By the editorial team
Internet provider Zuku which is owned by the Wananchi Group has come up against a barrage of criticism as per social media complaints about its deteriorating service.
This is not the first time, Zuku has been in this conundrum before, what seems strange is that in the age of 5G internet, Zuku and by extension Safaricom could slacken in their data offerings.
KBF has noticed that in the days after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced with pomp, as if our lives depended on it, that Kenya has signed up partnership through Telkom with Google Loons.
This, the president said would be instrumental in helping people work from home as the Google Loons hovering kilometres above the earth’s surface would beam the faster 4G internet. That was 23rd March, 2020.
“In that regard, and to foster communication and enable Kenyans to retain and enhance remote access to the Offices and Enterprises, My Administration has granted approvals that will ensure universal 4G Data Coverage throughout Kenya,” said the President when he briefed the press at State House Nairobi.
As KBF observed, the speed for Safaricom, Airtel, and Zuku internet, the ones we have used, started deteriorating.
Zuku for example, would kind of ‘switch off’ or make slow internet speeds for its clients 10 days to expiry of payments. This is a behavior that was observed before, however, in the age of working from home due to the covid-19 pandemic, the problem got worse.
This is how it is happening;
A Zuku client would be treated to the usual ‘slowing-down’ of the internet as a reminder to pay, 10 days before expiry of previous 30 days contract. Then one would look at the expensive Safaricom data bundles as best, but still expensive Sh100 for 1GB of data, to save them during this period. After 5 days of using this and having spent more than Sh1000, because Safaricom data doesn’t last that much and Airtel data, though cheaper, was prone to more downtimes, they would be forced to renew their Zuku subscription and voila, the internet would work with the promised speed for 2 days, then go back to playing ping pong with the client for the rest of the 20 days, before the usual ‘slowing down’ happens again.
It is an observable behavior that one is caught in and not easy to escape. It is sad.
Even with second fastest internet speeds in Africa, and the impending roll out of 5G networks, something seems amiss.
Is it that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are slowing or disrupting internet speed so that when 5G comes they’ll sell us 4G (the real 4G) for the price of 5G?
Zuku has informed clients that its call center lines were temporarily out of service and that they can be reached on WhatsAPP, many people complained that that too was unreachable.
In the scenario given above, most people can deduce that Zuku plays the psychological game, where after receiving the monthly subscription fee from clients, the firm buys a small bandwidth which it then limps with that through the month provided they already have the money.
KBF advises that services should be improved, investment in quality customer care should be upheld.
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