An Open Letter to Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore
This might get to surprise you but I have privately contacted you and shared these issues with you but nothing seems to be going on in making sure that the issues are addressed. I have been forced to do this because you are in charge of East and Central Africa’s biggest telecommunication company despite the fact that it operates only in one country.
After being enticed with the two post paid offerings, PostPay 1,000 and PostPay 2,500, I decided to join the post paid 2,500 tariff. This tariff gives me;
- 2,200 Safaricom to Safaricom minutes
- 300 Safaricom to other network minutes
- 250 SMS to Safaricom only
- 250MB Data bundles
- 250 Bonga points
The offer does not include off-net SMS, international calls, Shortcode services nor does it cover roaming data if at all you travel out of the country. When I joined this and with my consumption, Safaricom marketed this well to me and I got into the box thinking that this might solve my usage.
The problem with these post paid bundles is that they are too voice biased. I call alot and SMS and use the social media enough. But the latter two are making me reduce the amount of time I can spend on calling. I can send an email to 5 family members from my phone so calling is reduced with that. How much MBs is an email? Just a few bits I guess.
So I agree this was never Safaricom’s mistake and they can have products which are suited to the market. But why is Safaricom making it impossible to change or migrate from the post pay offerings? Why is Safaricom basically sabotaging clients who thinks that this might not be the right tariff for them?
I have written mails to Safaricom’s Head of new product, copied the CEO and many other people. In fact I don’t want to move from post pay. I would rather stay in Post Pay but on a tariff suited to my needs. Since April, I have consumed only close to 1,000 minutes in Safaricom to Safaricom minutes while out of the 1,200 off-net minutes I should have, I used only 400 in the 4 months. Data and SMS don’t get to finish a month.
I am looking for an opportunity where Safaricom would offer me 2.5GB, 300 on-net minutes, 100 off-net minutes and so on. Or in a situation where I can have an online platform where I can allocate myself what I want on my line as per the constant amount I have. Say for Ksh 2,500 I can adjust the amount of SMS, Data and voice allocation I should have. Choice on one should result in reduction on other allocations. This is very very possible with the current Safaricom systems I am told. The only problem is that the current system make you pay for what you will never use and so it serves the management right since they can declare profit on exploitation.
Secondly, if the system is going to continue like this, why don’t you give us affordable plan B’s? Why do I have to pay an arm and leg to replenish my finished data allocation while I still have close to 8,000 minutes in Safaricom which even in two years I might never use? I propose Safaricom to reduce the per minute charge on data be not more than Ksh 1 though I would have wished that it be 50 cents. I am talking of one shilling because Safaricom sells capacity to cyber owners who eventually resells it and lowering the price further might just kill the business of the cybers or take us to the days of AfricaOnline monopoly. There are services which still takes consumers to the cyber cafe and so the few cybers which might survive this will have to hike their rates to stay in business.
The Karibu Post Pay promotions are actually pre-paid tariffs bundled as post paid tariffs. You make the initial payments every month and from that payment you get your allocations. So the advertising itself is deceiving to the consumer.
On the side, I believe that Ksh 1,000 should now give me not less than 1GB and not the measly 600MB I am being offered now. Safariom might be forced to make these drastic moves when Orange and Airtel rolls-out their 3G networks and then Safaricom will either be running to CCK, PM’s Office or OP to look for support. We asked for such changes in voice and Safaricom waited until it was forced by competition and it makes the consumers very very bitter to see themselves so exploited.
We have to make these requests to Safaricom because Safaricom is the dominant player and has the position of a monopoly. The other operators are barely surviving. It was wrong to let Safaricom dominate the market this much because this has led to unfair pricing of products and services while at the same time exploitation of the Safaricom clients while locking on the network against their will is the order of the day. I am getting tired because I have tried diplomacy in dealing with these issues but Safaricom Executives are always good with empty words. I am giving up an I expect Safaricom to either respect me as a client or it will be very very hard for me to be loyal again.
Thanks you Sir
You have my Number