Safaricom introduced reverse calls back in 2019. The service was launched to complement ‘Please Call Me’ which has been in use since 2005, as well as Okoa Jahazi which allows customers to borrow airtime to make calls (or SMS/data) in case they do not have sufficient airtime to do so.
Reverse calls are actually nothing new because they have been in action for a very long time. If you can remember, people could request a call back via an operator using the old school telephones (most of which were run by Telkom Kenya), so ideally, it is the same concept, only that there is no operator here because technology has since advanced substantially.
It is also a better solution to ‘flashing’, which basically entails calling someone, but ending the call before they can pick it up. This makes them figure out that the caller does not have airtime and needs to be contacted back. Flashing, in a Kenyan context, however, is crude, and many people do not like it. Hence need for reverse call.
Many people have been asking how they can deactivate reverse calls. Put differently, can a person stop others from sending reverse calls to them? Well, the answer is no, there is no way you can do that, and we confirmed the same with the telco.
However, you have two options to deal with reverse calls if they are a bother: 1. Reject them if you do not want to call them back, or 2. Bar incoming calls altogether. The last option is a little dramatic, so unless you really do not want to receive any calls, you shouldn’t do it.
Still, we believe that there should be an option to disable the feature so that callers do not request you to call them back because we understand some people are not comfortable with reverse calls.
Do you think this should be possible?