How Safaricom Steals Your Internet Bundle

99% of Kenya’s 6.5m internet users access it via mobile, of which Safaricom owns 77% marketshare.

In Kenya, when you buy a 1.5Gb internet bundle from Safaricom you pay 1000ksh (~$12). You’ve paid for the data, and there is no additional cost to Safaricom if you were to use that data today or a year from now. The whole concept of data bundle expiry is ridiculous, as noted by Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore when he visited the iHub:

“When you go into a petrol station and fill up your car, does the owner of the petrol station tell you to bring it back on Wednesday to take back what’s left in the vehicle? Of course not. So I ask, why the hell are we doing that?”

Bob goes on to say that he isn’t going to be an apologist for this practice, that there is a problem with leaving the data there ad infinitum. That 60 days is probably too short and that Safaricom does need to change how they handle this.

  • Until recently they just held your data hostage. If your data expired, you could recharge with just a few shillings of data, this would re-trigger your “old” data that was past the expiration, and have that available to you again.
  • Today, 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.

I brought this up with Bob Collymore, and his chief executives when they visited the iHub earlier this year (see video), at which point he admitted that it was indeed a dubious practice that would be changed to something much more open to users. You’ll see what Bob says at the 1:17 mark in the video below.

Here Bob is on video speaking to this point (I’ve saved the link to go to the right point in the video):

The other day I caught a Tweet from Sunny Bindra about some surprising changes:

Safaricom is actually very responsive on Twitter, probably the best big company on social media in the Kenya. They followed up with Sunny with this:

So, Safaricom didn’t broadcast this significant change in the way data bundles are handled broadly. Apparently, “publicized on our website” means quietly posting a PDF somewhere in the morass that is their website to notify the data using public of the changes.

If you follow the links to the PDF, you’ll find the following:

What is the Validity period?
This is the time frame that you have to use the bundles, when this period elapses it means that any remaining bundles will have expired and will not be available for use.

(Note: there is conflicting information on how long bundles will last, you can only find out by topping up a bundle. I did this for 1.5Gb and found that it’ll last 80 days, not the 30 that they say in the PDF. I don’t know if it’s more/less time for other bundle amounts.)

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 of time, or to keep recharging it.

In Conclusion

I’m disappointed with Safaricom, especially after Bob Collymore came to the iHub and said he was going to fix this, not break it further.

This is an outright fleecing that the Safaricom team 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.

Basically, we’ve gone from a bad system that was promised to be made better, but which had a corrective option, to a worse system that has no option.

Other Safaricom Data Miscellany

While I’m at it, let’s go ahead and talk about a few other ways that the data service that Safaricom raises the bar for bonehead usability: buying data bundles themselves.

Case 1:
You used to be able to send airtime to a SIM card on your Safaricom modem. Then, using the inbuilt Safaricom Broadband app, send an SMS to 450 with the amount of the bundle that you wanted to buy, now 450 only seems to work for checking your balance.

With the new service updated in the aforementioned PDF you can now only use the USSD code to update it.

Solution now?
Take the SIM card out of your modem, load it in your phone and do the USSD code. Once confirmation is received, switch that SIM card back to the modem.

Yes, that’s correct. Instead of being using the software that comes native with your modem, you now have to use a phone to update your bundles. Why would you change your system to not work with everything that people use? I’m quite curious actually. I can’t understand this decision from a either the business or the product side at all.

Case 2:
Safaricom wanted to make it easier for people with modems, iPads, Android tablets and smartphones to be able to update their bundle (good idea). They created http://portal.safaricom.com/bundles for this purpose. Let’s say you’re out of data, you have no credit on your phone. How do you get to this page?

Solution?
There are none. You’re stuck because this page isn’t zero-rated. This is mind-boggling in it’s oversight. I have no data, therefore I cannot go to your page to load more data. Seriously… who is the genius that thought this up? Or, probably more accurately, what form of bureaucracy is in place that allows this mediocrity to persist?

Further, if you’re Safaricom who controls 77% of the consumer internet access in Kenya, why wouldn’t you zero-rate your whole Safaricom.com domain and make it free for anyone to surf, even if they don’t have a single shilling on their phone?

[As a resource, here is the latest quarterly Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) PDF report on the tech scene in Kenya.]

118 thoughts on “How Safaricom Steals Your Internet Bundle

  1. Oyunga

    Thank you for sharing this. You speak for many. Can’t believe the time spent waiting for a confirmation message or just try to get activated after my money is spent.

  2. Vance Muriu

    I totally agree with you Erick. I think safaricom has to rethink the entire data story. For example it was said people used to misuse the internet with the unlimited internet ranging from 200 a day (6000 per month), 1000 a week (4000 per month) and 3000 per month. Regardless of how stupid a person may there is no way you will be willing to spend 3000 – 6000 for activity that maybe a 1500mb bundle can handle. My hope or rather prayer is other isps (airtel, orange, yu) could give as good services. As long as they see ‘no competetion’ they will continue pulling suh stunts with the excuse terms and conditions apply

  3. mmnjugâ„¢

    This I have also confirmed at their retail shop. Very unfortunate. It also happens to the SMS Bundles too. I use the 20sms bundle per day, but sometimes, I hardly use them….they never roll over to the next day.

    As for making their site zero-rated, that is an idea which time has come!

    Waiting to see that they will do to solve this issue.

  4. Ken

    The data bundles are active for 30 days, then are inactive for 60 days in which if you topup with any bundle amount will be added to your new bundle. Even airtime has an expiry date, which is the case all over the world.
    I usually still topup my modem line by the modem app. You simply send a text to 450 with the price of your bundle. Topup the modem line by sending a text with the secret pin of the card from the modem app to 141.

    1. HASH

      Ken, I wish you were correct. I think you’re talking about how it used to be. I’ve tested this multiple times, and you cannot top up your modem by sending an SMS to 450 any longer. As long as we’re talking usability, tell me why they’re making this more difficult by making you remember and add in the secret pin as well? On top of that, tell me where you can find directions for any of this?

      This whole change in data topup by Safaricom is a comedy of errors.

  5. Naomi Mutua

    You have raised such valid points, thank you!
    I didn’t know that now you need to top up with 1000/- bob, not 999 as before, to get that 1.5gb balance. Yes, it’s a bob, but count how many more bobs they have now…

    And that USSD thing is so irritating.

    Sadly, Safcom knows it has a monopoly and continues to exploit it. One day, maybe, someone else will rise up to challenge this.

    I hope Bob Collymore will address this. And fix it.

  6. Potentash

    That issue for removing my SIM from my modem putting it into my phone to activate my bundle has pissed me off. And those issues started like 2 months ago. Thanks for highlighting this issue.

