Safaricom wrong to force consumers redeem or lose Bonga points

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The giant telecommunications company. Safaricom PLC is at it again – this time changing the terms and conditions – without reference to the consumer.

Safaricom has imposed an expiry date for bonga points – most of which are saved long-term by consumers.

A consumer can shop for goods at a supermarket using Bonga Points

On the reason it has taken the decision suo moto – Safaricom claims that ‘it is a business decision aimed at encouraging bonga points redemption’.

According to Safaricom, all bonga points older than 3 years effective January 2023 (dating back to January 2019) will become void.

The company, in clear contravention of Article 46 of the constitution, claims without basis that ‘it will not be possible to reverse a Lipa-Na-Bonga transaction once the bonga points have ‘expired’.

It is not clear if the telco acted on its’ own or sought clearance from the regulator, Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).

Bonga points were never meant to be expired – and they cannot be expired

The Safaricom management must have acted in excess of its’ mandate since bonga points are fully and severally owned by the consumer – not the telco firm. Safaricom, therefore, has no legal right and or moral authority to decide disposal of the same.

In any case, any unclaimed financial asset – which bonga points carries – can only be transferred to the Unclaimed Financial Asset Authority (UFAA).

In any case the bonga points sit as declared liabilities in the books of Safaricom.

Safaricom has inserted ‘Safaricom reserves the rights to withdraw this Product, change or vary these terms and conditions at any time. Such changes will be communicated in the press, on the Safaricom website and through any other available means as Safaricom may choose’

The company is yet to amend the fact the bonga points are ‘earned’ by the consumer and as per use. Accordingly, the ownership of bonga points rests with the consumer and not Safaricom.

The regulations only say the consumer ‘can redeem’. It does not say one must redeem within a given period.

Bonga Points is a loyalty scheme for all Safaricom PrePay and PostPay subscribers. Once you enroll via *126#, you start earning points immediately.

You earn one Bonga Point for every Kshs.10 spent on Safaricom network.

‘Bonga Points can be redeemed for rewards ranging from Talk-time (Minutes), Data bundles, MMS and SMS bundles to merchandise redeemable at select retail outlets and at Lipa na MPESA Buy Goods till number and select Pay bill numbers countrywide’.

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