Dear Safaricom: Soapbox Edition

Just for the record, I tried counting to ten before I wrote this. It didn’t work.

I’m a female, a mother, and an adult. This usually means I should not throw tantrums. But I am particularly angry right now, and anger is a scary emotion when it’s in a mother.

I have just received a call from this Mpesa Manager, who called me in response to this comment made a few days ago on this post. Justus had some less than pleasant things to say to me, and when he was done, he went and told Mr Manager about it.

The Manager asked me to email him first, which I did. He then asked for my number so he could call me. I gave it to him. Five minutes later, he sent another email asking for an alternate number, because he couldn’t get me on my Safaricom number. Why? Because Safaricom has no network in my house. I live a ten minute drive from the CBD – when there’s no traffic. The only service provider with network inside my house is Yu.

The Manager and I had a 6 minute conversation in which I didn’t say very much because I was completely shell-shocked. As in I was so mad my hands were shaking. He explained that Safaricom is asking for that information in direct response to CCK, and that we should not assume that they are stealing information from us. Direct quote.

I explained that my issue wasn’t with the information they wanted. My issue was that I needed to know whether or not the text was from them, and I couldn’t confirm that information because I couldn’t get through to Customer Care. He then suggested that I should have tried emailing Safaricom, or checking for the information on their website.

Yeah, that whole 24-7 Customer Care thing is very useful when I can get the same info from an email or a website, yes?

He further explained that since they have millions of customers, they can’t possibly call each one of us to get the CCK info, that’s why they sent a text message. Perfectly understandable. And yes, they sent the message in two batches. Mr Manager says that when a text says Safaricom, it means that it comes from Safaricom.

Mr Manager suggested – among other things – that I should write a post explaining that the 232 is not a scam.

Ok. The 232 is not a scam.

The Manager also suggested that instead of blogging the problem, I should have sent them an email when I couldn’t get through to Safaricom Customer Care.

I’m counting to ten before I write the next sentence.

Say … I don’t suppose you guys could have sent me an email specifying that this info was for CCK, so that I could, you know, verify the IP and stuff like that? Coming from safcom.co.ke, it would probably be less suspicious than a mass text. I’m just saying. Where’s that soap box?

Mr Manager, the whole point of a blog is to express personal opinions. My opinions are mine, and I’m entitled to them. I would gladly have done a more positive blog if you were doing a more positive job. As long as I’m not giving a hate speech or breaking any law, I have a NEW constitutional right to blog as I see fit. I voted yes. Also, note that this post was NOT negative, it was simply an open query.

No, Mr Manager it is NOT okay to blame me for not getting through to your Customer Care Centre, and suggesting that I should have called 234 instead, or that I should have checked the website for information. Even if I DID know about 234 – which I don’t – and even if I DO live online,  that’s what Customer Care is for.

I had serious issues with your tone Mr Manager. I did not like the way you spoke to me. I felt patronised and belittled. I don’t know what prompted you to take that tone, but it was not appreciated. At all. You could have handled it better and your attitude needs a lot of work. You should be ashamed of yourself. Age and even managerial positions are no excuse to bully people, and I do NOT like being bullied.

Safaricom is providing substandard service, so much so that I’m on another network. You call me on your network, you don’t get through, you call me on a competing network, and you STILL talk to me like you’re doing me a favour? Well excuse me!

Mr Manager, I have three cell phones – though not necessarily the three pictured above. Each phone has its own dedicated line – Zain, Yu, and Safaricom. There’s method to the madness, but it does get a bit cumbersome, so thank you for giving me the excuse to get rid of one. I only kept the Safaricom line for Mpesa and to pay my electricity bills. I am now quite happy to go to Stima Plaza or wherever, queue for hours, and pay my bills from there.

Safaricom is one of the most successful companies in Kenya, but it sucks raw eggs. I voiced a genuine concern, and instead I get a ticking off. I was worried about being scammed, and instead of assuaging my concerns, you blame me for being cautious.

