Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More goof-ups from Safaricom and the Great Zap Mystery

You'd be very surprised if you walked into a management meeting at Safaricom. The meeting's agenda on how management is devoting or planning to devote considerable resources in customer satisfaction would bewilder you. My overworked flys on the wall tell me that this is currenlty Safaricom's primary focus, customer satisfaction.

Did I hear a gasp, or was that you masking "bull****" under your cough?

Here in the real world, we still are trying to figure out how customer satisfaction by Safaricom is measured: is it getting a dial signal on the customer care number 100? Or perhaps it's finishing a conversation without spending thirty seconds saying "Hallo....hallo...can you hear me...hallo"? Maybe its spending less than 30 minutes queuing at a customer care centre?

While we ponder on this, I'm afraid I have to bash Great Green once more on another major goof. This time the culprit is M-PESA agent application on service so bad it almost equals their Safaricom Broadband scam mentioned elsewhere in this blog.

Last November, I applied for M-PESA super-dealership, hoping to join the gravy train of the new age banking heralded by this product. Things seemed to be moving on relatively well and after 2 weeks I got a call from SC telling me that my application had been received. Then, darkness set in.

Its February now, more than three and a half-months since I applied and I am still to receive confirmation on whether my application was successful. I have them called countless times, written several emails and even visited their HQ twice. Their responses have been either inadequate, incomplete, deceitful, or just plain ignorant. I've been promised to be called back but had no one call back, my emails have gone unanswered and I was quickly brushed off from their office with claims of "we'll call you this week". One lady even had the audacity to tell me that I shouldn't bother calling her direct line, because she doesn't pick it.

Yaaani! Have Safaricom grown too big, they don't need my business or what?

In the spirit of equality, I also have some barbs to throw at the counterparts on MSA road, Zain. Zain launched their Zap service (an allegedly superior alternative to M-PESA) recently, and I am dying to start using it, but I have no clue where to start. Someone help me out here, how does this Zap thing work and where can one apply?

18/02/09 UPDATE - Zain has just sent me the following message:

Send money from Zain with ZAP for 10/- only. To activate your SIM card send an SMS ZAP to 455. Zain a wonderful world
I've sent the SMS but I'm yet to get any kind of response (14 minutes later)


Anonymous said...

You really don't like Safcon...For Zain, service not open to 'anyone' initial roll out is for guys banking with stanchart

Harry Karanja said...


About Safaricom I think I'll say we have a love-hate relationship, but I notice that you used the 'n' version of their name, might you be another dissatisfied customer?...

As for Zap lucky me then as I bank with StanChart.

bankelele said...

I have seen the M-Pesa guidelines at thei site and already have thousands of companies as agents. By that measure, they probably have several thousands of applicants pending or rejected, and since customer service is not a priority in Kenya, they may not want to inform others that they are not seeking agents, have kept silent, just in case they may need to look for new ones

Kobby Owusu said...

Well I feel your pain when companies get so big it feels losing a single customer means nothing.

A question. Is Stanchart the biggest bank in Kenya? Why would Zain restrict Zap to one bank. I hope they involve more banks quickly.

I am in Ghana, and I'm eagerly waiting for either MPESA or Zap.

Anonymous said...

I can't say I'm surprised about this. Customer service, efficiency etc don't seem to be a priority here.

Safaricom better sort themselves out as there will come a time when they will not have the market share/advantage.