poa! Internet, the low cost internet provider servicing Kibera, Kawangware and Kiambu, has notified all its Kawangware home customers that it is crediting them with a full week of free and unlimited internet following service interruptions in recent weeks.
poa! had been experiencing an increasing number of intermittent service issues across Kawangware caused by downtime from its main supplier which was challenged by the scale of growth in poa!’s subscriber base. However, in the process of changing to a new supplier in September, and converting the original supplier to a secondary back-up connection, the company left Kawangware customers without Internet for several hours at a time.
poa! has recently invested heavily in more than doubling its internet speeds and expanding its network and has committed to achieving a fully reliable supply.
“At the end of September, however, the installation of our second supplier caused a major outage that impacted almost all of Kawangware for many hours, leaving homes without service through the night. This outage does not represent our commitment at poa! to an affordable and reliable internet service,” said Chris Rhodes, poa! Internet’s Chief Operating Officer.
“For this reason, and to show our ongoing commitment to our customers, we are crediting all our Kawangware home customers with a week’s free unlimited internet to say sorry. These customers will therefore see the credit applied to their next month’s invoice,” he said.
Refunds for internet outages have been a fraught issue worldwide. Although the internet is viewed by many as an essential utility, the laws around the world rarely require ISPs to refund for service issues.
A few suppliers, such as TalkTalk in the UK, do refund clients for downtime, and last year, in the UK, new regulations were issued making refunds compulsory on internet service failures of more than two days.
In Kenya, however, there is no regulation on consumer refunds on Internet downtime.
“At poa! we appreciate customers’ frustrations when our service goes down, and feel we should share that pain with lost revenues our side, through refunds on subscriptions. We are already working extremely hard to achieve not only the best priced, but the best performing home internet service in Kenya, so it seemed the right thing to do to try lead the way in how we say to our customers too” said Chris. “I hope that a full week of free unlimited internet for our customers affected by last week’s outage speaks to how seriously we take our commitments to our customers”.
Andy Halsall, poa internet! CEO said “Ours is a vision-driven company, working tirelessly to increase Internet access for all and provide our services at the lowest possible prices and in often poorly served areas, across Kenya. That mission ties absolutely with our move to give better consumer rights than others do, in care that extends far beyond our statutory commitments in compensating them for disruptions caused as we improve our service”.