Did this B**** Who is A Customer Care Rep With Airtel Kenya Just Insult Me?

It has been long and I have been very patient. I need to rant about this and tell it as it is. It sucks and sucks big time. Ok!! This is where the problem is and this is how it started.

I bought a business phone on offer with Safaricom post paid services. The offer was enticing and so I couldn’t resist it. And the phone was going to help me do some serious work. I bought the phone and took the Safaricom Ksh 2,500 postpaid package with the phone. I changed my usual line 0726 xxx530 to postpaid and so my usual phone, a Nokia E55 was free. I have had this phone for the longest time. Thought Nokia hates me for telling them off, I think I know Nokia phones like no other person. I have owned from Nokia N71, 2110, E50, E52, E55, E61i and some others I cant remember.

Let me continue with my story. I decided that since my Nokia E55 was free, this might just be the first time that I own a second line. I have never believed in running away from a problem so I have stayed and corrected the problems with Safaricom in many instances. But this time I decided to try a second provider. On data, I have owned Orange, Airtel and Safaricom both on postpaid and pre-paid. But on voice, I have been on Safaricom.

So today Friday 8th April, 2011, I decided to buy an Airtel line number 0737 944 375. I bought the line from my shopkeeper and bought a Ksh 100 airtime. I loaded the airtime and it went through. I read the instructions which comes with the line and it told me that I had to dial 222 from my new Airtel line to activate the line. I did dial that and activated the line and chose the language. Then I sent myself, 0726 xxx530, a message so that I can remember the number later in case I needed to give it to someone. Then is where my problems started. I checked my balance and it read Ksh 68.87. I tried calling some two guys and it didn’t go through.

I checked on how to get internet connections through the 111 customer care number and managed to dial *232# and even sent WAP to 232, and even sent ALL to 232 as instructed in the website, brochure and the voice prompt without me getting the web settings. I use snaptu alot and Nokia E55 has a compact Keyboard unlike my new phone which is a touchscreen phone. I am still loving my Compact QWERTY Nokia E55. The internet setting were not coming through.

At 21.06 I decided to call 111 and be patient enough to find how to get to speak to a customer care rep. I dialed 111 was prompted to dial 7 to go to the next page and then I was told to dial star (*) to get to speak to the CC rep. I told the lady to help and she promised to help. First she told me that my line 0737 944 375 is registered in the name of a Mr Paul. How the hell does a brand new line be registered on someone’s name? It means that someone bought a line and demanded the number and Zain or is it Airtel did not kill this other SIM card. So Zain terminates lines it has already sent out to retail shops? This is evil and amounts to theft. So it means a Mr Paul is having line 0737 944 375 and is using it and used part of my airtime. That is very sick.

I told the lady my mind and insisted that she register the concern which she did and gave the reference number 90442. I then asked her that I needed to have internet activated on the line and she asked if I have tried the methods and I told her YES. She then asked iff my Safaricom line used to have internet working on the handset and I said YES. She told me that I can use Airtel line with Safaricom settings and it work fine. I told her that when I removed Safaricom line, I synchronised my contacts, calender and files onto the new phone and restored the old phone to factory settings and upgraded the software and so no setting is on it. She then told me that for my phone to get net settings, I must have the phone working on the network for 24 hours for the phone model to be detected by Airtel settings.

I told her that my problem was not detection but she can even send me the settings or read them to me manually and I would accept them and would get a way to load them on. She hang up on me. Just like that. Now that is very sick for a Customer Care rep to do. How can you hang up on a client? Now that is the most stupid thing for any CC rep to do to a client. I am decided that until Airtel calls me and explain why I should not permanently blacklist it, I will never try to get onto that network again. I am going for Orange now and they better not treat me like a dog or I will just show them the middle finger.

And Alfie, tell that lady to personally call me and apologise, otherwise know that I would not spare Airtel on this. I am king. The services Airtel were to give me are not free.


Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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