Econet mobile operator users will now be forced to fork out their hard earned cash if they want to purchase airtime as the telecoms giant has removed an option for buying it using its popular ecocash platform.

Subscribers who wanted to buy airtime via Ecocash last were left stranded as the option was unavailable.

It was still unclear if the platform would be restored anytime soon as there was no official communication pertaining its removal.

The shortcut for buying airtime 151*4*1*amount was also removed.

However, those with smart phones and have installed an Ecocash playstore app were able to buy airtime via the platform as it was working.

Mr Tinotenda Sokiri said Econet should not take customers for a ride.

“Last week they were upgrading their Ecocash system which up to now is performing badly, after the upgrade they increased airtime limit via the platform to $5 from $1 inconveniencing us.

“All of a sudden the airtime option has been removed. We hope this is temporary because with the cash crisis in Zimbabwe how do they expect us to spare $5 for airtime daily,” he said.

Mrs Angela Ndoro from Shurugwi expressed concern over the removal of the platform.

“Via ecocash l could buy airtime by click of a button, now l will have to travel 10 kilometres for the same service,” she said.