It would have been extremely satisfying to express these sentiments during the phone call, but I was much too appalled to say anything except ‘ok’, and I tuned you out after about two minutes. I would like to use far stronger words now, but two hours later, I’m still counting to ten. Repeatedly.

As and for you Justus, we have bones to pick. One, I did not imply that Safaricom were implicit, even though I did once get a call from a stalker who works for Safaricom and picked my number out of the database. I know who the person is, but I hadn’t spoken to him since before the age of cell phones, so that was just creepy.

When I said inside job, I meant that the scammer called the man’s wife, which means he was an insider to the family. Two, before I blogged, I tried to enquire, through Safaricom Customer Care, which is the logical place to ask about stuff like this.

Three, Safaricom announced on radio that Mpesa users did not have to register. It’s not an assumption I pulled out of thin air, so there’s no need to take that tone with me. The text did not say anything about CCK, it simply asked for information that Safaricom already has.

And a land mark.

Since all my phones are registered via Zap or Mpesa , and since Yu were nice enough to register my phone personally during a phone call to Customer Care, the land mark thing was news to me. It would not have killed someone at Customer Care to simply explain that. I’m sure they would have. If they had answered the effing phone.

Finally, I am sweet, and I am intelligent. I was simply asking Safaricom whether the 232 text came from them. So I’m taking your advice. I’m manning up as you suggested. But just for the record, I’m a lady.

Now, Yu, you rock. Your ads rock. That dude singing to his chickens will forever hold a place in my heart. But … about those endless text promotions … stop. Please. And Zain, good clarity, great prices, but you need more ZAP outlets. Seriously. I’m watching you, so keep sharp.

Goodbye Safaricom. It certainly has NOT been a pleasure.

Have a nice dayBon Jovi

For more information on 3CB, click here. Still no landmarks.

31 thoughts on “Dear Safaricom: Soapbox Edition

  1. YAAAAYYYY 3CB YOU rock!
    Safaricom needs to STYLE UP!
    When am in a neighboring country my mom cannot get through to my Safaricom line (i also only keep mine for mPesa)and we use Zain – apparently she says that her line cannot call mine due to “insufficient credit” she needs to have more than 200sh on the fone to call me regardless of whether it will cost her 50sh or less.

    As for calling you on an early sato morning to BULLY you???!!!!$$$$$
    and then after hearing your voice to still tell you to MAN UP!! LOLest!
    i hope they are reading your post and all the bad bile on FB thats going around and revamping their modus operandi – whatever happened to The Customer is ALWAYS right?

    • 🙂 the call was jana at around 5 p.m., and the ‘man up’ guy is someone else – he commented on the previous post then went and told Safcom Management about it.

      But you’re right, they do need to style up. I’ve kabisa killed my line with them, and I’d hate to be in their place when kharma catches up.

  2. The Manager for Mpesa division has just called to apologise for his tone yesterday, and to ask if there’s anything he can do to retain me as a customer of Safaricom.

    I responded that I appreciate the apology; it was very nice of him to do so. However, I have broken my sim card and thrown it away. I suggested that he call 5 random Safaricom customers and resolve their problems. That defines true customer care.

    So, any random problems that need resolving? He’s watching this spot so feel free to let him know …

  3. That was spot on.The manager should be really ashamed of himself of talkin down to a lady,a customer and a concerned member of the public.That was unfortunate.Nkt safaricom.You truly suck raw eggs.

  4. You had me at “Where’s that soap box”

    I particulary love that you have voted with your wallet..as a matter of fact, i’m off to attempt snaping my simcard too.

    As for you Justus…so they pay your salo. Very good..more power to you. But you know that whooshing sound you keep hearing above your head? Does it puzzle you? Coz thats plot points and context flying past you…oops…there goes another one.

    • I think he learnt his lesson. He’s very gentle lately – we’ve spoken a few times. It’s too late for me, but it’d be great if he’s as nice to other customers.

