Zuku … seriously?!

I do a lot of customer care work for my clients, mostly with artists. And artists come with egos. And temperaments. And bitch fits. So I know what it’s like to be polite when someone is spewing a lot of bull.

But really, Zuku this is a bit too much.

My business runs primarily online. Which means no internet = no money. I switched from using Orange because every time it rained [or shined … uh .. shone, or the wind blew, or anything really] the internet would go off. Plus, Orange sucks at webcam.

So I went with Zuku. It’s fast, it’s reliable, and it’s pocket friendly. There’s just ONE thing wrong with it. The customer care people suck.

I’d been warned about this over and over and over, but I figured they can’t be that bad, right? I mean as long as  I pay my bills on time, I don’t have to deal with *&%@^!*#$&; so it’ll be fine, right?


I paid my first fee on 11th of May. I was informed that it would take 3 weeks to install. I called on 28th and was told they’d come by on Monday or Tuesday.

They said they’d call on Sunday to book the specific day and time.This after being put on hold for ever. In fact, the second the phone rang, it went on hold. BEFORE I’d even spoken to anyone. How now?

I’ll give props to James though, because when he eventually did get on the phone, he was very professional. He actually had me laughing, which is classic considering how angry I was.

And yes, I did tell him their customer care sucks.

Monday is my day off from the office, so I mostly stay home and/or attend outside meetings. Tuesday, June 1st was a public holiday. By Sunday, I’d heard no word, so I called again asking if they had some idea whether it would be Monday or Tuesday, or if they could at least guesstimate the time, because I couldn’t sit in the house waiting for 48 hours. Nothing doing.

They did eventually show up at around 9.00 a.m. Tuesday morning, pyjamas notwithstanding. They were very polite and did a great job of installation, using clips and pliers and lots and lots of wire. I’ve never seen my wiring look so neat … and I have a lot of wiring. I almost wanted to offer them tea!

During the month service has been good. There’ve been one or two outages, but I usually call my brother before I call Zuku. Why? Because it costs less. My account manager is not very nice – she hardly ever smiles on the phone. I’d rather call Zuku direct, but that costs too much because I’ll be put on hold, which is murder on a cellphone.

So I‘d rather call baby brother, who lives five minutes from here, have him check if his internet is working, and if not, he can call his much nicer account manager who’ll solve the problem and voila, my net works.

But yesterday my bro’s internet was fine, so I had to do my own dirty work. I’d been at a workshop all day and their net was down, so when I got home at 8, all I wanted to do was get online for my daily fix.

Only, there was no net.

I didn’t think my account manager would appreciate being called at 8.00 p.m on a Friday night, so I called Customer Care direct. It cost me 12 bob [Yay Amua Tarriff!] to stay on hold for two minutes and listen to annoying mood music – and I didn’t get to talk to anyone.  I decided to sleep on  it.

Next morning, still no luck, so I took the risk and called my account manager. She’s scary.

She wasn’t at work yet, but said she was on her way. A little over an hour later I called her again, and she informed me that my account has been disconnected. I wish she’d called me back and saved me the hour of staring at the monitor while it went on and off again.

I asked why and she was blank for a second, before asking when it was installed. I explained that I’d paid in May but it was installed in June, so she spoke to the billing department and they reconnected me.

I asked why they’d disconnected me in the first place, because I’d asked severally when my bill was due, and they’d informed that I would be issued with an online reminder which I hadn’t received yet. Plus, I figured my bill was due on the first.

I also asked a few more questions about paying via Pesa Point and the period between payment and reconnection; 20 minutes if I pay at the Zuku office.

I was looking at my screen the entire time, so I saw the icon alerting me that my internet was back on. Yay! But I still couldn’t connect. So after three more restarts and some IT crowd-inspired advice [‘Have you tried putting it off and on again’], I called my account manager.

It rang twice, then went into busy mode. I waited two minutes then dialled again

‘The Zain mobile you’re calling is busy’

Maybe she’s in a meeting.

After about twenty minutes I called a third time and explained the problem, so she offered to have one of the customer care people call me. Apparently, she’s in sales.

