By Yusuf Korrow
Many will assume the recent announcement by the opposition coalition NASA about the need to boycott several products in the country was just a political rhetoric and fake gimmicks that have nothing to do with Kenya’s middle class economy.
In My personal experience as a Kenyan youth, Safaricom being one of the products mentioned in the list, without fear of doubt, Safaricom products are hyped yet amount to nothing but a bunch of expensive and unreliable connections.
Over and over again, Safaricom gives Kenyans an opportunity to move to other service providers but the customers insist to stay. This allows Safaricom to grow in arrogance and do more silly things.
There is a saying in swahili that goes ‘kitanda usichokilalia hujui kunguni mwake’. I have proved this saying to be true in several occasions when hundreds of My internet bundles (MBs) were no more without using it, with the argument that they have reached expiry dates and cannot be reactivated even by purchase of additional small amount of bundles.
From this experience Safaricom are no better, but can well fit in the gangster class without straining, the only difference is that they steal without physical violence but exercise psychological violence.
When we start looking for solutions of our own problems from our own people who understand the real underlying problems, that is when real entrepreneurship shall sprout and this country will leap forward. Entrepreneurship, and I mean local entrepreneurship, has been the major driving force in the country’s development.
Safaricom has always given its clients a raw deal. I have always known that it steals from most of them without raising eye brows. Like now, you find that the data bundle is being consumed faster than u would expect.
I may not know how, but all I know is that this time round people have realized Safaricom does not have the best deals for their customers. I think Safaricom’s dominance and the fact that people never move even when they get the short end of the stick has made Safaricom rather comfortable and lethargic.
When a company grows big, it does all it can to remain big. Safaricom has been taking advantage of being in front of other providers in the market to prey on the same customers it depends on.
Be it as it may, there is a chance that the current providers are myopic in vision, only keen on reaping Kenyans as much as they can because they think we are all ignorant. May be it’s time those of us who depend on the internet for our livelihoods formed a revolution to name and shame these providers, then push for better services whether by way of pushing the right policies or compelling the providers to behave.
It’s in Safaricom’s best interest for you to keep buying more data, over and over, even if you haven’t used it. It costs them nothing to let you use it over a longer period, or to keep recharging it.
In Conclusion, this is an outright fleecing that Safaricom should be questioned on. In a country where they are the monopoly player on the primary source for people to access the internet, this makes them appear like a bad actor.
Today, with Safaricom it is “data gone, money stolen” after expiration. They cut you off if you haven’t used all of your internet bundle in the nominal 7-90 days, no matter how much is remaining.
As for me, I’m so much in support this very important idea of showing Safaricom Company that the power of the consumers is bigger than the power of the service providers like them.
The writer is a Garissa based journalist and Nep Journal contributor. The views expressed here are his own.