Following several requests from clients, I decide to go against my better judgement and buy a Safaricom mobile number. I am told it is easier to receive payments from clients using ther Lipa na Mpesa service. This was a painful walk especially as my previous experience with them was anything but good.
I thought, well they are 5 years wiser, than the last time I left their Moi Avenue shop, having tried in vain to explain to the assistant that my airtime was disappearing mysteriously during the night, and being accused of having subscribed to premium products. (I was later informed by a reliable source that some of their employees were actually doing these subscriptions – to their own premium services) I heard they even help people by identifying clients before one sends money, to avoid sending to the wrong person!
How wrong could I be?
Safaricom is Good at Let-Downs!
Sometime in July 2016, I went to their shop at Kimathi Street. A highly efficient gentleman assisted me but informed me I would have to come at the end of August to get my preferred number. I did not mind waiting. So again, on the 3rd of September I made my way to the shop. The gentleman I met earlier was not there, but I recounted our conversation to the lady at the ticket counter and she agreed to help me. I was referred to a lady on the service counter who promptly informed me that what I needed could take a lot of time. How many days? I asked to which she replied she wasn’t sure.
I was willing to wait. After 10 minutes she informed me that she had found a number, one of the numbers I wanted. She gave me a form to fill and took copies of my ID. I paid her, and then she informed me that I would receive a call in three days to let me know when the line was ready.
Now this is where the crap starts. I received no receipt, the call didn’t come, and surprisingly, it is now 14days and I have nothing: no call, no line, no SIM card no phone number, not even on a piece of paper.
72 Hours of Waiting for Safaricom Turned to 312 and Counting
After 3 days, I decided to pass there and check what was going on. The lady I met at the door told me simply that they could not help me because I did not have the number that I had been sold. Now, I was not issued with any documentation or receipt to show me what was going on. On the fourth day I went there again and luckily found Peris, only to be informed that the line was not ready.
I was requested to wait as the people figured out which was my line. After waiting for half an hour, I was tired. I requested the lady to give me the SIM card and then inform me when it is ready for use. That could not be done, she said because the line is not registered. I may not have worked for Safaricom, but I know you can register anything in the absence of the owner as long as you have a certified copy of the original identification document.
I realized this was going nowhere, and I asked for my money back, upon which I was then informed that the money is charged for creating the line. “Which line?”, I asked, and the lady could not even identify the SIM card number which she is alleging was created for ME. So that is how I ended up Kes 150 less, and with not even a shred of paper to show for my “purchase”.
So, I requested her to give me an email address that I could write to and voice my dissatisfaction. Well, she could not, and after I insisted, she scribbled a generic address that goes to the shop, either sales or info something. I would have liked to reach a customer service agent, apart from the ones who had now proved they could not help, and get answers to my questions. Now that I cannot, I am left to do this on this platform. I hope this will help others who probably think leopards can change their spots, or that safaricom can change and give better service.
Memories: Safaricom is Really Crappy
Sadly, I now remember how Safaricom refused to return the remaining cash on my MPESA account, after they recycled my previous line, apparently as they could only send the cash via MPESA which I do not operate at the moment (DUH!! They have the line, so why can’t they give me y cash).
So, clients, family I am now hoping that MVISA may be the tool that beats this crap treatment and helps us to transact finances with dignity.