6 Most Useless Kenyan Service Providers

There are services on which we have built our country that still remain unapologetically pathetic. Frankly, I can’t think of one area of service in Kenya for which I can say “That’s a well oiled up-to-date machine.” None. Meanwhile, I can pinpoint quite a few total failures. For the large part however, our country is plagued by average bare-minimum-type organizations. In this massive pool of mediocrity, pathetic-ness and incompetency, 6 particular services have managed to float to the surface as the end-all-be-all of Useless Kenyan Service provisions. In increasing order of uselessness, they are:

6. Zuku

Oh, Zuku. We’ve been down this road before. So to avoid seeming biased, let’s perform the objective “Google Test”. Assume you were a curious new arrival in Nairobi and you were told Zuku had unlimited Internet for competitive rates. You are excited and want more information. Giddy as can be, try to Google “Zuku Customer Care” or “Zuku Customer Service”. You know what you’ll see?

Exhibit A: Complaints. Plural. It’s not like you Googled “The Devil is a liar”. Nah, you were looking for Zuku’s customer care and this is what you got. Angry Kenyans. In hoards. And we’re among them. Zuku’s made it onto our Soapbox twice. The first time they did, a Zuku rep replied and apologized. Kinda like you see in Exhibit B.

Exhibit B: Here is someone who managed to get Zuku to address his inquiry online. After browsing around, I realized that they do this quite a bit. It’s somewhat telling when you have staff prowling the web to quell complaints and STILL don’t have enough technical support to stop the complaints. Sell the brand, not the quality? Doesn’t seem to be working, folks. Reprioritize. Restructure. Do something. Quick.

Exhibit C: This is what you were initially looking for: actual customer care. Almost nowhere to be found.

Factor in their Russian Roulette type policies such as 24-hour refund windows and inadvertent billing and disconnection, and you have the number 6 contender on our list.


The top 5 is a very prestigious and contentious bunch. It’s like the Holy Grail of failure; the Academy Awards of inability to perform in the public sector. Leading off this countdown is a company that needs no introduction. They are the reason why when you get into an airplane at night and fly over Nairobi, you immediately assume our mains were either Christmas style lighting or someone is sending the man in the sky a large scale Morse Code S.O.S. The blinky unstable connection is the byproduct of our beloved Kenya Power & Lighting Company. Without getting into the techncialities of how they do what they do(or don’t do or that matter), let’s just say that it’s 2010, and this is Kenya. We should be front runners in energy matters. We have enough waves on our coast to power most of Kenya without fear of Tsunamis. We have enough sun in our Northern regions to harness enough solar power to bring those regions out of the Stone Age. And let’s not forget about that little thing called GeoThermal that could change EVERYTHING. C’mon guys. Pick up the slack.

4. Safaricom

I’m on Zain for the very specific reason that I got tired of Safcom’s BS 7 years ago. It’s very subtle and once it gets under your skin, you might as well begin the countdown to meltdown. I thought I was alone to notice this because not only does Safaricom have so many subscribers, they pass the aforementioned “Google Test”. Then I went over to my good friends’ abode, GotIssuez, and guess who was the numero uno complaint? Most of the complaints are Internet related, but once you begin to ask around, you’ll hear the vilest plethora of complaints imaginable. To begin with, their service is normally OK. But when it’s bad, it can get very bad. You ever call a Safaricom number on Friday and it’s mteja(unavailable, out of range, or whatever)? As the late, great Michael Jackson would sing: “Youuuu are not alooooone!” Then there are complaints of money disappearing, messages never being received, that completely inaccurate directory services that costs 20/= a call, etc etc. And behind the scenes, there’s drama too. They steal codes/programs, they underpay designers, and I’m yet to meet someone who works there that doesn’t cal it a slave-house. For the sheer depth and breadth of fuckery, SafCom lands in the top trio.

