Safaricom bundles: Validity vs volume trade off

Tuesday March 17 2015

It will cost more for Safaricom subscribers wishing to buy bundles of longer validity, it is emerging. According to the terms and conditions of the new bundles seen by nation.co.ke, subscribers will get a smaller data allowance on a 90-day validity plan than they would under other tariffs. PHOTO | FILE

Safaricom has unveiled a new bundled PostPay tariff to supplement its loss making Karibu tariff which has garnered popularity among subscribers.  PHOTO | FILE 

JULIET MUTEGI
By JULIET MUTEGI
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It will cost more for Safaricom subscribers wishing to buy bundles of longer validity, it is emerging.

According to the terms and conditions of the new bundles seen by nation.co.ke, subscribers will get a smaller data allowance on a 90-day validity plan than they would under other tariffs. 

The 90-day bundles were introduced after riled Safaricom subscribers took their anger online to protest new bundles unveiled on March 1. 

The company’s website said the company introduced the new Internet bundles to give customers more data therefore making Internet browsing more affordable. 

Customers have a choice between daily, 7-day and 30-day bundles. The bundles come with a bonus nightshift allowance valid between 10pm and 6am for the duration of their bundles. 

Rather than celebrate, subscribers took exception to the short shelf life of the bundles, whose validity could not be extended. All MBs left unused after the validity period expires would be forfeited. 

“Any data bundle not consumed within its validity period will be deleted and won’t be available for use,” Safaricom’s rules for its new bundles said. They added: “It is not possible to extend expiry… by purchasing newer bundles.” 

VALUE PROPOSITION

In a move to appease its customers, the telecommunication company launched parallel Internet bundles with a validity of 90 days. 

The parallel bundles do not in any way interact with each other and cannot extend the validity of the other. 

Safaricom’s director of corporate affairs, Nzioka Waita, told Business Daily that the review was effected to address complaints from customers who wanted longer validity periods for their data bundles. 

“The longer 90-day validity period is a response to our customers’ need for a longer validity bundle beyond 30 days based on their usage behaviour,” said Mr Waita. 

“Subscribers can now purchase data in daily, weekly, monthly or extended 90 day bundles, with the opportunity to earn up to the equivalent amount of free data on select bundles. For instance, if a subscriber buys a 2GB bundle, they pay just Sh1,000 and get the equivalent for use as free night time data,” he said. 

Mr Waita, however, fails to mention that those opting for the 90-day bundle would be at a disadvantage. 

According to the pricing structure on the company’s website, the 90-day bundles come with half the bundle’s equivalent in nightshift allowance, which is valid for only 14 days. 

Mr Waita also said the telecommunication company also introduced a high-capacity bundle. 

“Our new bundles proposition allows subscribers to buy amounts of data ranging from 5MB of data for just Sh5 to larger packages for 50GBs (the highest capacity data bundle ever seen in the market) for just Sh6,750.” 

Alongside the new bundles, Safaricom capped Sambaza Internet at 20MB per day and while extending the nightshift allowance to cover the duration of bundles’ validity, it reduced the hours from 10pm to 6am. 

Safaricom is the largest telecommunication company, with over 17 million subscribers, 10.5 million of whom use mobile data, according to the latest report by the Communications Authority of Kenya.