Sunday, October 25, 2009

HOW SAFARICOM ALMOST CONNED ME.

Safaricom is currently running an offer where you can receive unlimited internet access for 24 hours at Ksh 200. You top up your card with the amount and send a blank text to 555. After a moment you will receive a confirmation text message that goes; “You unlimited daily internet access request has been received. Ensure you disconnect and reconnect to start enjoying the service in 10 minutes.” I did send a blank text, this is the message I had received, I followed the instructions in it.

I was skeptical about this offer and more so now. To begin with, the offer was and is not good enough to me because I believe it can be cheaper but that’s another story. And the fact that the offer lasts for less than a month is just pathetic, I’m not sure when it began but I know it ends on the 5th of November. As to why I ended up taking the offer I don’t know but I most regret it. I think I was driven by euphoria seeing everyone activating their accounts for the service.

Usually I use my phone as a modem, not as fast as the Safaricom modem but it works just fine for me. I called Safaricom customer care to ask if I could still use my phone as a modem and still take advantage of their offer, the man on the other end said Safaricom does not mind what device I use, all they look at is my account. That made sense to me. There is no single day have I heard Safaricom or any other cell phone company restrict any of their products to, say, customers with Nokia handsets only. So I thought, I have plenty of downloading to do, maybe Ksh 200 shillings is worth it after all. That is when I did what I had to do, topped up and sent the text.

10 minutes later, I was on the internet with my phone modem. Ha-ha. I was down to do some major downloading! But they must have known or something. Safaricom hates me, I realized I was still being charged. I called Safaricom customer care (I called there so many times last night, they don’t even ask me my name anymore when I call. Sometimes they hang up on me while they kept me on hold!). I was instructed to switch off my phone and back on, then I would be good to go. I did that. Nothing happened. Okay something happened, I couldn’t log on to the internet even through my mobile phone browser, instead I got a message: Authorization failed. It stayed this way for 5 hours during which I could not get through to customer care, you know, number busy. And when I tried to sambaza the little credit I had in my account, it jammed! Like they really wanted the 41 bob I had remaining.

After the 5 hours, it goes through, customer care. They tell me- switch off your phone then switch it back on. I did that again, reluctantly. Walaa, internet was back... but they were still charging me. Customer care again, they say- we are looking to see what’s wrong and we will get back to you in 48 hours (Yes, they said they would get back to me. I asked again to make sure I heard right, will you actually call me? She began her sentence with “ If we don’t then just…”). 48 hours?! I had less than 20 hours to enjoy the unlimited internet access! I should have been mad with these people, I was but I tried as much as I could to keep my cool. They didn’t even know what was wrong themselves, they are just employees who pick up calls. They should be trained better, because when I called again later, I was told I could not get unlimited internet access because I was using my phone as a modem and I that I should use the Safaricom modem. Nice. I asked her if the first guy had lied to me and she said- we are sorry but that was a miscommunication. “What about my money?”
She blubbered something but she didn’t know the answer to that neither. These people don’t even understand the products of the company they are working for!

So now I’m sitting here mad as f*@#! Wishing Safaricom headquarters would burn to ashes! But don’t worry Michael Joseph, I’m still holding on to my Safaricom SIM card, but who knows for how long. One thing is for sure though, I’m never buying a Safaricom modem.

Note: He-he, just as I am completing to write this I get a message from Safaricom saying "Your unlimited daily internet access request has been successfully processed. Ensure you disconnect and reconnect to start enjoying the service." They must really know! I decided to not withdraw from posting this for what they made me go through. But I have conveiniently added the word "almost" in the title of this post. Now, let me test to see if it is true what they are saying.

34 Educated Opinions Yet:

Wyndago said...

Looks like it works... and what did the Safaricom customer care lady say? Dumb.

Mwirigi said...

Must Have been Friday night, I had problems with the net on my phone and on the modem, I called Customer care like 5 times then a guy tells me the Offer runs till midnight so I need to top up again

So I spend the next two days telling people on Twitter the thing runs till midnight #FAIL

Its working wonderfully now, must have had some teething problems, I have no complaints since

Wyndago said...