  7. Larry Gibson Obare

    Safaricom are doing many things undercover. That is very stinking. There Customer Care (100) is so useless because you can’t speak to anybody. so while not zero-rate Safaricom.com?

  8. Savvy Kenya

    And that is why I now use Orange for my data. Sure, its coverage is not as wide as Safaricom’s, but while I’m within Nairobi (where I spend 99.9% of my time anyway) I experience good 3G speeds.

  9. Ramongsam

    Well shared. This is the agony we face day today. Thank you for putting this to the light of many kenyans. I think we should trend this and make Safaricom act quickly.

  10. Georgia

    I gave up on Safaricom bundles a long time ago. Reading this just confirmed my thoughts exactly. I suspected foul play when I topped up and couple of emails down, my bundles were usurped. Only I couldn’t understand why. This piece explains.

    An explanation and hopefully a solution from Bob and team would be appreciated ASAP.

  11. Thogori

    That last website irks me to death on my iPad. Its absolutely ridiculous! So, the mad workaround is to sent KES 1030 airtime (some small amount above the bundle price) just to access the page, then purchase my 1.5 GB bundle – which from now on I simply will not do. *Hello Airtel ;)

  12. karibe

    I am just wondering, the unlimited plan was brought to an end, Orange has unlimited and the speeds are good, why are you guys still with safcom? seriously, there is an option out there.

  13. Arafathi Franc

    I agree with you, indeed Safaricom data is misusing its clients..i recently moved to Orange data and even though they both “steal” un-used data, comparing the two in terms of pricing Safaricom seems more expensive and not user-friendly at all. Mobile postpaid data always clears within a week, how i can’t explain and when you visit their retail shops little if any assistance is accorded.

  14. Brian

    I prefer Airtel…its fast and convenient, you can even check how you use your data and the balance remaining via their ussd. Data bundle is renewable if expired once you purchase a new bundle. 1.5gb bundle for sh.799, 2gb for 1k or so (orange cheaper obviously) but the speeds are tremendous, coverage ni kila mahali unlike orange.
    Am selling my orange and safcom modems by the way….

  15. Maryann Michuki

    Eric,

    We appreciate your feedback, however, please allow us to clarify on a number of issues raised herein;

    1. Bundle Expiry
    With the introduction of the direct Data top up through Scratch Cards, we had initially reviewed the bundle expiry and roll over policy. However, following an internal review and in an effort to continuously enhance customer experience, we have made some changes to the policy.
    In that regard, Data Bundles between 7 Days and 90 Days Validity are rolled over when a subscriber tops up before the expiry of the bundle.

    2. SMS Bundle Purchase via “450”
    You can still purchase bundles by sending the bundle price to 450. In addition, you can also send the bundle price to 544 to successfully purchase a bundle

    3. Online Bundle Purchase
    Most devices don’t go to a single site, they have many background connections (application, app stores, software updates, operating system updates, antivirus updates, etc) that also attempt to connect to the internet. The current system configurations are such that when a subscriber runs out of credit their session is immediately terminated.
    The http://www.safaricom.com/bundles page is zero-rated, but before you can open the bundles top-up page, your session will be terminated because any one of the background connections attempted to browse to a billed URL.
    This therefore means that a subscriber will be required to have at least 10 Kenya Cents before they can open the page
    We appreciate that this is not an optimal function, and we are working on a solution to optimize access to the top up page, as well as overall customer experience

  16. Average kenyan

    This is an interesting finding definitely not a hypothesis but what really happens. Who shall save the Kenyan internet enthusiast ? Expiring of Bundles is mind boggling, how come it doesnt spoil your phone like the expired medicine does, are they trying to save modems and phones from dyeing from expired bundles ?

  17. @sadq70

    Remember back when Safaricom were running full page ads just to remind us that calls are charged per second as opposed to Kencell’s 15 per minute or less? Safaricom is officially a ‘big old’ company now.

  18. HASH

    Maryann, thank you for responding for Safaricom.

    Bundle Expiry

    • You changed this to be directly through scratchcard top-ups, yet you hid the information on this. Why?
    • A lot of people would sambaza airtime to their modem and then topup their modem from this, why did you kill this feature?
    • If I top up before the expiry date it rolls over, but not after the expiry date? I understand the advantage to you to make me buy more data, but it’s just plain stealing if I can’t use all the data I originally bought.

    SMS Bundle Purchase on ’450′

    • I tried sending ’999′ to 450 multiple times, it didn’t work. I’m now being told you changed that to 1000ksh instead. I could care less about that 1 bob, but why didn’t you broadcast this change? How many people are trying to top up, but can’t simply through not knowing of this change?
    • By the way, I tried to send it to 544 and it didn’t work either, but I’m guessing that’s likely due to me not knowing the change from 999ksh to 1000ksh.

    Online Bundle Purchase
    Not having zero-rating (the ability for someone with no credit on their phone to access your website) is actually a very large strategic oversight for two reasons.

    • First, the logical issues about not having any credit, but wanting to buy credit when no one is around to buy scratchcards from, and being unable to access the site unless I find a WiFi connection. This whole idea is half-baked at best.
    • Second, if Safaricom is trying to strategically position itself in the “content space”, then by not zero-rating your own website you’re only hobbling yourself. It’s a tactical error with real strategic ramifications. If you can zero-rate Facebook, you can zero-rate yourself, regardless of any technical excuses.
  19. Sufferer

    AND GUYS, BE WARNED!!!!! THEY ARE ALSO FLEECING GUYS WITH THE BROWSE @ 2/- A MINUTE. DO NOT TOUCH IT, I REPEAT, UNLESS U GET KICKS FROM WATCHING HUNDREDS WORTH OF AIRTIME MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEAR IN A FEW MINUTES, DO NOT DIAL *142# OR SEND ON TO 142!!!

  20. mwagiru

    The 999KES and balance roll-over issues are a pity, sad and annoying. The bundles site issue can be sorted albeit with some effort as the background apps explanation Maryanne provides makes sense technically as well.

  21. Gachagua

    It’s strictly business for Safaricom. They cannot let you stay with all the unused daily bundles indefinately, so that you keep buying more. It’s all about profit margins and quotas. The zero-rated website idea is ingenious. It’s a crime that no one over there has thought of it. What other options are there, if you want to install WLAN, for example? Surf at 100 mb/s? Again, it is another crime to surf at 10 mb/s.

  22. Naomi Mutua

    Thanks Maryanne.

    I have tested the 450 bundle purchase… sent 1000 and I got the bundle.

    On the roll over:
    “In that regard, Data Bundles between 7 Days and 90 Days Validity are rolled over when a subscriber tops up before the expiry of the bundle.”

