I’ve been with Airtel for several years now throughout its various naming changing metamorphosis. Nonetheless, I started out with Safaricom, like most people probably, but I left them some six years ago when I lost my line and they refused to replace it because I didn’t have the sim case thing.
Airtel has always had some of the most competitive rates in the market and usually are the first with the implementation of game changing offers. I’ve stuck with them despite the fact that I’ve been waiting for proper 3G for almost as long as I’ve been with them and also that everyone is on mpesa and you’re not.
I’ve committed myself to their network regardless of the fact that everyone I know is on Safaricom and they don’t call or text me as much as they would were I a Safaricom subscriber. I have also turned a blind eye to those irritating promotional calls in which they play you a musical advert; I mean I’m already on your network I don’t want to hear your adverts!!!
However, today Airtel have taken advantage of my generosity for the last time.
I got a call from a strange number, +254786824711, and heard one of their promotional offers. This time around I chose not to hang up immediately because I was a little bit intrigued by what the ‘caller’ said. I was informed that I’ve been added to a promotional offer where I get one free week of Airtel Ngoma service for my line.
For those of you who don’t know, Airtel Ngoma is a service where you can let callers listen to a certain song of your choice while they wait for you to pick up. I hate it! I find it disorienting whenever I encounter it and to add insult to injury, the sound quality is just pathetic! So of course I’ve never let my callers suffer through that torture.
This offer, however, I was soon to learn was not easily opt outable :). Also I had no choice in the music playing for my callers. I carefully listened to the call to hear how to opt out. Thank God I didn’t hang up.
I had a friend call my phone to see if it was true…it was.
Calling the number to opt out, which was a long convoluted process of ‘If you want to…press…’ At some point I was politely informed that the call would cost me Sh. 2 per minute… Umm, wait, what?
After I finally got to the opting out option (ever notice how the option you want is always the last one) ‘Press 9 if you want to cancel Airtel Ngoma… press 1 to confirm you want to…’ I hang up and my bill for the call was presented to me.
I was livid! These guys first of all are calling me without my permission to offer me stuff I don’t want, They put me in an offer I didn’t ask for, want or was remotely interested and then charge me for the privilage of opting out????!!!!! Where do they get of doing this to me? Is it even legal? It’s totally BS!!
I’m sure the money they charged for the call wasn’t so much but it’s the principle. I can’t be paying to get out of something I didn’t ask for. See, if I had asked for it perhaps I wouldn’t be so mad but I didn’t, they never asked and I’ve never indicated anywhere I like it. How dare they.
I’m mad!! Not mad enough to leave Airtel but close enough!! One more stunt like this and I’m gone!! For good. On that note, I hate all the spam messages they send me. Perhaps if someone from Airtel is reading they can note: if it isn’t an internet offer I don’t want to hear about it. Let me go get my hair done and try to calm down. Peace!!!