Le grande sigh.

A nice lady did call, me, Joyce, and she walked me through Windows 7 and how to get the thing back on.

I asked whether it was possible to be … reassigned, and she said that if there’s a … clash … with my account manager, then she can arrange for another one, and took down my preferences on the matter. I just want somebody nice. I mean, since it’s Customer Care, I’m calling to complain and get a problem solved, so I prefer not to have a fight.

I told her all the things I love about Zuku, and the one thing I hate, so let it not be said I rushed to rant online. She was patient and polite, and even suggested alternatives. Alas, I am content. I just have to pay my bill before Wednesday or they’ll cut me off.


Credit where credit is due. To Joyce and James of Zuku **clap clap clap** James was nice, polite, and professional, and Josephine put up with my technophobia admirably. Somebody give these people a raise. Zuku Management: Are you listening?

And lastly Zuku, thanks for giving me a new Account Manager. I’m eternally grateful, and a thousand blessings shall be sent your way accompanied by goodwill, graceful aging, and perhaps brown elephants too. Still waiting for that number though…

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27 thoughts on “Zuku … seriously?!

  1. Truth be told internet in kenya is not the best of things we have, but customer serice that i think is paramount to anything, i dont know about Zuku but am with orange and i think they do me real good.

    Orange is very cost effective, but their signal is unstable, which makes it hard for me to chat, downlaod/upload, and webcam. It’s fine for basic email though.

  2. Good to hear that at least some of the customer care was good! In Kenya that’s rare but we’re getting there! Now that Zuku seems to be a solid service we’ll give them a try.

    i recommend it 🙂

  3. Putting their sh*tty customer care aside, their product is equally sh*tty… paying for 256MB and only getting half or not getting it at all is not my idea of quality service. But overall it’s still better than orange and safcom, I think.

    I have 512, and it works pretty well for me. It’s not as fast as safcom, but it’s unlimited and does everything i need it to

    Blonde question: when will the fibre optic cables be operational for real?

  4. Dear 3CB

    We take note of your blog posting on our Zuku services and thank you for the complimentary words to our employees

    We also note that several things did not go as planned and where we have failed to deliver, we re-examine what went wrong to and look to improve our level of service to you and our other customers.

    We appreciate the feedback you gave on this post and we are examining where the opportunities lay.

    Zuku has and continues to make investment in our employees and service to make sure we are offering you the top notch service you have come to expect.

    I’m listing down our contact details and you can reach us here 24/7 for any of your requests.


    Zuku Customer Care

    M: 0719028200

    T: 3292200

    Email: support@ke.wananchi.com

    Thank you kindly. I got a call from my new account manager this morning, and I’m quite pleased for now. Paid my bill too … though there was a discrepancy with the billing system that neither I nor the cashierr could figure out. Something about billing cycles and an excess credit of 414 Ksh. She assured it was all good thoug, so hopefully I don’t get cut off…

  5. Whilst you’ve managed to fix your own problem I can assure you they’re no better now than they were a few months ago. I’m in the midst of some kind or ridiculous, marathon installation with no shows by mythical techncians, claims of training courses causing delays and calls about broken down vehicles, missing radios and other assets etc. It’s a bore. I stayed at home for three days waiting for an install and made numerous calls to folk who said they call me back – not one of them did. The sales/customer service guy I’m dealing with is pleasdant enough and doing his best, I think, and even he is beginning to show signs of frustration with his colleagues. Does the right hand of Zuku know what they left is doing? If I were management I’d get the tech manager and customer ‘care’ / sales managers in a room and have they beat the crap out of eachother. And to top it all, I’m told a refund (I paid a year up-front) ‘takes about four week’. Seems their finance Dept. is taking lessons from the installation team… ugh!

    • Damn. I understand your frustration and couldn’t empathize more. Even when the Customer Care seems good, the actual “Service” is not apparent. It sometimes feels like a real uphill battle. I’ve asked them to take a look at your situation. Hopefully you should hear from someone soon.