    We simply cannot keep tabs on when the bundles expire. Most of us just realize this when a notification happens. Can you please restore the old system where it restores the balance AFTER the expiry?

  23. Elvis

    Maryann Michuki ur explanations are extremly lame and shallow read the blog again and come up with a better explanation.
    Erik Thank you we need more of you to enlighten us that Vulture are not only in parliament but also in corporate boardrooms Colymore must respond to this!!!

  24. Rose Karanja

    @HASH, true, it still means If the user tops up after the expiry date they will not be able to get back the bundles they had remaining before expiry.
    @Maryann Why? A user should be able to buy 1.5 gb and use it for as long as they like and top up sooner or later. What’s the point in expiring a bundle? You should trust and allow the user to top up when a bundle runs out.

  25. Maryann Michuki

    Eric,

    1. Bundle Expiry
    Direct Data Top Up via Scratch Cards is an additional top-up method in addition to sending an SMS to “450” with the bundle price. Data Top up is not restricted to direct Top Up
    You can also Sambaza airtime to your Modem, and proceed to purchase a bundle. In addition, you can do a direct bundle top-up to another number in this case your modem number on another number from the 544 menu as well.

    Any bundle activated before your old bundle expires will give you the opportunity to roll over the balance of the old bundle and you will be able to use both the old balance and newly activated bundle for the validity period of the newly activated bundle

    2. SMS Bundle Purchase on 450
    To purchase 1.5GB you would need to send ‘1000’ to 450 which is the correct bundle price.
    This change has been included in our through the line communications, but we appreciate your feedback and will evaluate on how to increase reach.
    3. Online Bundle Purchase
    The http://www.safaricom.com/bundles page is zero-rated, but we are working with our technical teams to circumvent the technology challenges arising to ensure ease of access to the Online bundle purchase portal. We appreciate that this is not optimal and are looking to resolve this at the soonest

  26. Felix

    You can all switch to Orange their daily bundles for internet are only 39 bob for 24hrs ( only gsm lines-the black orange sim) their speeds are fair for the price-the Orange 3G+ modem is also affordable-for less than 2k u get a ZTE mf192 21.1 mbps modem + 500mb data. Although when you subscribe to the daily Mobile data and use it on your computer-your speeds get capped at around 400 kilobits per second which is kind of ok considering what you are paying for-speeds sometimes change for download eg torrents-In short if you are feeling frustrated by safaricom antics you could always move-I don’t support monopoly on vital services like the data services-If safaricom thought it through and made data cheaper (I suggest as affordable as 5o bob for unlimited daily) they would get back their subscribers who are fleeing en mass.Let Bob Collymore know that its always about the purpose-not always about the reward-his underhanded antics will not suffice in the l0ngrun!!!!

  27. bomb1e

    The general resolution at the end of this post should have been a switch to Orange Data. Using Orange solves all the above problems on top of what Safaricom Data offers, and get this, AND MORE.

  28. Mwenda Thianyu

    I have raised some the with their customer but all in vain! Its just pathetic what Safaricom has turned into now… Con Artista!!!
    I’m now using Orange and the speed amazingunlike Safaricom they don’t limit their bandwidth!

  29. Mwenda Thianyu

    I have raised some the with their customer but all in vain! Its just pathetic what Safaricom has turned into now… Con Artists!!!
    I’m now using Orange and the speed amazing, unlike Safaricom they don’t limit their bandwidth!

  30. Henry

    while I have no experience so far with expired bundles being lost completely, I load credit directly into my modem by SMS method – sending PIN to 141 and proceed to convert to 1.5GB by sending another text: 999 to 450… I have done this latest last week without any issues

  31. Kewowo

    I have been using the monthly orange unlimited for a while now. The speeds are awesome when am in Naiobi though its kind of a hassle outside. Still I would choose it over Safaricom considering they terminated their unlimited while it works very well on Orange.

  32. Muganda

    Maryanne, I think it’s underhand to send SMS alert only when data bundle is almost depleted while avoiding to do so if same bundle is about to EXPIRE.

    And then after expiry, silently using any airtime on the line without any notice. Finally when subscriber realises, no action on their part can restore unused ‘expired’ bundle.

  33. Muriithi

    When Safaricom scrapped their unlimited internet offering, I’d had it and got an Orange modem.

    Honestly, not sure why I hadn’t made the move even earlier. The speeds are consistently fast (with 3G+, far faster than I ever got with Safaricom on a good day) and just as reliable (if not more).

    The experience on the modem software is also far better – you actually just select the bundle you want and you are good to go. No more remembering how to buy a particular bundle using text messages. These may seem like minor things but collectively, they make a big difference.

    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

  34. James Ngigi

    Spot on. Safaricom should have think heads like and not sit fillers in their innovations and analysis team.

  35. Rose

    Move to Orange guys! Suffericom is crap and Bob Con Me More(Bob Collymore) won’t do much for you either, Orange has fairly good internet speeds and even better if you live outside Nairobi.

  36. OtienoHongo

    Why is Maryanne ignoring the issue of bundle expiry? This is robbery. I like the analogy with a petrol station telling you you must use your fuel by wednesday or return it, it is mine, I have bought it!

  37. Buggz79

    Great engagement and discussion.

    @maryanne: What exactly is the risk of having open ended bundles? I suspect that people’s usage varies from month to month. I’d like to accumulate data paid for for a long youtube whoring session. As Hash pointed out, it’s already paid for. Why not make it happen?

    2. On the bundle buying, always use the mother test. Hand your mom a scratch card, a modem and a PC. Ask her to buy and load a bundle. If after 5 minutes, she states her preference for some other sibling and asks why you would subject her to such, then go back to basics. Think Amazon ‘one click’ processing. You guys can do it. Make it so.

    3. Communicate relentlessly. The backlash here is more from uncommunicated/ineffectively communicated changes to policy. If you must, run a google ads campaign. Those things are impossible to ignore and are pretty pervasive everywhere.

    Cool…let the talking continue..

  38. S.E Ngetha

    I see something else in all this fiasco of day light robbery with violence; a company that is desperate to recover capital expenditure for their Data Services. The way out of this not by theft but by innovation, a service or product that made sure I was hooked to my device and validity is nolonger an issue

  39. tim

    The fact that @MaryAnne doesn’t acknowledge the simple fact that, it is ridiculous to have a page for buying internet bundles…because one NEEDS the bundle to access the internet to get to the said bundles page. [Read this aloud and it doesn't even make sense]

    It’s a fine example of corporate hubris or willfully ignoring customer requests.

  40. Antipas Ochola

    This is so sad! That a company, which should encourage more economic activity through its enabling technologies, turns around and devours the users, including the struggling poor, who are simply doing honest work for a living. Where is integrity here? All we see is greed, not extreme YET. SAFARICOM, be honorable. Let people use the air and you make a fair profit. Don’t kill the goose.