3. Kenya Police

The Kenya Police however beat Safaricom because…welll, they beat everything. All the time. Viciously. Until it dies. And then deny it and feign self-defense. Whether it’s the itchy trigger finger or the loud mouth shenanigans, it is hard to feel safe around these guys even on a non-violent plane. But as soon as commotion erupts, you find that good & bad alike congregate and run away from the officers. Nobody is safe. Their bullets have no names on them and they seldom follow protocol. Everything is about making money on the side. You can’t even report a crime anymore and expect a reasonable outcome. It’ll either be a bloodbath or a missed call. Moving on..

2. Matatus

Ahh… Matatus. What is there to say about Matatus that hasn’t already been said about Herpes? No matter how many stripes you put on them, or inspectors you send on the road, it won’t change a damn thing. They will be out there making life Hell until we’re all decayed and fertilizing fields. People need to realize that we do have alternatives. Nairobi isn’t infrastracturally defunct. Creating a metro transit authority and having 4 trains on 4 train routes cutting across Nairobi in North-South, East-West cross-sections, wouldn’t that be something? It’d take a train 30-45 minutes to cut from one side to the other, boarding included. 2 trains on each track and….BAM. Major routes covered. Better security, less traffic, yadda yada. I’ve said this before.

1. Kenyan Government

Do I really need to explain this one?

14 thoughts on “6 Most Useless Kenyan Service Providers

  1. Finally some1 mentioned Safcom they are a bunch of theiving mofos! KPLC< we dont go there.

    Kenya police they have hepled me a bunch of times cant complain

  2. *They steal codes/programs, they underpay designers, and I’m yet to meet someone who works there that doesn’t cal it a slave-house. For the sheer depth and breadth of fuckery, *

    This ish is depressing tho.

  3. I’ll add another one…ORANGE!!!! They should not even bother with customer care because in all honesty it’s amazingly, stupendously horrific. Went in to an orange shop and one person was on yahoo mail the other on facebook and both refused to help. Call their help line and the people on the other end sound like they learnt english in a 2 hour class and were dragged from some back water village!! Plus they end up not helping after they have recited all their pleasantries “welcome to orange, may i have your name, we are happy to help,” …bla bla bla cue vomit!! with no help at the end!! Orange sucks!!! and sucks real hard!!!

  4. Its about time someone said something about the evils..

    I however i think one of them should be knocked out of the list that being Safaricom.

    ..Why…mmmmhh..well Whereas Safaricom BS may have let us down from time to time, the company is actually doing a lot to improve on customer quality and I must say, over the past 2 months, I’ve been seeing press ad’s from Safaricom informing subscribers of the various changes in their systems aimed at improving our experience. My friend got tired of being tossed up and down and went back to Safcom and when he tried convincing me on the same, I was quite hesitant but reluctantly decided to do so last week. You know what, they have actually improved and the service is quite okay-I think this mteja thing will end once they finish this upgrade business they are doing .

  5. I got on the #Zuku 1 mbps service this week and I must say I’m impressed, its probably the fastest home internet connection in Nairobi.

    Since I expected disaster I’m still keeping my old connection for at least 1 month as backup.

    Speeds: From 400kbps to 1mbps and I would say its always at +400bps so far!

    Cost: KES 4,600! For comparison, we pay 4 times this amount in the office for 512kbps from Access!! Needless to say if Access prices don’t come down and Zuku keep this up, I’ll be off Access at the office by end next month.

    Customer Service: Its not looking good so far… installation took a while but since I had another connection I was OK. I needed them only once this week to assist with setting up the router n it takes a long time to get through…
    Personally, I just hope I won’t need the customer service….

    Verdict: I’m loving it. For the speed and price, nothing comes close. Shame about the customer service.

    • Sag,
      It’s all good….until you experience your first disconnection and you need a technician to come fix it….

      I have Zuku at the house and were it not for the cost being so damn low, I would’ve disconnected long long ago.

  6. Pingback: The New & Improved Zuku | Diasporadical

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