Blog Archive

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Safaricom - Quality & Service problems

I hope Micheal Joseph reads my blog coz SafCon is going to the dogs...

I have (almost) given up using SafCon's pre-paid voice service since Zain introduced Vuka.

In addition, for Kes 65/day I have 12 hours talk time between 6am-6pm. This is great since it can be used during peak hours. For 20/- (club 20) I get 'free' talk time from 10pm-6am & unlimited 'free' sms for the whole day!
(BTW, all the 'free' stuff is only Zain-Zain).

I sorta like the pre-paid Bambanet (internet) service since I can use it almost anywhere in Kenya (urban areas) & it is relatively fast BUT the service has been spotty of late.

1) I keep on getting disconnected after 2-3 minutes of use. Very frustrating especially when I am sending e-mails, posting on blogs or downloading.

2) I need to try 2-3 times before I am connected to the network. This really pisses me off.

3) 10 days ago, I could not get my balance on the Bambanet account. I was checking to see how much unused MBs I had as well as the expiry date but I kept on getting 'blank' replies to my enquiries. I had to spend an inordinate amount of time to visit a retail location to sort it out!

4) SafCon (see 3 above) charges 8/- per MB if you exceed the limit/package but they will not tell you the balance. What conmanship. I was a victim of the scam.

Pre-paid Voice service:

1) The employees at the retail center were unaware of when the "Jimbambie" promotion ends. I was told "December" but not 1st or 15th or 31st December!

2) I tried to call customer service on 100 but as always no luck. Why do they even bother to tell us there is a pre-paid customer service?

3) Unlike Zain, there is no indication of the cost of the call or balance after each call. I really like the feature on Zain. And when the Jibambie tariff shows up... it does not clarify which 'level' thus I could be conned & not know it!

If Zain introduces a 3G internet product... I will vuka over asap on that too... For those who have safcon shares... beware coz the competition is far better than SafCon... Don't be conned that SafCon's lead is unassailable. GM used to be the world's most profitable automaker. GM may be the largest BUT for investors... it has been a loser over the last 5 years!!!


Mystery Shopper said...

I totally agree with you. I had a similar post on how Safcon's data service seems to be deteriorating.

I think Zain have missed a trick by not introducing a 3G (HSDPA) service. With the quality of their network, I believe they would take alot of business away from Safaricom. If they introduced 3G and coupled it with reasonably priced unlimited data packages, they would really put Safaricom on the back foot.

coldtusker said...

HSDPA requires different equipment since it does use GSM/GPRS signals.

Zain should bear in mind that customers expect quality from them when they roll out 3G.

The current 'unlimited' package from Zain is interminably slow though a good deal if you need always on e-mail at 3,000/- per month

Ssembonge said...

CT, Are you using your BB in Kenya? How much do they charge for data?

I'm gonna have to stick to Safcon because I don't want to lose my number plus I can withstand there poor service for a few weeks.

Mystery Shopper said...

I'm aware HSDPA requires different equipment which I hear is hugely expensive but I still think they should have done whatever it takes to raise the funds to make that investment as early as possible.

As it stands now, its seems they'll forever be playing catch-up.

coldtusker said...

SS: Using BB in Kenya required a contract - tho there may be a prepaid option - but I do not use it since I am not reliant on e-mail.

I think the prepaid option is 2,000 (minimum) a month.

eleet said...

strange to see you are having problems. i use the hotspot service in industrial area and kileleshwa and a few times in Rongai and the service has actually improved over the past few months. i use a mac though pretty much most of the time, could that be the missing link?

when i run windows via boot camp on my macbook i do get odd and slow connections though, no dropped links.

lock the modem to 3G for better service, if signal is low the modem tends to drop 3G for edge which in essence disconnects you. peni mbili zangu.

coldtusker said...

eleet - I use a Mac...

The safcon service sucks... basically they need to improve delivery. As for the 3G... I do like it and it beats everyone else but it can be frustrating.

(BTW... I find the Mac much easier to use to connect onto safcon as well as wifi... is there a mac with WiMax?

Once you go Mac... you don't go back)

eleet said...


this is quite true.

lets just say zain need to pick their socks from the cleaners.

Kenyanomics said...

Long time.

I've got no love for Safcom's internet service. I had to install AK's Access@Home. Very reliable @4K or 6K plus tax. You can setup a residential wireless network. Downside: it's not mobile and somehow noneconomical for commuters.

voice_of_the_customer said...

Safaricom is a story of typical corporate exploitation of aa market which lacks exposure in terms of quality of service. I don't think there exists any other telecom company anywhere in the world which treats its customers even half as bad as Safaricom. Long queues in the retail outlets, call centers that offer pathetic service - best don't call them; staff that is extremely arrogant and dumb. You have to meet their Chief of Customer Services - Pauline, she is one of the dumbest person in customer services anywhere in the world !! Worst she herself speaks so negatively about the company that is not even funny; the chief of customer services herself hates the company how can she offer good customer service; lacks even the basic understanding of managing customers. You need to visit their corporate office only once to be 100% sure that they just don't care about any one, not their custmers, not the vendors and or their partners. I have changed my connection and dropped Safaricom. The problem with us Kenyans is that we do not take action, we are too lazy.. when we all hate Safaricom and when Safaricom almost daily spits in our face and tells us that it does not care about us at all except for their own profits; we still continue using them; there were no options earlier but now there are many options. As responsible citizens we must make a change!

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