  6. Dear Simon,

    First and foremost we do apologize for the inconvenience and frustration incurred while waiting for the installation to take place.

    We do appreciate the raised concerns and would like to assure you that we are committed to 100% Customer satisfaction.

    Kindly provide us with your contact details so that we can call and resolve this issue speedily.You can write to our support desk on support@ke.wananchi.com, or contact us on 3292200.

    We once again apologize for the frustration caused and await your prompt response.

    Kind regards,

    Customer support.
    Tel: 3292200

  7. I have been having equally similar problems. I have a 512 connection that is barely 2 weeks old and every time i run a speed test I get half of what i have subscribed to. Once i called customer care to find out what was happening and the downlink was restored to 512Kbps but the uplink remained 128 meaning that i could not call with my team mates with whom we work primarily online due to distance.

  8. Been using Zuku for about 4months now. The installation was on time, paid on a Friday and the installation was done on the next Monday. Had a little trouble there after(The radio just died) I nearly set their Mombasa road offices on fire before they came to access the situation.And the net goes down for like 2hours 2 times a week. But I don’t mind them…Used Telcom…and anything short of normal weather guarantees u dead lines!

  9. i had a nasty experience too with the installation, i waited for the three weeks and when they show up??? THEY JOKERS FORGOT THE LADDER!! now how were they expecting to fix the radio? jumper perhaps?

    i proceeded to cancel the deal, getting the refund was one of the longest thing iv done in my life..(other than vct tests def)

    so should i try you guys again, now that you seem…MORE SERIOUS!!(YOU ACTUALLY REPLY BLOGS???)

    • Dear Prospective client (coloseum),

      We acknowledge receipt of the concerns you have raised above and we profusely apologize for the events leading to the frustrations encountered. We are assessing the action required to prevent anything like this happening again in future.

      We will be more than glad to offer you our services and welcome you on board as one of our clients. For any further assistance, kindly get in touch with us one the below contact details:
      Zuku Support team
      M: +254 0719 028 200 /0732 132 200

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  11. It has been a while since my last post. I must say that the service has been quite reliable since I threatend to seek a refund and/or litigation. However, the advertized speed is routinely half what it should be. My 1mb hovers around 400-600, never more. Based upon what others have said above, I fear I am not alone. Interesting that the UK suffers from the same. ISP are now being accused of false marketing by government and indepedent communications regulatory bodies.


    We are not alone.

  12. You must be really excited that your woes with Zuku ended well. My issues start from here to high heaven and 3 months down the road, I was not connected and I have not received my refund 2 months after I was advised that the cheque would be ready. My ‘Account Manager’ no longer picks up my calls, responds to my texts or even acknowledge the e-mails that I send her. Really, the Zuku customer service is horrible. I just want out.

    And I don’t think responding to threads in blogs makes you the least bit serious.

  13. dito jenny amy, had the same drama. my “account manager” left the job and i had no connection, no reference. I even went to HQ on Mombasa Road-haki watu ni kwa coma, they were of no help. they should just go back to sleep. I had to find my own routes through friends to actually find the right person. The customer care is beyond horrible. After my friends helped me to FINALLY get hooked up just the other day, i get a call from one of the zuku junior staff to say no progress,its stuck somewhere. Honestly, which supervisor or big fish is sleeping on the job. My advice jenny Amy go to their offices in mombasa Road and Apic centre and make enough noise that the big fish has to take notice. Get some big fish to acknowledge on writing on your money and refund. Good luck

  14. i would lik to let you know that there is a lot of disturbance in your channel
    so can you please do something about it.
    your coustomer..

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  17. Customer Ref 145568 Mombasa
    Poor Internet Service – Persistent. Every alternative day Internet connectivity is off after a day resumes some times poor speed . This has been ongoing for over a month. Since yesterday afternoon we have no Internet service contacting over the phone is up hill task as all agents busy. Email to all customer care Nbi and Msa have received no response. Copied / sent SMS to Regional no avail.

    Very very surprised at Zuku service and failure to sort the persistent problem. We would like this problem sorted immediately and once for all.

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