Safaricom does not have a good track record as far as data sharing is concerned. The telco decided to axe the product many years ago because apparently, Kenyans were abusing the service.
The context of the story was that people were illegally accessing IMEI numbers, then using them to redeem promotional data. That data was meant for Safaricom customers who had purchased a smartphone from one of the carrier’s shops.
Now, after the data had been fraudulently redeemed, it was then sold to other Safaricom customers who just paid a small fraction of the money needed to purchase the same bundles had they used the provided, legal means.
To this end, Safaricom reduced the number of transferrable MBs to 20, which eventually ended the illegal trade.
It is akin to what the telco did with its Home Fibre product: it introduced data caps (which are still generous, but restrictive to heavy users) just to weed out resellers. And this also seems to have worked.
Now, you should note that a lot of customers have not been happy about how restricted they are when they want to share their data nuggets, either with a friend or family member, because let’s face it, Safaricom data bundles are not the cheapest around (although they are very reliable), meaning a lot of people cannot afford them.
Safaricom then introduced a method of sharing data. This can be done via the mySafaricom app. The idea is that the main phone, or buyer, can buy a bundle, and then share it with up to five people. The buyer can also allocate how much data they should use. If they exhaust them, then the buyer can also choose to supplement their share.
The service is great but does not allow a user to explicitly share data (save for the 20 MB limit) to another part.
However, do you know that you cannot share some data bundles? Well, is the list of bundles you cannot share:
- Tunukiwa (these are offered at a great discount based on your credit using patterns)
- Bonus (additional data following the purchase of a given data bundle)
- Promotional (such as those given to customers when the telco is pushing a certain campaign)
Any other data product that is not listed above can be shared, so take note when you choose to buy a data product with the intent of sharing.
Still, do you think Safaricom should bring back the normal data sharing service that goes past 20 MBs?