Safaricom Bundles: Leading telecommunications giant Safaricom has become the first mobile services provider in Kenya to introduce non expiry data, voice and short message services.
The introduction comes barely a day after lawyer and ICT practitioner Adrian Kamotho sued telecommunication operators in Kenya for irregularly depriving consumers of their unused data bundles.
In a complaint filed before the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal, Kamotho said he was aggrieved by the high cost of data and frustrated by the arbitrary expiry of hard-earned bundles.
He petitioned the tribunal to order Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya to furnish him with their current data tariffs, or prominently display the current data tariffs on their websites.
He also wanted the companies to stop depriving consumers their unused data based on the data expiry model. Kamotho said the firms discriminate against consumers by charging “out of bundle” rates, which are different from normal bundle rates.
The lawyer said consumers are entitled to keep the data they buy, as long as they remain active on the vendor’s network.
“Data bundles should not have an expiry date until used up‚ as long as the SIM card is active and the consumer keeps recharging,” he said on the Safaricom bundles.
Kamotho said the data expiry model is unfair to the poor majority, who can buy low-amount bundles, which are designed to expire sooner than big bundles, which only the rich can afford.
The lawyer said the data expiry model is not anchored in law. He pointed out that Regulation 3 of the Kenya Information and Communications (Consumer protection) Regulations, 2010 accords customers the right to receive clear and complete information on rates, and terms and conditions for available and proposed products and services.