Safaricom extends bundles validity after online outrage

Monday March 9 2015

Mobile data users can now sigh with relief after Safaricom rescinded its decision to cap bundles’ validity. Data customers will now have the three months' expiry period for the different data tariff plans. PHOTO | FILE

Mobile data users can now sigh with relief after Safaricom rescinded its decision to cap bundles’ validity. Data customers will now have the three months' expiry period for the different data tariff plans. PHOTO | FILE 

KEI
By KEI
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Mobile data users can now sigh with relief after Safaricom rescinded its decision to cap bundles’ validity. They will now have the three months' expiry period for the different data tariff plans.

The telecommunication company had introduced a new data pricing structure with a 30 day validity that angered its subscribers, some of whom began an online petition to get the terms and conditions revised.

Previously the bundles were valid for 90 days whose validity could be extended upon purchase of another bundle.

PROTECTING CUSTOMERS

Under the new structure, Safaricom appeared to give with one hand while taking away with the other. Effective March 1, it gave subscribers more internet data bundles for less, but took with the other hand by imposing a 30 day validity whose extension could not be extended.

“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.”

The nightshift allowance, which was previously valid for two weeks got extended to 30 days.

It also limited its data sharing and transfer service-- Sambaza Bundles --to 20MB per day from a previous limit of 999MB.

In response to the public outrage, Safaricom director for corporate affairs, Nzioka Waita told Business Daily that the review was effected to address complaints from customers who wanted longer expiry period 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.

The cap on the Sambaza internet service will however remain in a move the company said would curtail illegal reselling of data.

“The change of rules on Sambaza is designed to protect our customers who may have been victims of fraud from some of the unauthorised data resellers.

“It will be possible to Sambaza internet, but only to a maximum of 10MB per transaction and limited to two transactions (20MB) in a day,” Safaricom says. “All other rules for Internet Sambaza will remain in place,” he said.