Safaricom employees seems to be working on every scheme possible. Apart from some crooked employees stealing millions of shillings every year through the M-Pesa system, the employees seems to have found a great way of stealing from the company. Maybe even with the support of top managers.
The dominant mobile phone provider found social media to be a great platform to run most of its promotions to grow loyalty base or just reward the existing clients. So the through various handles on Facebook and Twitter, Safaricom runs promotions where it gives out airtime, mobile handsets or money.
List of fake Twitter accounts run by Safaricom employees http://bit.ly/1A7g7KG
But pundits believe that Safaricom might be rewarding itself in most of the competitions. One such scam was exposed by a blogger in January. The expose ignited response from Safaricom with the Director of Corporate Affairs saying;
Following a thorough audit of all the activities involved in the running and subsequent evaluation of the short list for the winners we have established that the social media activation was compromised by one or possibly several of tech-savvy individuals who deployed “internet bots” to increase their chances of winning in the competition.
But the admission seems to have blamed others but not Safaricom employees who are believed to be behind the massive fraud. According to two employees based at Safaricom’s call centre along Mombasa road, key supervisors know the existence of accounts run by Safaricom employees either to win prizes or simply fool competitors that Safaricom is awarding big prizes while in real sense, they are giving out none.
The network of fraudsters are said to be coordinated by individuals based at the call centre and some based at the Squad Digital premises along Brookside drive in Westlands.
Safaricom’s manipulation of competition is not limited to online promotions but even the national promotions conducted through other channels are also massively manipulated. According to a key staffer working in the marketing department, Safaricom changed its algorithm which selects winners that anyone spending more than Ksh 1,000 per month of airtime will NEVER win in the promotions.
You will only get to see the very poor win in Safaricom competitions as it is made to NEVER fairly reward clients but play with emotions of subscribers by always having the very poor in the society win the awards. This is causing jittery with most subscribers questioning if the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) allows this. How is the competition fair when it is manipulated to exclude a certain economic segment?
Apart from stealing from users through competitions, many subscribers took to social media to complain of the short expiry durations of the Safaricom data bundles. Safaricom reduced the validity period of data bundles from 90 days to 30 days before returning it to 90 days after public outcry.
The expiry of bundles has never made sense with users asking Safaricom if petrol stations should also introduce expiry dates and call buyers to return unused bundles. This corporate fraud has been going on with Safaricom not willing to listen to subscribers cry to scrap it.
|MONTHLY BUNDLES||OFF-PEAK (10pm-6am)||SMS||Price||Price per mb|
|POWER BUNDLE – (OFF-PEAK – 10PM – 6AM)|
Safaricom also blocked the resellers of bundles from its network while seeking to lock out any entrepreneur seeking to make money from its system, this for Safaricom, ensures absolute dependency on the network. Safaricom has not realised that the bundle mwitu gang, as the resellers were infamously referred, promotes the network. Google has completely controlled the internet because of the Adsense and Adwords systems which benefits users and promotes their entrepreneurial ingenuity. For Safaricom, they’d rather have poor subscribers who are completely dependent on them for EVERYTHING.
Then there is the issue of peak and off peak billing. Safaricom claim that it charges Ksh 2 for off-peak calls to Safaricom networks while some subscribers have been charged Ksh 4 for the same. See the image below from a user’s self care account.
Safaricom need not steal from its subscribers.