Safaricom has evolved over the years and is no longer the carrier it used to be. However, the company has made decisions that have caused frustration among its customers, who fault some of the missteps it has made along the way over the past four years.
In a new development reported by Business Daily today, Safaricom has introduced a new system where customers who delay or take a long time to settle their Okoa Jahazi credit will have the amounts deducted from their Bonga loyalty points.
One point will translate to 30 cents. This approach, apparently, aims to tackle payment defaults and decrease the liability of outstanding Bonga points, which are worth billions of shillings to the telco.
Furthermore, if a customer has not exhausted their Okoa balance, the telco will subtract that balance to recover part of the taken debt.
Safaricom has done similar things before or has promised to ensure that no customer gets away with products, services, or funds owed to the company.
For example, in 2021 the telco and its partners revised their bylaws to ensure that customers who default Fuliza (the overdraft facility offered by the carrier) have the same debt settled from their bank accounts.
The partners (Safaricom, KCB, and NCBA) have a right of lien and set off over funds held by customers in any of their accounts with KCB or NCBA. KCB or NCBA may set off against any amount due from any other account, whether current, loan, or loans, or any other type of account. Now, a right of lien and setoff exists over savings and mobile saving accounts.
Weeks ago, Safaricom threatened to expire Bonga Points that were older than three years if customers did not redeem them.
The decision was reversed only after a public outcry.
Other issues with the telco include deteriorating response times and speed of resolution in Safaricom customer care cases.
Perhaps the biggest issue is with the Home Fibre service. Connections now have speed caps, and heavy users have to settle for low speeds once they exhaust their allocated package (1 TB for speeds over 20 Mbps), which was not the case before.
These issues seem to prioritize maximizing Safaricom’s earnings over customer satisfaction.