I did end up enjoying the 24 hour unlimited internet. But barely 5 hours after my time expires 'til now (which is now over 24hrs later) i can't access the internet at all, even through my mobile phone's browser. Even customer care doesn't seem to know what's wrong..
Seems to me that these 'teething' problems are becoming one too many. I know another person who is also experiencing the same troubles with safaricom.

willpress said...

Argh yesterday I tried that bullshit offer, loaded 2 sock but immediately I was told I had insufficient credit. Called customer care and was told i had started a web session that had kulad 66 bob. I sambazad to my card again to 209 bob. And made sure the damn thing wasn't connected as I did so. Tried endlessly to eventually call the wankers again. Apparently by some miracle, i had started another web session which had taken my 135 bob and yet MY MODEM WASNT EVEN CONNECTED ALL THAT TIME!!! Now they be sayin they are reading what the database is saying ie. The gospel truth. . . I could eat a Safaricom hat right now!

Wyndago said...

Hell, whaaaaaat?! These people are out to rip us off! Have you read the terms and conditions for the offer? One line I can't forget is one that states that they reserve the right to terminate the offer whenever they see the need to! What's up with that? You can find the terms and conditions on the last edition of Sunday Nation (25th October edition).

But I have a problem with customer care people too, so incompetent, these guys lie too much! They are just like us, they know just as much as we do when we call to enquire about something.

I feel you though Willpress, and I'm sorry for what they put through. Shit!

Sleek said...

It's so hard posting a comment here

Sleek said...

Arh, finally the comment comes thru..dudes, welcome to telecoms, their swamped customer care who don't know shit..but frankly, who can know ALL the products in and out. Sorry you guys had to go thru such ish...and no, i do not work for safaricom...

Wyndago said...

What so hard about posting a comment here, maybe I can fix it.

Sleek, I appreciate that you can't know ALL the products in and out, but you've got to know the basics!!! And please, its okay to say that you don't know or are not sure rather than lie.

Just so everyone knows, I'm no longer a safaricom customer... because they litterally chased me off their network. Zain can't be that bad.

Mo said...

Zain can't be that bad? I hate to say this but you'll soon find out...

Wyndago said...

Mh. Mo what do you mean, what don't you like about Zain? If Zain doesn't work for me i'll be left with Orange and Yu.
Yu is the best (read cheapest) for internet browsing but i'm not sure about its network coverage when it comes to calls. Orange; its network is also not that smooth. And new subscribers can't enjoy the 1bob/min tarrif.
I didn't imagine i'd have a problem making a choice such as this.

Mo said...

Zain is great when it comes to calls; arguably, the best of the bunch. Its internet though is altogether another issue. Seriously, Safaricom internet, with all its hangups, makes Zain seem like 90's Kenyan dialup. Frequent disconnections, slow, slow speeds and have I mentioned the speeds or lack thereof? I sometimes take 5 minutes to login to my Facebook.

Seriously, don't even consider Zain for internet until you hear news of the rumoured 3G having already kicked in.

Wyndago said...

Internet is a big factor i consider in choosing a network. Thanks Mo. I'm on Yu now though, i hope it serves me fine.

Anonymous said...

this offer is a hoax don't try if you are using your phone it is designed for modems.the best data plan is stil held by yu network

Anonymous said...

JEAN
i still don't know why i still hold a safaricom sim but these bunch of rogues tricked us by keepin their internetwork charges high thus lockin us in.i thought the landin of optic fibre wd make data cheap bt it turned out to be another hoax. Their call n data charge remain the highest sofar. 4 data i have a KDN modem n im liking evey bit of it.

Wyndago said...

I'll check out the KDN modem, thanks for visiting Jean.
This reminds me, I was talking about KDN with my Kalenjin friend one time just to realize that all the while he thought I was referring to KTN!! funny.

Joe said...

Hi guys,

I just stumbled on your site. It made for interesting reading. I had not noticed the Safaricom problem with browsing through a phone because I load small amounts from my M-pesa when needed. One thing I will say, however, their speeds are fair. I have touched 182kB/sec on occassion.

