Now this is where my disappointment with service providers has reached. I did a draft post on this in January; a time when my world seemed to have crumbled. This was a time I was torn between worlds that were so cruel to me. I could not tell good and bad apart, I could not tell love and hatred apart and further worse I was unable to tell what I wanted and from who. Right. Am so sure I am not ready to explore this further, but at least now I know what I want, from who, when and where but I just don’t know what came over the service providers have had to meet in the recent past.
To Whom It May Concern.
I write to you because I am convinced you chose to be where you are. I write to you because I know its your responsibility to treat me well. I write to you because I want your services and you have no option but to serve me. I write to you because I know I will one day come back again, and the last thing I want is a repeat of the bad treatment i received the last time i visited you. I write to you because I feel you may not be aware of the many clients you’ve lost in the past. I write to you because I feel you need to fire that secretary in your office and hire my grandmother. Yeah, you need to hire my grandmother who knows little English with which she will not harass your customers sending them away one after another. She also has no back to support those seventeen inch heels that give your dwarf secretary an American height with which she swings her body left, right centre as she keeps us waiting to be served.I also want you to fire that gate man and hook up with uhuruto for an automated gate opener.
Its that fateful Saturday I want to talk about. That Saturday when Safaricom decided they want to do away with postpaid services. For as long as I can remember I wanted to shift to this service. My decision was informed of the many instances I have had to dig deep into my handbag for coins to scratch my credit cards. In college life was so good. It was so good probably because I used to get all my good from one shop. The shopkeeper was my friend and he had learnt to scratch these cards for me; probably saving me from the “cancer” that comes with the coating of the credit cards.But here I was led into a world where none cares about you. A world where people have attitudes over everything they come across. A world where requesting a shop girl, yeah, a shop girl to scratch your credit card means yopu will leave the shop with your money. Story for another day.
So, amidst the rush to catch up with time, it was 1:30 and the Safaricom shop could be closed in 30 minutes. I needed to walk there as fast and maybe have to deal with a few boda bodas on my way. I walk into an ATM in town, a KCB ATM where I needed to get money to pay to Safaricom. Whatever happens on any usual day when one is not in a hurry happens and my ATM is “Swallowed”. The bank was still on and this gave me hope of getting helped in time. Little did I know.The man at the door thought I needed to leave the bank to be back on Monday. I was not sure I got what he said well. He then decided to shout back and demand for respect for his job. He had said it all anyway. Okay, I left.
At Safaricom. The spirit in me could not allow me fail to get what I wanted. Thanks to a good friend of mine I got money to spend in Safaricom. At the counter I got lots of explanations over what I am yet to understand. I t has been around 2 weeks. I know people pay 1000 shilings deposit for the 1000 postpaid service. I paid 2000 and was given 100 minutes out of the possible 900 on net. I wanted to know where they took the rest of my money but none of the people there was able to make me understand. Now that I have received a bill of 472 shillings for the past two weeks I am yet to understand where my 1000 bob went. I had enough struggles with my credit disappearing while on prepaid. Not again. A visit to them will do me good. Watch this space.
Two or so weeks ago I could not tell why I was in darkness in a compound where all houses had light. I switched my main switch and and off for as many times as my head thought I could solve my problem. I still didn’t get light. I called my landlord whop had no idea why that could happen. He said the electrician could look into it the next day. I was still in darkness. I decided to look at the “electrical corner” of the compound only to see a prepaid box named 17B; exactly the house I live in. Fine, I will buy the token and move on. No noise to be maid. That’s me talking to myself.
Why a KPLC token could take two hours to be processed is what I still don’t understand. I had to wait for so long, out there in the cold. Ask me why I did not wait from the house and I will tell you how desperately I needed that power back. Finally, I got it. Five days later and my power goes off again. To the best of my knowledge a token worth 500 shillings was enough to last me two weeks, if not more. Its not as if I spend all the time boiling githeri with power. I even don’t have a fridge in that house. Too busy to walk to KPLC offices, I decide to buy a 1000 token with the hope of getting things better. A whole night wait and no message. Thanks to Google I got the contact number. God forbid I wanted to abuse that lady but I had to hold my mouth. It had been 12 hours and I was still being asked to wait for 6 hours. The token generating machine was down. I waited.
Internet is the order of the day. I actually want to talk about Orange Telkom Kenya and i will not shy away. I have been staying and working in Kisii for close to a year now. I heard this same company provides internet in Kisii without fail. This was gospel truth to me until a day we in Kisii went 48 hours without internet. Reason? The fiber cable had katikad somewhere between Kisumu and Kisii. I was sad. I remember a friend working in Telkom telling me there existed a direct link from Nairobi to Kisii via Narok. Where was this link these two days? Did it also break somewhere in Bomet? No. The link was and still is imaginary. Enough said. I am as disappointed in Orange Telkom Kenya as a friend of mine was when she had bought a modem from them that failed her terribly. Cheap is expensive.
This is not all that has happened to me and many of us. But I picked up on these because they are the last institutions I expect a client to complain about. I know you have been treated weirdly by those secretaries and gate men at government offices. I know you have so much to complain about Tuskys and the looks those men and women working there give you when you ask where a specific item is. They always expect you to know the arrangement. I have also not talked about hoteliers and how those waiters have perfected the art of keeping clients waiting for as long as they can bear. Leave alone how mama and baba mboga at the market will hurl insults at you because you thought their tomatoes were not as good as the next stall. Its Okay
Enough said. Its only fair if service providers decided to embrace quality. Its services in exchange of money. They are not for free. Up your game or down your business.
Photo of teachers queuing for services outside Mwalimu Sacco in Kisii.
Photography courtesy of GusiiOnline.co.ke