  41. Mwirigi

    @Erik thanks for pointing this out, @Maryanne perhaps then a message message notifying you that your bundle is about to expire perhaps 12 hours in advance. You already do that when a bundle is about to be exhausted

  42. Pingback: Africa Mobile Operators Customer Service Awareness Day: Data & Mobile Money | Afrinnovator

  43. Mwangi

    Allow me to take a minute to appreciate Safaricom for making time to respond to this and for saying it as it is. That is how they have come to control 77% of the market.
    As a person who regularly does customer support in the line of my work – the responses by Mayann stand out. I dare you write about any other TSP and see how they respond … or NOT.

  44. Mtega

    In Tanzania, who no network has the kind of monopoly power that Safaricom has in Kenya, every single mobile phone network has the same system of data expiring after 30 days. It’s a shameful practice that should not be allowed, as your example of the petrol station makes clear.

    But your statement that it “costs them nothing to let you use it over a longer period of time, or to keep recharging it” is incorrect. The cost to Safaricom (or to Voda, Tigo, Airtel and Zantel in Tanzania) is the lost revenue that they wouldn’t get from customers whose data package ran out of time. So if they stopped expiring data packages, they would lose revenue and would have to increase prices to compensate.

    Yes, it’s a sneaky practice, and should not be allowed. But be ready for prices to increase if they change the policy.

  45. KenyaTweets

    Great conversation. I bet what @Mwirigi suggests is very easy to implement and would really help especially for those of us who buy huge bundles. Simply notify users when bundles near their expiry and anyone noticing that they still have a lot of MB’s used will opt to renew rather than have it expire.

    Additionally, you could (as @Buggz79 suggests) have an open ended approach for bundles. As it is, users are encouraged to exhaust their bundles quickly or they expire. In either case, Safaricom gains and not its customers!

  46. Ujo

    This is just sad. Stealing people’s data bundles in broad daylight. I personally don’t see why they should expire your data, leave alone not carry it forward.
    And why complicate top-up? If I find it a hussle to top up my bundle, how about my mother? This is just very unfortunate. I hope they wake up soon and start solving real customer problems rather than finding ways to make people pay more for no added value.

  47. Pauline

    Safaricom, do you remember Telkom used to enjoy your kind of monopoly not so long ago? Look at them now. This looks like the path you are trending on. Learn to listen to your clients before making some of these changes.

  48. mchele

    Guys you like complainig a lot for nothing …tell your mother to send the scratch card pin as an sms to 544 to buy bundles ..if she can’t do it after 5mins show her that’s why she took you to school ..duh..
    about expiring bundles..enyewe. they should be rolled be rolled over even after expiry but again if you buy bread and it expires..do you have it renewed?

  49. mark

    SFC is a very arrogant company which if you ask me has trickled down from the MJ days who set that tone. Indeed customer service has gotten better since they are on twitter. But have recently ‘upgraded’ myself to prepaid as I feel stolen from over the last few years. Will only fall back on SFC if all else fails…

  50. eltoro254

    @Alex, the no. 1 reason why guys are still with Safcom is MPesa.

    Other reasons are the opportunity costs of switching numbers, say as a businessman or jobseeker. You don’t want to lose your deals or job interviews considering all those business cards you dished out 5yrs ago or the CV you sent out in 2010 that will receive attention now. Safcom know very well about this psyche, no wonder they frustrated those number portability initiatives last year.

    @Gachagua, @Buggz79, @Antipas, what you’re witnessing is one of the greatest ills of capitalism called Planned Obsolescence. Google it!

    For instance, It’s when large light bulb manufacturers like Phillips had technology, as early as the ’20s, to make bulbs lasting 10,000 hours but chose to ignore that and cap it at 1000 hours. Why? So that the bulbs would need replacement faster hence more sales and greater profit every financial year.

    It’s when a printer manufacturer like HP deliberately puts chips which deliberately cap the printer’s life cycle at 18,000 pages after which the printers is ‘dead’ and you’re back to buying another one.

    It’s the reason why Apple and Samsung won’t release all cool innovations at one go but will release them in piecemeal so that the Galaxy S3 you’ve just bought will feel so primitive in 2-3 years time when you’re bombarded with S4 adverts and all the new cool stuff, which isn’t that new in their R&D departments, but you can’t help but splash another 60k on a few extra inches of screen and features you’ll rarely use. Go figure! Samsung shareholders laugh all the way to the bank.

    Same as Safcom shareholders. As long as it’s not in the best interest to the bottomline i.e. more sales, more profit, why should they care about your unused bundles? They want you in line buying the next bundle ASAP and as we can see, they will use all manner of trickery to keep this profit-minting machine running, like all the firms I have mentioned. Such is capitalism.

    I didn’t write this loooong post to give a solution to world problems but rather to help guys see the big picture outside of Safcom. Maybe what I can say is, if you find a way to beat the system, take it. (Re: Orange) And help open others’ eyes, like this blogpost & the comments…

  51. PK

    I used to feel the pain looking at it from that perspective, until you think about it critically.
    Data Bundle purchase is more-or-less like hiring a bandwidth (space). Safaricom reserves it for you to use (which in fact costs them), but you choose not to, or take forever utilizing it. Just like renting a house or a car for a period of time, if the time lapses then you need to renew your tenure whether you use it or not…so is with Data Bundles.

    Am however open to correction.

  52. Gridenko

    it is wrong for safaricom to rob us off our data. This is the first time I am hearing of this, and I’ve been a data user for the last 13months. I may not be able to convince safaricom to let me continue using my bundle by resurrecting it (topping up after expiry) but one thing am sure is that this will not go on for long. *Orange may not be a bad option*

  53. Stuart

    When a company grows big, it does all it can to remain big. Safaricom has been taking advantage of being infront of other providers in the market to prey on the same customers it depends on.

    One can argue that we have a choice. But Orange and Airtel for example are not really direct competitors. For some of us who use modems because we move around, all these choices are almost useless. I tried using Airtel in Nakuru town (from Bontana and Water Buck Hotels and I couldn’t access web through my phone.

    Then try checking the internet speeds of Airtel vs Safaricom. It’s a joke. Then some of us have to send money to our aging parents and other responsibilities through M-Pesa. Personally, I don’t need M-Pesa for my transaction but there is this intricate web that in a way ‘forces’ me to access the service.

    That is where we get stuck. I need to work… and in the process have to deal with being fleeced because it’s a lesser of a loss. If I have a real option, trust me I will be gone. It’s like the choice of driving your own car and be stuck in traffic and taking a matatu and being stuck in traffic and deal with all that comes with it.

