Airtel kind of sucks. And this is me being diplomatic, because some awesome people work there. I should add; this is in no way an indictment of Airtel alone either, because ALL our telco’s blow. It is yet another facet of Ghanaian life we are forced to adjust to. Dropped calls, lines constantly “busy” or “out of coverage area” (meanwhile the phone is lying right beside you), coyness about exactly how much you’re being charged and what for, endless spam texts. All for the premium price point of at least 10p a minute, prepaid.
But back to Airtel. The first time they received a hefty dose of side eye from me is when i signed up for their “Double Bonus/Kasasaa” promotion. As advertised, you receive 100% bonus on any top-up amount. Of-course it sounded too good to be true, but i assumed it was aimed at attracting new customers to boost that lagging market share..ahem.:). So i sign up. I recharged with 10 cedis, and received 20.. i was ballin! But within a day or so the money was all gone. Chai! Considering i have now learnt to have very short “essentials only” conversations (no unlimited plan type ramblings here..), i couldn’t hunnastan. So i called customer care.
Me: Hello madam, has there been any unusual activity on my account. I feel like my credit vanished.
CC: No please. You topped up on [X ]date, and have made [X ]calls.
Me: Ah, but if i only made [X] calls how come all the credit is gone. What is your tariff for regular calls?
CC: 10p per minute.
Me: Hmm… and is there a different rate for this double bonus plan?
CC: Err…yes please….
Me: Okaaay…..? Are you going to tell me what it is?
CC: Please its 21p per minute.
You see that sheisty nonsense? Not only DOUBLED the tariff as well, but added 1 more pesewa because eff yo’ feelings! While it is likely entirely legal, and mayn’t even qualify as ‘false advertisement’, it still felt terribly underhanded.
And that brings me to my current gripe. I always bundle my data, because ‘pay as you go’ are cocaine prices and i simply don’t have the time. lol. When you are left with 10% of your bundle, you get a text, and then another when it’s completely exhausted. Supposedly. Except for the second time now, I’ve tried to make a call only to find my credit is finished because my data bundle was long expired, automatically switched to ‘pay as you go’ and ate my credit down to zero. No alert, no nothing. Why?
Last time i reported the issue, i was thoroughly ignored. lol. This time, i went all “fetch me your manger” with the call center, so they are “investigating”. Since Sunday. Ridee, man bore. I want my credit back ohh, Airtel!
Fair is fair.. i didn’t get my notifications, nor was i made aware until after the fact that bundles don’t just run down and stay there until you either top up, or convert to’ pay as you go’ (shouldn’t they?). At the very least i should be charged “bundle” rates and the difference refunded. <_<
Ok rant over. Shout-outs to the lovely Ahasporans at Airtel who ARE interested in resolving this. I toned the vitriol all the way down because of you. And i repeat again, i’m positive Airtel is by no means any worst than other networks (hell i’ve heard many MTN horror stories). And let me not EVEN get started on Vodafone! As i sit here they owe me at least 100 GHC. Hmm
But Airtel happens to be the network with the misfortune of having me as a customer.. so what you gonna do. lol
Over-all, it is simply high time businesses in Ghana understand that how you treat your customers has implications, and when there is a lapse in your advertised services, there are implications for that as well. They get away with too much. What do you think?