Cell phones have come an extremely long way in South Africa and have become not only a necessity, but a symbol of social status and even a fashion statement – yet the local market around cell phones has hardly evolved at all. Not only are we still going to cell phone shops just to open up a contract (something that should be done online), but with over 3000 unique cell phone contract offerings on the market you have to wonder if consumers are really making an informed decision.
Phonefinder hopes to be the next big thing by ceating an online hub for everything cellular.
South Africa’s Phonefinder is a new concept for South Africa which aims to be the number one destination for all things cellular. The website offers a number of services including a comprehensive and transparent comparison service for over 3000 cell phone contracts, a phone repairs service, an accessories store and even offers cell phone insurance.[The service is a listing platform for Service Providers who get to list as many deals as they have available. Currently there are over 3000 from which to choose. When a client submits his/her details for a chosen deal then the correct Service Provider is instantly informed].
Phonefinder hopes to take the complexity and cost out of choosing a cellular package.
“When you consider that mobile penetration in South Africa is over 128% and that more South Africans use cell phones than listen to the radio; well you get to understand how important cell phones are in our lives. I mean there are more active SIM cards in South Africa than there are people!” said Lance Krom CEO.
Phonefinder is on the path to creating a “cell phone ecosystem” with the end consumer in mind. The ecosystem offers informed and unbiased comparisons, phone accessories, insurance and repairs..
Since being launched in late 2012, Phonefinder intended to put an end to shop-queues and choice-confusion, and it looks like they are on path to do just that. This year Phonefinder has serviced over 10,000 clients with its user-friendly service which lets consumers search, filter and sort through 3000 deals to find the best offering to suit their needs and budget.
These 3000 plus deals are made up by Networks such as MTN, Cell C and Vodacom creating various tariffs. Then there are the Service Providers (Red Bull Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Altech Autopage Cellular, Afrizone, Bayport) who bundle the Networks Tariffs with their own unique packages. Then of course there are the various devices such as Samsung, Apple and Nokia, Huawei (to name a few) which are bundled to the tariffs.
Unique to Phonefinder is the ability to list every cell phone contract offering in South Africa. With Phonefinder, consumers can now purchase (or upgrade) a cell phone contract over the internet, and since the site offers an “Upgrade Reminder” customers can be sure never to forget when to visit Phonefinder for a great deal.
“While the site is deceptively simple it is really our relationships and back-end technology which makes Phonefinder truly unique, plus we have Phil” says Lance. Every query is handled by Phonefinder’s detailed lead management system which instantly pushes the clients request to the correct Service Provider. The request is then painstakingly chased up by the team until the client has been expertly assisted. “Client satisfaction is the only thing that matters, how else will we get the Facebook Likes?” Jokes Lance.
The future looks exciting for Phonefinder. The site will soon offer a mobile device comparison shop as well as a “Phone Zone” where Phonefinder clients can store their cell phone history (we are also working on a points based loyalty system where we can give back to our customers.
Since Phonefinder’s origin story is rather ordinary (a gap was identified to bring convenience to South Africa) Phil, the face of Phonefinder, was created. Phil may be the saviour which The SIM Card Legends speak of: Phil is the result of an electrical surge which jolted a charging cell phone to life. Now armed with the knowledge of a thousand phones, impeccable hair and a green tie Phil is forever ready to be at your service.
Lance Krom worked in London for five years and was heavily exposed to deal comparison websites. As CEO he handles operations, marketing for the company. Danny and Tom jointly own 3 Way Marketing, a leading digital lead generation and branding company that uses a range of digital channels and strategies to create brand awareness, traffic and leads for its clients. Devin Karpes is a seasoned entrepreneur who previously owned a design company called Pepamint Hippo serves as creative director for both 3 Way Marketing and Phonefinder.