  54. Jaffar Mohamed

    Guys, you get what you deserve. On a different day you’ll hear Kenyans saying that the billions in profit from safcom are due to “innovation”, that safcom have the best data offering and numerous other praises that have helped in building up an arrogant bully. Safcom is simply taking advantage of peculiar Kenyans. What you fail to realise is that safcom operates like a third world government complete with a propaganda machine and baby bloggers who feed you with info and posts that have helped safcom dominate in the data space. A data user is on average an intelligent person which makes it difficult to understand why we fail to consider the many viable and solid alternatives that are available. Guys, you don’t have to be on safcom, do some research, sample the data offerings of other competitors (not limited to Airtel, Orange n Yu) and ISPs. Once you have the relevant info, you will hang in shame and wonder why you’ve always behaved as if you cannot survive without safcom.

  55. MurayaKamau

    When using the Orange 3G Modem it redirects you to the Orange portal that allows you to top up and buy another bundle. The page is zero rated. Safaricom need to emulate that functionality.

  56. Ciiku

    Hash,

    I am curious, have you used Orange for internet? If so, could you perhaps blog about it? Was there a difference? Maybe that could open people’s eyes because who says you have to have a Safaricom line and a Safaricom Modem??

  57. Matt

    It’s pretty crazy that with the most efficient mobile-based money transfer system in the world, Safaricom still finds a way to make buying and maintaining data bundles so difficult and complex. When I first arrived in Kenya, it was a mess of options that I had to learn through friends and coworkers – there’s no clear communication on this and no easy path. Now it sounds like it’s gotten even more complex/difficult. With its increasing emphasis on growth in data-driven revenue, one would think they would make this as easy as possible.

    Meanwhile, over in the US, it’s the same song with a different tune: http://www.businessinsider.com/att-data-plans-2012-7 – MNOs the world-over optimize for short-term, marginal profit often at the expense of customer experience.

  58. Fiona

    Maybe the reason Safaricom can act the way it does is because its competitor Airtel Kenya’s services are just as bad. For instance for the past few weeks its been impossible to activate data bundles, meaning that one has to use airtime credit for voice to browse which at Kshs. 4 per MB is really expensive. @Sufferer you are right. Its like watching your cash been flushed down the drain.

    I have called, tweeted and facebooked them (Airtel Kenya) to no avail. To make matters worse they continue to bombard your phone with unsolicited text messages about the same data bundles that don’t work. I don’t know what Orange is like, but I think that until Airtel gets its house in order we can expect more of the same with Safaricom.

  59. George

    Hi guys, I’ve been using orange Kenya on my phone for like a month now and the speed is amazing, though if you use it for large scale surfing such as unlimited daily bundles via tethering the speeds are capped. Also used an orange modem till I got Zuku. Speeds are decent.
    Also have a safcom line but only for m-pesa. Tried moving but those charges for m-pesa are too high across networks, and there are not enough agents for other services. M-pesa has me clamped down haaaard! If it was not for it, I woud be long gone now.
    Was on yu before, they SUCK!
    Love orange so far since I use their daily offers for sms and 10mb datat at 10 bob. Not many probz with them thus far, although customer care via calls can suck, but fixable via twitter. Thanks!

  60. Maryann Michuki

    All,

    We really appreciate the feedback received. We have consolidated all feedback and/or concerns and the Safaricom team is reviewing this, particularly on data bundle expiry.

    Thank you and Good Evening

  61. DavidWanjiru

    @PK,
    You are wrong. When I buy a bundle from Safaricom, they don’t reserve any bandwidth for me, just as they don’t reserve any bandwidth for me to talk on just because I’ve bought airtime for my phone. In fact, buying a bundle is essentially lending safaricom money, which they give me back in small quantities called MBs instead of Kenya Shillings, until all the money they have left is their profit, at which point they tell me “your money is finished, we don’t owe you any more”. It’s like me going to a restaurant and telling them, “here, take this 2000 bob, I’ll be coming for mandazi here until the money gets finished”. Now whether I eat three mandazi a day, or two a week is not an issue. It only becomes an issue when I take so long to finish my allotment of mandazi such that their cost of producing mandazi changes. For example, if I’d “booked” 100 mandazi three years ago at 10 bob per ndazi, if today the cost of one ndazi is 20 bob, then the restaurant has a case for complaint. But what do you think the restaurant would do? In all likelihood, they’d probably tell me to add more money. If this is safaricom’s argument, that the cost of providing me with my bandwidth changes with time, and therefore they can only guarantee me a price for a given period of time, then don’t you think that 90 days is too short? If they were saying one year or something, I might be more inclined to understand. But 3 months? What fundamental changes happen in three months to SIGNIFICANTLY change the cost of doing business to safaricom? And even if their cost of doing business changes, then at the very least they should be able to give me my money back. As in, “here, you gave us 2000bob to book our mandazi, but the cost of making mandazi has changed since then, and since we cannot seem to agree with you about the new cost of mandazi, here is your 2000 bob back”. Perhaps with some money deducted, for example because although I bought airtime worth 2K, safaricom didn’t receive the entire 2K, some of it was mark up to people in their distribution channels. They can also argue a few bob here and there for adiministrative costs. So in my opinion, if safaricom wanted to be fair to their bundle customers (I’m not one of them, I use orange, I live in Thika, I have zero complaints, except that I wouldn’t mind if they lowered their unlimited rates), then what safaricom would do is increase the expiry period, to at least 6 months, and even after your bundle expires, there is an option to recover at least some of your money. At least then we could argue that they are making a genuine, good faith effort to do right by their customers. But what they’re doing now is simply stealing from their customers. My suspicion is that someone at safaricom has been given a sales data target, and they are going to hit that target. And if they do it but screw the customer in the meantime, who gives a four letter word?

  62. Ratinevo

    The IT Governance at Safaricom has failed to keep policy in line with tech.

    Also, Safaricom do steal, I learnt this a long time ago. So I switched to Orange. Turned out to be the same story with Safaricom.
    Orange & Safaricom have bad policies that are poorly implemented by IT. Hence, their IT Governance has failed either way.

    So now, I’m on Airtel. It works fine, It’s just not the 512K they say it is. But that 120K is consistent. It works. It not magic, but it works.
    I’ll stick with Airtel until they fail then I’ll look for another service provider and be the fool for, again.

