Safaricom has today unveiled a suite of products designed to enhance value for customers on its network.
The tools aim to hand customers more control on how they use voice, data or value added resources on the network. They are Safaricom Guarantee, My Data Manager and My Subscriptions, all of which are freely available on any handset in the country.
Subscribers who experience dropped calls will get a short message (SMS) notification and thereafter receive airtime compensation worth one minute. This service is however limited to calls within its network. In addition, the compensated one minute is also only available to usage within its network.
The telecommunications firm has also launched My Subscription application that allows customers to ably know which services they are subscribed and they can opt out at their own will. The service is meant to reduce complaints by subscribers who find out through airtime usage of their subscription to certain unsolicited subscriptions offered by third parties which end up costing them.
The company also introduced a My Data Manager service which will enable its customers control data bundles usage, allowing them to restrict browsing on out-of-the-bundles rates.
“Over the last few years, we have invested an average sh30 billion a year to build the best network for Kenya. However, we are aware there is a great deal of opportunity to enhance the experience on our network for our customers. The collection of products we are launching today aim to provide our customers with increased control over the services they use on our network,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.
He added that these services are informed by feedback from customers. He said the feedback from customers, like when customer’s data bundles run out and the network switches automatically to the more pricier airtime option when surfing the net, were affecting their quality service, something they had to resolve.
The launch was timely, coming at a time when their quality of service has been questioned by industry regulator the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). Its report showed that none of the three mobile operators met the required threshold. It said that Airtel, Safaricom and Telkom Kenya fell short of the 80 per cent target quality mark. This failure is for the third year in a row.
They all attained 62.5 per cent, as per the CA report.
The CA affirmed that all the three telecoms operators will have to pay a penalty equivalent to 0.2 per cent of their gross turnover for offering poor quality services to consumers in the year 2014-2015.
Engineer Francis Wangusi, the CA Director who attended the launch said it was a wake up call to them as it provides them with insights as a regulator on the quality of services the telco has. While the service will be piloted for 90 days, the regulator intends to use the window to know how best they can serve the industry.
He added that a survey they conducted across the country showed that there are 166 sub-locations in the country which have no network coverage, something that needs to be addressed soon.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru who also attended the launch praised the initiative. He said
“As the sector continues to evolve and focus shifts to quality of service, this strong commitment demonstrates the belief that Safaricom has in its network and is testament to the fact that Safaricom continually innovates on behalf of its customers’ needs.”
Safaricom becomes the first operator in Africa to announce such initiatives, and is the first in the world to offer a real-time refund for network related call disconnections.
Safaricom Guarantee and My Subscriptions Management are available to all Safaricom customers and will require no action on the part of the customer to sign up.
My Data Manager may be accessed by dialing *100# for PrePay customers and *200# for PostPay customers.