Safaricom should not have increased Bonga points needed to redeem items

After increasing the number of Bonga points needed to redeem various items from its retail shops in mid December last year, Safaricom has now decided to double the airtime subscribers receive when they redeem their Bonga points for airtime.

The firm’s chief executive Bob Collymore in a Twitter post wrote that: “From today for a limited period we’re doubling the airtime you get when redeeming your Bonga points. Enjoy!”

As part of the Bonga points airtime review, which is only for limited period according to the firm’s chief executive even though the duration of the promotion has not been disclosed, subscribers now get an equivalent of Kshs 20 for 100 points; Kshs 40 for 200 points and so on.

Subscribers registered with the Bonga points reward scheme, which was launched in January 23 2007 to reward customers for use of Safaricom services, normally get one point for every Kshs 10 used on voice calls SMSs and data.

Following the upward review of the amount points needed to redeem items, the number of points needed to get an IDEOS phone has since increased from 16,000 to 45,000 while 50,000 Bonga points is needed to redeem a Samsung Galaxy Mini device up from 25,000 points.

The firm has attributed the Bonga reward scheme review to currency volatility and need to cut costs.

To most subscribers, doubling the airtime one receives for Bonga was missing the point. Many are of the opinion that instead, Safaricom should not have increased the number of points needed to redeem items, including mobile handsets, from it retail outlets.

This is because most subscribers strive to accumulate many Bonga points – with some even going as far as transferring the points from colleagues’ handsets without their knowledge – so as to give them a chance to redeem them for the various items and not to redeem for airtime.



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