  63. DavidWanjiru

    I had posted some other comments here earlier from my phone, and since there was nothing that would warrant their being removed, I’ll assume they didn’t upload for some reason.
    In relation to the issue of how you must have airtime to reach the bundle purchase page, safaricom should emulate the following features from Orange:
    1. When your bundles expire when using an Orange modem, you are AUTOMATICALLY redirected to the bundle purchase page. If you connect your modem when you’re without data left, it takes you to the data buying page. So technically, there is no excuse for what safaricom are doing. If their tech guys don’t know how to do it, they should go poach talent from Orange. They can afford it.
    2. The page is very easy to use. You input the scratch card number directly on the page without even going to the modem software. And the choices of which bundle are there too, all very easy to use.
    3. This is the feature I like best on Orange: since stuff that can use data is running in the background, what if you reload the airtime and then your antivirus starts to update before you’ve bought the bundle, consumes a few bob, and now you don’t have enough money to buy the bundle you wanted? They’ve solved it very well; once you’ve been redirected to the portal coz you’re out of data, you internet connection is not dead and remains dead until you disconnect your modem and then reconnect. Even after you’ve reloaded the modem line and bought your bundle, you still have to disconnect and reconnect before you can use that bundle. It’s very helpful and thoughtful of them. These are the sort of things companies do when they’re thinking of their customer. My feeling about Safaricom is that by and large, the customer is an afterthought.

    1. HASH

      David, all comments are held in moderation until I can get to them and approve them.

      None have been held back or deleted to this point.

  64. Bee

    You can unsubscribe from daily plan by sending a message with word OFF to 142 or dial *142#. You can top up a modem by sending voucher PIN to 141.

  65. Kirima N. (@mountainous)

    Unused bundles is my major gripe with Safaricom, on the phone it is no big deal since I use up the bundle in good time. but with the Modem I only connect on need basis mainly on weekends when I’m away from wifi and it is thoroughly impossible to keep tabs on the expiry dates. I do hope the policy can be reviewed fairly for us to access the unused portion even after expiry.

  66. Isaa

    My pal wanted to send a text to his girlfriend but he didn’t have even a bob in his celly. So he asked me to send him 5 bob so that he could text his girl. Immediately after I had sent him the 5 bob, he got a text that his 5 MB data bundle has been recharged successfully only for him to start ranting and complaining that Safaricom sucks and hurled all sorts of insults lol!! Now my concern is that, ok first I do agree that it’s an active subscription and it will be renewed the moment one recharges his/her account, but why the heck should it be in this manner that unannouncedly inconveniences users leaving them only frustrated?? Why can’t it be set up in such a way that I be lord over all these subscriptions and not only just for the data bundle subscriptions, but also the Go SMS Crazy subscriptions??

  67. Paul

    Safaricom have always given its clients a raw deal. I have always known that it steals from mostwithout them suspecting. Like now you find that the data is being consumed faster than u would expect.I may not know how but I know tis time people realized Safaricomdoes not have the best deals for their customers.

  68. Evans

    The other day i bought 200Mb data on Safaricom for emails. Immediately the online portal loaded, the balance was reading 173MB. Almost blew my lid off. Inquired on ‘customer care’ why this happened: no insult whatsoever on my side. Shock on me! They are the market leaders and they don’t take any criticism or questions. My post was immediately deleted and i was blocked from the fan-page. Diverted my calls to my Airtel line and have been using airtel ever since. Funny though, Airtel gives me upto 1.5mbps on the unlimited plan for less. Then i ask myself the question why i was ever tethered to Safaricom! People continue to suffer because they haven’t tried other ISP’s. I am tired of being treated like I don’t matter just because they have a huge customer base.

  69. James Mwai

    I recently bought the new black Safaricom modem. I have been using the free 20GB that comes with this modem. The modem is pretty good, the speeds are quite awesome and it handles stuff like streaming youtube quite well without any lag. But after exhausting the first bundle this morning, the modem just stopped working and I was in the middle of a conversation with a client. There is no way of knowing that you are close to exhausting your data and you have to keep looking under the statistics tab which I came to realize gives you wrong information because after doing my calculations, I realized I had been robbed a lot of data. So I immediately Mpesad the modem kshs 1000 and immediately sent 1000 to 450 so as to buy the 1.5GB bundle. It takes a whole 5 minutes after which 450 sends back a message saying “Current Data Balance: 0MB.” So I send the message again and again, same story. I couldn’t buy a data bundle from my modem. So I removed the sim card, switched off my line, which I use a lot with my clients, inserted it into my phone and then dialled *544#. After going through the lengthy process of trying to buy the 1.5gb bundle, I now got a message “You account balance is insufficient”. On checking the balance, I have 916 kshs. Fucking hell! Where did my 84 shillings go in a span of 10 minutes????? So I now had to buy the 500MB a 200MB and 80MB to get 780MB for my 1000kshs, return the sim card to the modem and continue working. I felt it being such a painful process of trying to give Safaricom my money. I fail to understand why Safaricom tries to complicate this whole data thing so badly. I was told I should try the Orange modem as it has a less painful process, cheaper and the speeds are relatively good which I will from tomorrow.

  70. Susan Mulievi

    I see…and woo unto you if yoour work station is out of country and you are there for 3 months….then they discontinued the unlimited bundle…Eish Safaricom…you can do better

  71. Gichingiri

    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. Orange is an excellent choice for internet and with increased users, their coverage should grow

  72. Simon

    Eric , you should research your information well and ask people around you just incase you miss something because some (in fact a lot) of your accusations are grossly in accurate. I totally agree you with you though about zero rating safaricom.co.ke. Then about the expiry, I am an auditor and i kinda understand why safaricom feels they should expire your bundles if it seems you will never spend them after all. Unlike petro stations which recognize revenue immediately after fuelling your car (not after using all the fuel), Network operators can’t recognize the revenue from bundles until it is used up by the user, so its is somehow greedy but also logical in my view to disable data that is not being used and recognize the revenue after giving the user enough time. i also find it very nice that safaricom rolls over your bundle expiry date every time you top up so am totally with them and I use safcom bundles fulltime.

    1. HASH

      Simon, I did research this, and called people to confirm. What exactly am I inaccurate on?

      You’ll note that your own comment does have an error though, and that is that you cannot roll over your data after expiry (though you used to be able to do this) and that was what this post was primarily about.

  73. gitts

    on orange evdo 3g+ whenever airtime runs out it goes directly to the portal from whatever page automatically. much easier to handle.
    Safaricom should allow bundles to roll over. orange do that

  74. Samuel

    I think now safaricom need to accept there are unseen issues happening behind their billing systems.

  75. Martin

    And why not just get rid of this “bundle” nonsense. They should just set browsing at 1 bob per mb that way you buy what you need and top up whichever amount and in whichever manner you wish. Simple and efficient.

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  77. Muganda

    SIMON, strong opinions with inaccurate facts lead to qualified accounts.

    Bundles can henceforth only be renewed before expiry. Whatever the cause, the clear outcome is more revenue for Safaricom. The belated policy review announcement is a false victory – renewals even one hour after bundle expiry are lost to the wind.