Have you tried the Orange modem at 1.1 Shilling per MB(Post paid)? It is reasonable and their user interface is great. The only problem I had is that when they set me up they forgot to activate me for 24hours and I had to visit them again to give them the CDMA serial number for activation.

I was paying 1999 shs. per month at Safcom for 750MB per month. Now I am getting 2GB for 2,200 per month at Orange. I live in Nakuru.

Now I hear Safcom is rolling out unlimited internet at a monthly rate which they don't indicate. They want you to call them (so they can charge you?) for details.

Joe W

Joe said...

I forgot to mention something in my previous post. I managed to get Orange to give me the 3G+ modem (Post paid) at 2,200 per month (for 1 year) instead of the slower "Internet Everywhere" 2.5G. Usually they only give the faster 3G modem with the Shs.3,900 per month bundle. By the way, with post paid the modem is paid for by the 1 year contract terms.

Just thought this could be helpful for anyone interested in trying a similar deal.

Joe W

Anonymous said...

LOL! i have a 3g modem topped up kes 200 today sent an sms to 555 and never got a reply from safaricom. My attempts to call 100 have hit a snug, If this is not robbery then i guess is one
of MJs peculiar habits. I am shopping for the KDN modem if it really exist!

R.mambo

Wyndago said...

@Joe, thanks a lot! Your comments are immensely informative. I didn't know Safcom had monthly unlimited internet access arrangement. That can be nice. But if they make people call for details then it must be at a ridiculous high price.. anyway.

R. Mambo, the offer does today, the 5th of November. Maybe thats why. But Safcon still con people. But they were nice enough to give me unlimited internet access for 24hrs for FREE!! Bt thats another story.
Otherwise, Joe and R. Mambo, thank you for your comments.

Esther said...

I really enjoy the unlimited internet access...it has worked without hitch so far and its sad the offer is finally ending.But i have an issue with their customer care...what is it for if i its busy all the time?they should have more customer care numbers if 1 is getting overloaded...

Wyndago said...

Hey Esther. To be honest, Safaricom is kind of reliable and faster than any other mobile phone company providing data services. Only they are more (if not most) expensive.

But their customer care are easy to reach nowadays except between 7pm to 10pm. Still Safaricom can do more to improve on their customer care. I did enjoy the unlimited internet too, its sad that it has ended.

Anonymous said...

safaricom are a bunch of con men! that's just all there is to it! The offer they had up for the unlimited internet...(for 200Bob you get unlimited internet for 24 hours) HEHE!!! you just do the math! these guys made some good money!

I also believe that the offer should be cheaper (in fact, much much cheaper!!!). Only in Kenya are we subjected to insane internet access rates and some non-existent connection (or, "Set-up") fees!. Its not just safaricom, its all these mobile operators and ISP's.

For instance, ZUKU charge 5,800KSH for "set-up" fees, then you pay about 3,000KSH/month after that, BUT! they also say that if you pay in advance for 3 months (that's 9,000KSH) you get the set-up equipment free! I don't think i would like to get stuck with them for 3 months, not knowing if their service is up-to-par! i was actually told that its good "like 60 to 70% of the time"..."its a bit slow when there are many guys surfing". Why Why are we still being subjected to this BS?! Dont even get me started on 'Access@Home', there charges are just too exorbitant!!!

All these guys charge as if there customers are running online businesses Hallooo! this ain't CABLE TV! what the hell!

Ok...Ok, i have ranted for long enough!(exhale). But still dont know why safaricom charge that 8 Bob an MB?! i actually used their unlimited offer, did some major downloads (about 7GB) i calculated what i would have paid them if there wasn't an offer... that's 7,000MBx8 KSH = 56,000KSH!!! WHAT! are these guys serious?!

Anyone out there know of a "better option" (pun intended!).

Peace!

C

Wyndago said...

Anonymous, I just want to know what shit you downloaded within 24hrs that amounted to 7GB?! And isn't it ironic that we both think that the offer should have been cheaper yet we still took advantage of it at the same price we are against?

