Safaricom has been notifying users that they have upgraded all Postpay customers on bundled plans on the new Postpay hybrid.
Last year, Safaricom introduced new monthly post play plans that start from KES 1000 all the way to KES 10,000. It was a drastic change in the product which seemed like a way to entice more people to sign up for Safaricom Post-pay plans.
However, the product users have been notified via SMS that the telco changed how the new Post-pay bundles operate, and they have for the better.
“All Post-pay customers on bundled plans were upgraded to Post-pay Hybrid. This is to help cushion out usage on services that are not in the Post-pay bundled plans like mobile banking and international calls and SMS as well as roaming,” Safaricom said in a tweet.
So what exactly is happening here?
Safaricom says they are making the change to the product after a demand from customers to make things easier. The previous situation has been such that users were not able to access services like mobile banking and USSD if the Postpay bundle resources equaled the credit limit, let’s say a customer’s credit limit is Kshs 1000, the PostPay bundle resources rewarded would be equal to Kshs 1,000 in value.
As a result any attempt to use a short code service (USSD), would fail. This was very frustrating for them. To achieve this, a customer needed to make a payment into their account via M-PESA and this in itself was an inconvenience.
“Hybrid usually refers to a plan driven by credit limit and airtime. If a customer runs out of balance, they can continue to use the service by topping up with airtime. Customers are keen to not spend above their limit so any additional usage is catered for by airtime,” Safaricom said. You can top up airtime via the normal processes (M-PESA or scratch card) if you need to, which is great news for people that were unable to access any additional services e.g. mobile banking.
In the previous system, when you exhausted your bundle, you were cut off. You were unable to call or browse without paying part of your bill via M-PESA. Now you can top up with airtime and continue communicating without worrying about your bill until the due date. This way you keep control of your bill within limit.
Safaricom encourages customers to top up and buy a bundle to enjoy more value. It is important to note that while standard out of bundle rate for calls and data is Kshs 4.00, when on the Karibu Postpay plans the out of bundle rate is heavily discounted at Kshs 2.30 for calls and Kshs 1.30 for data.
This is a better way of handling the problem where you ran out of your bundle. I bet the reason they call it “Postpay Hybrid” is that it acts like a hybrid between Postpay and Prepay plans.