    If intention was indeed ‘accounting’ of Revenue, the 500MB/1.5GB bundles would surely have a longer validity than only 30 days. These favored bundles are quite expensive per MB per validity period when compared to others.

  78. Sharon

    I have been using Orange internet for the past one and a half years and i would say it’s perfect in terms of speed and reliability. The only issue i have with them is the recent introduction of charges for accessing their portal. It’s no longer zero rated. They automatically deduct Sh. 30 once you try recharging and buying bundles on the portal. This is a recent development that only begun this year.

    I use the weekly unlimited bundle which costs 990 bob. Topping up with 1000 bob through the portal means my credit is always insufficient to buy the bundle after they deduct the 30 bob.

    I called their customer care and they explained that the moment you log into the portal, they assume that you’ve started browsing and start charging. They asked me to try recharging and buying bundles via SMS and that’s how i have been doing it since. I wish they would go back to zero rating it as the SMS method is inconveniencing and it keeps giving errors. Otherwise, i would say it offers the best experience for data users.

  79. Mung'ei

    Like I have always said, its the little things that Bob and his team overlook that matter to the general public…from the moment charges for ‘SENDING’ money were reversed upwards….(forget withdrawing etc, those ones can be increased), but the moment they increased the costs of money-charging hands with less than a 24-hour notice on the same….things went downhill.
    Simple things like a text notification when my bundles is about to expire…..like really?
    Also, the daily sms subscription expires on the stroke of midnight…not on a 24hr duration <<really? in this age and time you use mid night as the threshold for subscription expiry??

  80. mkoloni

    Hmm…the great Safaricom Spring revolution. Orange, perhaps the place to turn our attention and affections?

  81. Thomas

    Reading the above comments I am just surprised. First of all let us know that Kenya is a capitalist country. Companies like Safaricom are there to make profit for their owners and shareholders. I think Safaricom is just following the best practices used by other countries in the Western World (the developed countries in the north).

    I was in Dallas, Texas recently and I wanted the cheapest internet to use in my laptop. Virgin Mobile USA provided the cheapest. I bought their modem at US $80 and a 5 GB Data scratch card for US $50. The 5 GB Data bundle is valid for 30 days only. If you recharge after 30 days you lose all the remaining data in your modem. If you recharge within the 30 days you carry forward all the remaining data plus the new data bundle purchased.

    Don’t blame Safaricom or Mr Bob Collymore. Safaricom is just following the best practice used by the other mobile data providers in the west.

    I’ve enjoyed the Safaricom speeds. Those threatening to leave Safaricom should just go. But remember the saying “Cheap is expensive in the end”.

    1. HASH

      @Thomas.

      Using the US mobile operators as the bar for “best practice” is a little far-reaching. The US mobile ecosystem is near worst in the world, for architecture, coverage and most importantly in how they bill their customers. Where else in the world do you pay to receive an SMS?

      On top of the US being a bad comparison, why do we need to use anyone else as our benchmark anyway? Just because it works in one place, doesn’t mean it’ll work in ours (and vice versa). Let Safaricom create a solution that works for here.

      Finally, note the actual content of the blog post that I wrote. You’ll notice that it was Bob Collymore himself who said this was a bad way to handle data bundles. The main part of this argument is not about/against the free market and capitalism, it’s about how Safaricom said they’d fix something but broke it even more.

  82. Thomas

    There is something I learnt about Americans. If your service is poor or expensive they will vote with their feet. I mean they will quit and stop using your services. In a free market economy customers have choices.

    Let me give you an example: If I want to fly from Nairobi to New York I have very many choices:

    1. I can fly KLM through Amsterdam to New York.

    2. British Airways through London to New York.

    3. Emirates through Dubai to New York.

    4. Qatar Airways through Doha to New York.

    5. EgyptAir through Cairo to New York.

    6. SN Brussels through Brussels to New York.

    7. South African Airways through Joburg to New York,

    I don’t work for any mobile service provider. Kenyan customers have a choice. You can vote with your feet.

    Talking of mobile (voice) service. I bought a pay as you go cell phone from Walmart store in the United States. For US $45 a month you can make unlimited calls within the United States and Canada. Americans can talk on their cell phones even for 2 hours or more !

    Talking about bench marking the United States leads and other countries follow. African/Asian even European Airlines are all rushing (waiting) to buy the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet.

    Going through the DN2 pullout in our local newspapers today I didn’t even see one European or Asian company listed.

    Almost all the companies listed there were American companies.

    The customer is King. If you don’t like a service walk away.

  83. Isaa

    When the day comes that we’ll stop using other people’s benchmarking schemes and set them as our own in order to fair, that is when the great awakening shall begin. 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 a country’s development. Now when we start poaching foreign entrepreneurship skills, just as someone recently mentioned herein, it’ll be a little far-reaching. Those schemes were developed only to address problems that are local in their locality, not in foreign places!!!

  84. RAJAB

    i THINK SAFAICOM HAS BEEN FOOLING KENYANS. THEY NEVER SAY THAT THEIR ”UNLIMITED” INTERNET BUNDLES ARE LIMITED TO OUR USAGE UNTIL I TOP UP A BUNDLE WORTH 1000BOB THINGS WERE OK UNTIL A FEW HOURS LATER I REALIZED THERE WAS SOME INTERNET BUT COULD NOT DO ME ANY GOOD AS IT COULDNT DOWNLOAD EVEN A SIMPLE PDF TILL THE EXPIRY OF THE BUNDLE 6 DAYS LATER

  85. Marcus

    Orange Kenya also steals your internet bundle, this is how they do it: If you subscribe for the unlimited offers, it auto try’s to renew that offer when it expires.

    Now lets say I had the daily unlimited – if it auto renews that offer for you and you decide to unsubscribe from the offer (*123*31#), it should unsubscribe you from auto renewal, and let whatever ongoing unlimited offer to die out, instead, it will unsubscribe you and cancel any unlimited offer thats ongoing, that YOU have already paid for.

    Its made me hate that operator

  86. Joanne

    I agree with u Marcus, Orange too is pathetic because they drain your internet bundle incase you havent consumed it by the time the expiry date reaches and yet they still expect you to be a loyal customer and to make it worse, if you have an issue and you are miles away from the Orange customer care office, their lines dont go through and you have to make a point and go to the office to get sorted out.Am out of options which company has better services coz they are all turning to behave the same.

  87. Jimale

    This is theft, i have lost 1072 data bundle with Safaricom. Which Modem should i buy. I want to throw away my saf modem as soon as i get a better internet service provider.