Anonymous said...

hehe! what can i say...there was no way i was letting that offer go! i went insane on them! lets just say i has many apps/games (esp the games, some were really really large files),videos/etc etc!!! i couldn't resist!

Yaani i sacrificed sleep just to "enjoy" the net! hehe! it shouldn't be this way - for guys to go all download-it-all on safaricom (along with other providers) just to get back at them! Can't we all just be reasonable?! ;)

These guys need to review their prices!, i mean they ,make the net too darn expensive! what i did is what happens when they have their special "offers". BTW, also got an sms saying that "interested users can call some corporate sales number for more info. on Safaricoms' unlimited monthly offer". I really hope that their monthly unlimited package (if they have one) will be really really reasonable!

Peace!

Anonymous said...

But, safaricoms offer also show that they can actually offer a suitable package to guys, if they want!

Marvin said...

hmm,
i used the 200ksh per day offer twice ans was quite satisfied. the first time i managed to download about 4,3 gb, the second time only 2gb and a bit, since there was a blackout at night and i hadnt put my battery into my laptop. but downloading 4gb for only 200ksh is a quite reasonable price if you consider the speed.
if you look at europe, austria for example, it was only until recently, that isps intruduced unlimited monthly packages for home users. i think something like 2-3 years ago. in kenya mobile broadband is just starting up and you cant expect any isp to just build a working infrastructure out of nothing that delivers high performance at low cost from the start. infrastructures need to grow and sometimes you have to bend your existing systems to cope with the new challenges, if you dont want to simply throw away all your old equipment.
in germany and austria we have had adsl lines for about 10 years now, and it was only until recently, that there were unlimited internet bundles introduced in austria.
seacom and 3g is just kicking off now, be a little patient and give the isps some time to adapt to the new technologies just being introduced now.
if i think back to my first stay in kenya 3 years ago and compare the internet experience to the one now, i pretty fucking amazed about everything that has happened up to now :)
regards,

marvin

Anonymous said...

@Marvin, But still i dont think the costs abroad are as exorbitant as those here. I mean, how do the isp's expect guys to pay (rough estimates here..) 7,000KSH,or there about for internet connection at home?! i mean all most guys can do is simply check their mail but there is so much more that people want to do..video chat via skype, with their pals abroad, etc etc.

I still believe that the costs can and should be revised. Especially safaricom..if they can just reduce their charges, they can dominate that industry as well!!!, and cash out on the volumes that will have signed up for their packages.

We all heard the endless promises of the "fibre optic/broadband, etc" and what we would expect..fasr speeds, *LOW COSTS*, etc.But now they have to cash-in on their investments first? then later review? Please!

THIS IS KENYA!!! exploiting consumers is common place here!!!! HEHE!!!

Peace!

C

Anonymous said...

why do i get the feeling ur handsets are causing u guys problems, i use a nokia E61i and i got the best out of that service, my net was fast as sh*t ooow and was using my phone as a modem. i wud suggest u check ur phones, about customer care everybody has got a problem with them

wyndago said...

My phone is very okay, afterwards I did enjoy the offer at amazing speeds too. So the blame is on Safcom.

Anonymous said...

Safaricom is a con honestly there offer for unlimited internet access at 999 ksh is a con Once you load you get the message (Your request for Bamba Unlimited 300MB bundle has been processed successfully.Enjoy Unlimited Monthly browsing)

Then after awhile you get the message (You have exceeded Fair Use for your unlimited package. Your package will expire at 20/10/2010 and your bandwidth will be throttled)

Go figure your unlimited internet access will be throttled in the same sentence THIS GUYS ARE WHANKERS , STUPID CONMAN, Switching to Orange fast thing tomorrow.

Jasmine said...

Seriously Safaricom is a great disappointment...999 Unlimited monthly offer is a hoax!!! It seems after the initial 300MB is through one cannot load even the simplest internet pages....waste of money buying their modem (I'd rather Orange with their so-called 3G modem).

Anonymous said...

Now which is the better option?

Anonymous said...

we should all forget about safaricom

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