Why Safaricom internet bundles capping is raising a silent storm among consumers

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At around 12.15pm on 28th February 2015, I wanted to send an important document but realized that I had exhausted my data bundle. Not wanting to fail my recipient, I bought airtime of 1,000 and loaded it to my modem line so that I could purchase 1,000 mb in which case I would be awarded 1.5GB. Just before I purchased the bundles, I remembered someone mentioning that Safaricom had changed the bundle structures. Just to be certain, I called 200 to inquire about this and it was indeed true, Safaricom Ltd had new bundle structures.

I talked to the attendant by the name Gilbert who took me through the new offering as I took notes. Finally I told him that I may not need the 1,000 offer after all because a monthly usage of 4GB was way above my consumption and I opted for the 500 purchase. I asked him to take me through the purchase of the 500 to which he told me to go to text and in the send to section write 450 and 500 in the body party. I thanked him and we cordially hung up.

I followed the instructions by Gilbert but when the confirmation came, I had been awarded 500mb for my 500 shillings instead of the promised 650mb. I thought may be the automatic confirmation had not been updated, so I went ahead to check my balance for confirmation. It confirmed that my 500 shillings was awarded only 500mb.  Wanting to get a clarification on the same, I called 200 customer care and got connected to Jane.

Jane confirmed the error and admitted that the method I was advised was indeed not correct. She told me that she was going to raise a ticket on my complaint and that I was going to get sorted within 24 hours. Before she hung up, I told her that I was sending a document and that was not going to wait for 24 hours for an error that I had neither way of preventing nor contributed in creating.

I gave he the details about the conversation between Gilbert and I, and since I badly needed to work and I still had 500 shillings that I could still buy bundles the correct way as long as I am assured of the return of my other 500 shillings. She told me she could not do that to which I sought to talk to a supervisor for a solution to my inability to work, despite having 500 shillings in unallocated credit and 500mb in wrongly awarded data bundle. Jane told me there was no supervisor at that moment, to which I sought to talk to an in-charge. She told me to hold on and after what was like 5 minutes, someone introduced herself as Helen and the in-charge. She told me that she had been briefed on my problem and a ticket was being raised to solve my problem which will be done within 24 hours. She was speaking real fast and when I got a chance to talk I asked her how I would send my document meanwhile as my problem is getting sorted. She started telling me again that a ticked was being raised and then got disconnected before she completed explaining what I expected to be my solution to getting online again. I waited for her to and after around 10 minutes of waiting, I thought of calling back to get the solution. I called 200 again and this time a lady by the name of Geraldine took my call.

I explained my problem to Geraldine and how their in-charge Helen got disconnected as we talked. I requested her to connect me to her in-charge since clearly this problem was beyond her. Though she sounded surprised that she had an in-charge by the name Helen, she kept on telling me that she is searching for her until I put the question direct to her ‘do you have an in-charge named Helen?’.  Instead of a direct answer she told me that Helen will call me and asked me to wait for Helen’s call.

From my last talk with Safaricom care service at around 1pm, I did not get a call from Helen but one from a data support analyst by the name of Samson Kariuki staff number 1728 at 6.30pm. After going through my dilemma, he told me that he needed to consult with his manager regarding the gurantee to get back my 500 shillings if I purchase the correct 500 bundle.

He called me back at 6.45pm with the guarantee that after I purchase  the 500 bundle that awards me 650mb, Safaricom will not just reverse their error and award me another 650, since this will be like purchasing the 1,000 bundle but getting awarded 1,300mb instead of 4GB. And in any case since I do not need the 4GB , all I needed was an assurance that I will get my airtime back. I gave him the green light to purchase for me the 500MB to which I was awarded 650MB.

As I write these frustrations courtesy of the better option, I have 1,150MB bundles in my modem that I purchased for 1,000 shillings. Helen is yet to call me as promised by Geraldine. I have not sent my document. Since I am sending home where I have fiber by JTL, I will send my document from home. (Mwaniki S.G)


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