  5. This is shocking to hear.

    I keep on wondering if these so called customer care specialists ever learned basic etiquette at home? Do you need to go to school to learn how to deal with a client?

    There is a serious problem at safaricom and it has nothing to do with 3bob zain offers.

    They forgot who their clients are.

    It is good that Kenyans can now use the internet and blogs to make others aware of the issues affecting them.

    This was a great post and a great example of citizen journalism. Keep them coming.

  6. Job well done, 3CB. I am not surprised at the rudeness, just disappointed, this is not an isolated incident, and it is part of the Safaricom culture. A chance to clarify their messages, a chance to get feedback that they could use to improve their customer service offerings, and they blow it. Your concerns are concerns that many in the same situation would have. If senior management is reading this, many of your high value customers are getting sick and tired of this behaviour. Fix it. No excuses, no deflecting, no bs, own the problem and fix it.

    • He apologised and has called twice [on my YU line *cheeky grin*], always very polite. I’m not going back to Safaricom, but at least they’re fixing network in my building, so my neighbours will benefit 😉

  7. Justus and the said manager should apologize in writing and they should do it right here!!! where they decided to show us their ugly side.

    • Hehehe apology sio hoja. I just want Saf to fix problems for their customers. I’m not one anymore, but there are lots more who still need TLC.

  8. Yaaay! Kudos to you for fighting back. It’s about time someone put Big Suffericon in their place. Methinks that success has gotten to their heads, to the point of thinking they have a right to be condescending towards their customers.

    If you so wish to report Mr. Manager to higher authority, I will be gracious to facilitate this. Let’s just say I have access to the powers that be at Big Safcon.

    • 🙂 Thanks for the offer, but he already apologised. Plus, he’s fixing my neighbour’s network, so it’s all good. You could still use your contacts to whine about other things and improve service for the customers that are left though …

  9. Diasporadical and many other KBW blogs are like my favourite haunts. But am greatly distressed by the current trend of bashing the guy on top that’s currently floating around. It’s a free country so I guess everyone has a right to express their opinions therefore you have every right to whine\celebrate anything as long as its not deemed ‘HATE SPEECH’
    I had issues with my Safcom line, moved to ZAIN..got the same issues and now am back to Safcom coz of some extra value I derive. It’s a free world. I had some problems with NIC bank…moed to Equity, found it worse and am now back at NIC though with another bank also!
    Point am driving is that people will always hate the guy at the top. Man United, Real Madrid, CocaCola, Microsoft. I guess with great success and power comes great expectations and responsibilities. So I guess when people start really hating on me, probably it will be coz am the guy at the top!

    PS: I do not condone big successful people and companies infringing on the rights of others but remember… it’s a capitalist world…

    • You’re probably right, but I doubt I’d go back. Pride. And my big head. Besides, I have two other lines, and I just paid my electricity bill through Zap, so my Safcom line was/is redundant, even if I hadn’t already broken the sim card and thrown it away.

      Still, if the whining and ranting has improved service for others [and apparently it has, since they’ve promised to fix network issues in my building], then I’m happy 🙂

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  11. I love this blog..if you think being a safcon customer sucks try doing business with them. it sucks majorly!!!!! im glad they read this blog, because i for one with show up when they are shut down and carted off in small little pieces after YU, ZAIN and Orange take over…their services suck, their employess suck( MARINGO ya SAFCOM is legendary) and im disappointed because Michael Joseph did a damn good job of building that company from scratch. His legacy is shit now, because of a bunch of feel good pissy faces managers who have an”i work for safaricom so i am god attitude”…okay enough venting for the day

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  13. Went through a similar experience, though I didn’t persist long enough to get an apology if there ever was going to be one. I just kept counting to 10… I understand that customer care staff may be overwhelmed, have had a long day, but they still need to remember which side their bread is buttered. I complained officially and whether any action was taken or not, it’s hard to forget how I was handled by the Safcom customer care.

  14. Pingback: Customer Care at its Worst: “When Safaricom Meets Nokia Care” | Diasporadical

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