While operators are announcing new preferential tariffs, consumers say that the situation on the ground reveals other realities.
According to official sources, MTN and Orange are applying a new tariff of 0.5% on sending and 2% on withdrawals. This slight decrease does not exempt customers from the government tax of 0.2% on these transactions.
Since April 2, the mobile phone companies MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroon, have jointly published a new tariff schedule on money transfer and withdrawal operations, at relative proportions.
“For any MoMo transfer made, the fees will cost 0.5% of the amount transferred and will not exceed 500F. The MoMo withdrawal fee will be 2% of the transaction amount and will not exceed 3,500F,” says MTN Cameroon. Its competitor Orange Cameroon is adopting the same rates.
The two operators state that for transfers between 0 and 100,000 FCFA, the customer pays a fee of 0.5% of the amount transferred, and cap the fee at 500 FCFA for transfers between 100,000 and 1 million FCFA. However, for withdrawals, operators apply a charge of 2% of the amount withdrawn on operations ranging from FCFA 2,500 to FCFA 175,000.
Yet consumers are complaining about the rising costs. “I read everywhere that Orange and MTN claim to have lowered mobile money fees. This is totally false, and very false. And I’m surprised that even the Cameroonian consumer defence page has relayed the information. It’s as if they had their gumbo to make this communication. I’m not even talking about the web ambassadors,” says a consumer.
He goes further, “for a withdrawal of 150,000F today it’s 2%, so 3000F. The day before their announcement, it was worth about 2500F. I even thought that by making three withdrawals of 50,000F I would bypass the system. Withdrawal of 50.000F, 2% = 1000F. 3 times is 3000F (Before, 800F*3)“, he calculated.
Like the latter, another one said “Yesterday I initiated a withdrawal of 200,000 by orange I saw withdrawal fees 3500! It’s really disgusting that our artists ambassadors of these companies do something! It’s really too much,” said a user on the web.
Faced with this state of affairs, some consumers are calling on the government to take responsibility. “Dear government, the poor people are suffering. It is unacceptable that these operators continue to increase transaction costs without you doing anything,” said a consumer.
“The same Orange and MTN are in other countries like Senegal, but they are not as expensive as here. Blame our government, which does not help in any way if only to impoverish us.”
Others call for a boycott of these operators. “This is too much with these people. We have to go to their pages and say BOYCOTT MTN and Orange mobile; ask to deactivate these accounts from our phones. I think that if we do that, it will put them under pressure and they will review their tariffs. We have to do this otherwise they will not hesitate to fleece us.” says Amin