Safaricom and the ridiculous terms and conditions of its services

Who lends you money, which you repay with interest (deducted before the whole loan is disbursed to the borrower), and then dictates to you, as the borrower, what to do with the loan and who you should not give it to or what you should not spend it on? Well, the answer, as I’ve come to realise, is our beloved Safaricom.

This week, I took a Kshs 250 Okoa Jahazi (airtime loan) from Safaricom. After the request was approved, Kshs 225 worth of airtime was credited to my number, with Kshs 25 deducted as the commission (or interest). I then proceeded to subscribe to Kshs 50 Flex bundle, sent another Kshs 50 worth of Flex to another number after which I was left with Kshs 125 of Okoa Jahazi airtime.

Assuming that this was ‘my’ airtime and I could do whatever I wanted with it, I decided to send (sambaza) Kshs 50 worth of airtime to my sister upcountry. To my surprise, I got a funny response, the one in the screenshot below:

Not believing what had just happened, I decided to try the sambaza procedure once more, and still got the same response.

Then I decided to get a clarification from Safaricom on what the issue was, remember my account still had Kshs 125 worth of Okoa Jahazi airtime. I thus went to the Safaricom website and submitted my query. The lady on the other side said that “You can’t sambaza Okoa Jahazi”, so I asked her “Why?”. “Those are are the terms and conditions,” came her second response.

I pressed her further, even asked her if those terms and conditions made any sense to her. She still insisted that those are the terms and conditions and shared the link on the website where they’ve been published, thanked me and added that my feedback has been received and will be considered. Read the third bullet point on the screenshot below:

Apart from Okoa Jahazi, there’s the issue of free Flex points whenever you send M-PESA. Here again, what has never made any sense to me is that Safaricom awards 3 Flex points to a subscriber – whether you send Kshs 101 or Kshs 100,000. The amount is standard. Why can’t the free Flex points awarded be graduated depending on the amount(s) sent per transaction via MPESA?

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