they can't deliver.

I'd love to hear Alan Knott-Craig's feedback on their inability to conform to SA's advertising standards, which states:

http://www.asasa.org.za/Default.aspx?mnu_id=38

31.1 Advertisements should not be submitted for publication unless the advertiser has reasonable grounds for believing that it can supply any demand likely to be created by the advertising.

31.2 In particular, no attempt should be made to use the advertising of unavailable or non-existent products as a means of assessing likely public demand.

alanswanepoel@gmail.com · February 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Cell C just posted their monthly booklet, with all versions of the iPhon 5 advertised on it's 1st two pages.

CellC: Nothing says new month like a new phone. Here's our monthly booklet: http://t.co/6pJQcKzy

One can also not help to notice their massive billboards along William Nicol etc bragging about a product they can't deliver.

I'd love to hear Alan Knott-Craig's feedback on their inability to conform to SA's advertising standards, which states:

http://www.asasa.org.za/Default.aspx?mnu_id=38

31.1 Advertisements should not be submitted for publication unless the advertiser has reasonable grounds for believing that it can supply any demand likely to be created by the advertising.

31.2 In particular, no attempt should be made to use the advertising of unavailable or non-existent products as a means of assessing likely public demand.

wikusj@hotmail.com · February 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

had a totally different experience… pre-ordered from vodacom and cellc got my iphone a month ago from cellc and love this contract. the best value for money… still no contact from vodacom. i am glad i left them. 400 bucks for 200 mins 200 smses and 500mb and a awesome phone. beat that!!!!

wikusj@hotmail.com · February 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

had a totally different experience… pre-ordered from vodacom and cellc got my iphone a month ago from cellc and love this contract. the best value for money… still no contact from vodacom. i am glad i left them. 400 bucks for 200 mins 200 smses and 500mb and a awesome phone. beat that!!!!

Micks · February 8, 2013 at 8:04 am

I've also just recently cancelled my Vodacom contract and moved to CellC. In terms of their in-branch service, they're terrible. Went to a particular store for the new iPhone 5 contract (I was told by CellC head office that they had stock there) and was basically told to piss-off cause I wasn't on their "list" – after I was told 2 days earlier that I could be given one on the day by another employee at that exact store. She didn't even offer to put me on the list after that! So I went through Nashua Mobile and it was such a breeze. Ported my number in no time, got my phone in the colour I wanted and it was delivered to my work in a couple of days. Awesome! So in terms of a network, I think CellC are great. Their in-branch service is shocking though!

alanswanepoel@gmail.com · February 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

Here's another take on it. I just phoned and heard that 100 phones have been sent out for delivery, while there are another 270 on the back-order list. Small numbers maybe..

If 100 people (nice rounded number) suddenly received their phones, and let's just say it's the 16Gb at R8299 a piece, it'll run a sp R829 900 out of cash-flow (minimim). Another 270 handsets would add up to R3,070,630. That's for a mere 370 handsets which they claim were on back-order. and I'm pretty sure CellC has a hell of a lot more than 370 orders for their great deal!

These are only rough numbers on the cheapest iPhone 5, and their recouping their cost over 24 months only.

Maybe the problem lies in cash-flow, whether it's the Core Group, the networks, or service providers.
Is the truth that one of there are simply not able to handle something like say 1000 phones a month?

alanswanepoel@gmail.com · February 8, 2013 at 11:33 am

Here's another take on it. I just phoned and heard that 100 phones have been sent out for delivery, while there are another 270 on the back-order list. Small numbers maybe..

If 100 people (nice rounded number) suddenly received their phones, and let's just say it's the 16Gb at R8299 a piece, it'll run a sp R829 900 out of cash-flow (minimim). Another 270 handsets would add up to R3,070,630. That's for a mere 370 handsets which they claim were on back-order. and I'm pretty sure CellC has a hell of a lot more than 370 orders for their great deal!

These are only rough numbers on the cheapest iPhone 5, and their recouping their cost over 24 months only.

Maybe the problem lies in cash-flow, whether it's the Core Group, the networks, or service providers.
Is the truth that one of there are simply not able to handle something like say 1000 phones a month?

Mukesh Kesa · February 8, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I've placed an order for an iPhone 5 thru cell C on Jan 15. Still waiting. I wish they could send us updates, via SMS, of the status weekly to give a warm feeling that the matter is under control. I'm starting to have doubts about this super duper deal.

Reghardt · February 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Ported my number in 24hours, got a black 16gb on the 14th of Decmber from CellC!!! no problems just great service!
Cheers MTN yellow CELLC!!!!

allan@safeco.co.za · February 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Vodacom iphone 5 drops the network and then no service appairs, switch off and on to get it working again for 5 minutes.

allan@safeco.co.za · February 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Vodacom iphone 5 drops the network and then no service appairs, switch off and on to get it working again for 5 minutes.

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