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  89. Abigail

    I have just given up on safaricom on internet. When one speaks of their call centre when it comes to safaricom spell it out as hole centre. I was told that my details hadn’t been logged in after my complaint and I need to call later. When I did I was put on hold and then disconnected. Right now as I speak I have no clue where my internet bundle has flown to.

  90. john

    I stopped using safaricom modems the moment they got fishy with the unlimited data plan.. unless there is competition things will not change

  91. ESSAO

    I have 4 sim cards for all services in kenya.Safcom-reliable,yet unapologetic rip-offs;Orange-can make u want to petrol bomb their HQs(ripoffs,unreliable con-company);Airtel-all bluster and lies(promising heaven,delivering crap);Yu-basic,no-frills stone-age services.
    After trying out all,i went stone-age(Yu).I pimped up my simple desktop with speed up tools and programs including web accelerators,prefetchers,installed full anti- virus and anti- malware,updated my unlocked safcom dongle firmware and dashboard and voila!!!-am able to get almost 3g speeds using Yu stone-age service at very cheap price(39 sh-300MB daily).It was hard work-BUT WORTH EVERY SHILLING!!!!

  92. Helen

    Orange offers 24hour unlimited data at Kshs. 39 only for mobile phone users. They also offer fairly priced data bundles for both phones and modems. CHAGUO NI LAKO

  93. JERIAH

    there is a saying in swahili that says ‘kitanda usichokilalia hujui kunguni mwake’ i have proved this saying to be true now that my over seven hundred MBs are no more, with the argument that they have reached expiry date and cannot be reactivated even by small amount of bundles. from this experience safaricom are no better, but can well fit in the gungstar class without straining, the only difference is that they steal without physical violence but exercise psychological violence.

  94. kkita

    We are yet to see any serious internet provider in Kenya. It is so frustrating because there are lots of us who want to do serious stuff online but the companies that claim to provide internet are just not doing it right. their products are hyped yet amount to nothing but a bunch of expensive and unreliable connections. we are told we have fibre but is it really helping us? Maybe it’s a policy issue or else I dont know why we are suffering this much.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. maybe its time those of us who depend on the internet for our livelihoods formed a revolution to name and shame this providers then push for better services whether by way of pushing the right policies or compeling the providers to behave, whichever is practical. Meanwhile for any investors out there, please there is a huge opportunity in kenya’s data platform. please consider it!!

  95. isa

    I was shocked today to notice a friend of mine Loose data bundles of 3360MB. All attempts to talk to customer care were exercise in futility. I think everyone should know this.

  96. Dan Kiagayu

    I recently bought a modem with a sim card. i put the simcard in my fon after credit ran out and got very many messages about 4 or 5 every day saying i did not have enough credit for a trnasaction i had never applied or asked for. This means that Safaricom has been debiting my credit at about 150/- everyday when i put credit without my knowledge or authority. Who can rectify refund and apologise over this.
    I am Duncan mobiles 0716 080 100/ 0700 322 377

  97. freddie

    Why are you still in the dark. you is the best in internet even if the speed is wanting especially for unlimited internet. Safaricom are goddamn corporate thieves

  98. Data Traveler

    Looks like Kenyans are getting “data fleeced.” LOL! :-) Perhaps when Yu & Airtel can step up to the competitive data plate, then and only then, will we see better service.
    BTW, I unlock ALL of my modems — always had problems with those damn Huawei E173′s custom firmware. No more :-). Try the DC-Unlocker service; works like a charm.

    Who’s the retard that invented locking a modem that I PAID FOR?? That should be another serious discussion.

  99. Jasper Njuguna

    An alternative for guys to access reliable internet and not necessarily using modems would be purchasing and installing access points gadgets or commonly known as receivers. A majority of business minded guys have set up a station or remote access transmitters that broadcast radio waves and depending on the radius [works mainly on "line of sight" and also "wifi spots"] pretty much you can access the internet via wifi [ if your comp has powerful wifi drivers] or by erecting a access points gadgets at your place and commonly used are Ubiquiti networks. Actually, even the large isp have this kind of setup but on a large scale.

    Think of it , it can be a business idea for you :==:

  100. Angela

    Hey, thanx for this, am glad I found this page! I moved to Orange internet LONG AGO, It was great until we ALL moved, coz they became “shrewd” too! Despite the billboards, unlimited is now 1200, not 990. And their page is no longer zero-rated. U need at least 35-65 bob= 1235 to recharge i.e basically the same reason I left SafCON. Very painful to discover this BY ACCIDENT. Customer care agents were very rude/ had no clue and I got no response from Orange on Twitter! Orange sucks as well, but even THAT’S STILL BETTER THAN SAFCON! :)

  101. HAM

    I have the following horrific things to say about, among other tech giants, Safaricom. The other day I bought an iPad and got safaricom line with 1.5GB data bundle good to go. Then one day the webpage said I had 120 odd MB balance. 5 mins into a skype call I am left with no internet. Its just not possible on a one to one skype video call to spend 120+Mb in 4-5 mins. It turns out that in less than 10 days the bundle got exhausted on average use. So I buy a 1000/= scratch card and upload airtime on the ipad line via the safaricom bundle portal thinking that it was free to access. After inserting the PIN I get message that top up was succeeful. I then attempted to but 1.5GB bundle from the bundle page and got message that there was not sufficient balance for the purchase. After refreshing the page, it still showed 0.00 air time and same 120 odd MB data bundle balance.

    My reasons for ranting: 1) Its not possible to eat up 1.5GB + 50% night bonus bundle in less than 10 days – Safaricom thieves here!, 2) Its not possible to consume 120 odd MB on a 5 mins video skype call, 3)If Safaricom webpage shows incorrect information on airtime/bundle balances then there is a problem with the Safaricom portal, 4) I did not know that accessing Safaricom portal costs money – Safaricom has not clarified about this, 5) iPad users are disadvantaged in that if the safcom web portal is not reliable then we are blinded as we cannot dial *450#1# to check bundle balances as iPad does not have phone/sms capabilities.

    Safaricom are day time and night time thieves.

  102. So sorry with what is happening

    Hope I won’t loose my over 2000 bundles.After recharging I am only getting the bundles fo Ksh.100 Ihave used (80)

    DM

  103. Qevin Qwest

    They may have the best 3G network but its actually more painfull now when using it.
    After turning off my PC I checked the bundle balance that was initially 200MB when I bought it, and the balance was 182MB in the morning tha data had drained to 76MB WTF!

  104. Qevin Qwest

    They may have the best 3G network but its actually more painfull now when using it.
    After turning off my PC I checked the bundle balance that was initially 200MB when I bought it, and the balance was 182MB in the morning tha data had drained to 76MB. Did KPLC consume some of my data overnight for using their power? Ges not SAFCONS.

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