Browse Bila Waas and the problems with Safaricom’s midnight expiring promotions

Recently Safaricom tricked me into spending shs 300 for 2 GB data. To put that in perspective, the shs 300 could have bought me 8 GB on Faiba 4G, which is usually my default Internet Provider. The trick worked because Safaricom sent a text reading “Buy 1495 MBs for shs 295 and get 500 MBs free“, a text that came on a day Faiba 4G was down countrywide. Needless to say, the trick was for their now official browse bila waas data promotion.

The browse bila waas promotion targets to promote Safaricom’s non-expiring data bundles as explained in their press release sent to us. The press release reads:

Dubbed ‘Browse Bila Waas,’ the campaign seeks to enable Safaricom customers to enjoy more internet for less on Kenya’s best network. Both Prepay and PostPay customers can access their personalized data bundles on *544# under option “0” – Unlock your Free 500MB. Upon purchase of the bundle, which is available every day until 19th November 2020, customers will instantly receive bonus 500MB data valid until midnight of the same day.

“Our ambition is to connect our customers to the opportunities presented by the internet by availing affordable data, expanding our 4G network and facilitating access to quality smartphones. The new data offer goes back to our promise to always provide our customers with more for less on Kenya’s best 4G network,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom CEO.

The new data offer comes a month after Safaricom partnered with Google to unveil Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, an initiative that will empower more than one million customers upgrade from 2G phones to quality 4G smartphones through a flexible payment plan.

During the last financial year, Safaricom invested over KES 36 billion in its network while drastically cutting its data rates through the introduction of No-Expiry Data bundles. The service provider has also committed to expand its 4G coverage across its entire network as digital services become part and parcel of everyday life.

But just like most of Safaricom’s promotions, there is a big problem with the browse bila waas free data bundles – the bundles expire every midnight – instead of expiring after 24 hours. This is the same problem we have complained about in regards to the Storo Bonus which also expires at midnight. Imagine buying your non-expiring data 15 minutes to midnight, then receiving the 500 free MBs that technically will not help you in any way.

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To get rid of the midnight problems, Safaricom should just tailor all their promotions to a 24 hour period, and in that way, no reasonable customer will complain.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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