Safaricom repossessing numbers (What the heck!)

Thank you for this question Ali.

I similaly lost a number I have been using as my data line. To make matters
worse, I have tried and failed to speak to a Safaricom Customer Care Rep
via dialing 100. The 100 service seems to be fully automated yet such a
conversation cannot be had with a machine or AI.

Warm regards,

Edwin Kiama

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On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 5:30 PM Ali Hussein via kictanet <
kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

> Steve
>
> Thank you for the comprehensive response. Questions:-
>
> 1. For numbers that are solely used for data. Would these numbers also
> expire if you don’t top-up for voice? Or does the data top-up meet the
> regulatory requirement?
>
> 2. How about numbers that are solely used for Mpesa?
>
> Regards
>
> *Ali Hussein*
>
> Digital Transformation
>
>
> Tel: +254 713 601113
>
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
>
> Skype: abu-jomo
>
> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> <ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim>
>
>
>
>
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 4:21 PM Stephen Chege via kictanet <
> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>
>> Hi Brian,
>>
>>
>>
>> We are very sorry for your experience, and thank you for taking time to
>> discuss the matter with us and also raise it in this forum.
>>
>>
>>
>> For some context, Safaricom’s adheres to global best practice as set out
>> by the ITU who state that a mobile number assigned to you should be topped
>> up at least once every 90 days in order to be considered an active
>> customer. Further, the Communications Authority’s reporting requirements
>> indicate that a number needs to undertakes a chargeable transaction within
>> 90 day period for it to be considered active. This includes, the making of
>> any chargeable outbound calls, sending chargeable SMSes, accessing mobile
>> data services or re-charging of your account.
>>
>>
>>
>> This is because numbering resources are limited, hence necessitating
>> their efficient use by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). Notably, MNOs have
>> now exhausted the 07XXXXXXXX series, requiring the addition of the
>> 01XXXXXXXX for mobile subscribers. Related to this, Safaricom and other
>> MNOs need to demonstrate to the CA that existing numbers allocated to them
>> are active and in use prior to being allocated a new mobile prefix. As a
>> result of this, unfortunately MNOs are unable to accommodate indefinite
>> assignment of numbers to customers, particularly where there is no usage.
>>
>>
>>
>> To communicate the above to our customers, we clearly state in our
>> Conditions of Use of our Services that customers are required to have a
>> chargeable transaction within 120 days (an extra 30 days over and above the
>> standard 90 days) in order to keep their numbers active. In the absence of
>> the same, the Conditions further state that we reserve the right to
>> deactivate and recycle the number assigned to a customer due to inactivity.
>>
>>
>>
>> In your particular case, we note that you had not topped up the number
>> since November 22nd 2019. We further note that there was no chargeable
>> transaction for a period of at least 120 days. We sent you several
>> notifications via SMS (at least three according to our customer care team)
>> before the number was recycled to request that you recharge so that it did
>> not expire. These notifications are standard practice for all customers
>> whose numbers are in a similar state.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regarding the identity issue, we encourage all customers to ensure their
>> relevant number remains active for as long as they may need it. It is also
>> worth mentioning that several of the sites you have mentioned also have
>> alternate means to enable users to either change their number to a new one,
>> or to switch their authentication method as necessary.
>>
>>
>>
>> I am available to engage further with you on this if needed.
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>>
>>
>> Steve
>>
>> *Chief Corporate Affairs Officer*
>>
>> *Safaricom PLC*
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* kictanet >> safaricom.co.ke@lists.kictanet.or.ke> *On Behalf Of *Brian Munyao Longwe
>> via kictanet
>> *Sent:* Monday, September 7, 2020 2:13 PM
>> *To:* Stephen Chege <SChege@Safaricom.co.ke>
>> *Cc:* Brian Munyao Longwe <blongwe@gmail.com>
>> *Subject:* Re: [kictanet] Safaricom repossessing numbers (What the heck!)
>>
>>
>>
>> This is clearly a (big) problem.
>>
>>
>>
>> I sincerely hope that folk at MOICT and CA are following this discussion.
>> This is squarely a policy/regulatory issue. SAfaricom is not going to
>> “help” anyone of their own volition.
>>
>>
>>
>> Mblayo
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 11:24 AM Eric Mugendi via kictanet <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Interesting subject. I bought a line recently, and I now get reminder
>> texts from Dlight that are meant for someone named Jane Kosgei reminding
>> her to make daily payments. The line was also used to take a loan on
>> Branch, who are also sending reminders that this needs to be paid. It was
>> used to set up a Facebook account, and Lord knows which other accounts I am
>> yet to discover.
>>
>> As far as I’m concerned, I bought a new line, and it’s not my job to
>> reach out to these people and ask them to remove my number. I’ve tried with
>> Dlight, but they still send texts every day. The service provider should
>> alert you when you buy a new line showing which services it is subscribed
>> to, or is this too much to ask?
>>
>>
>>
>> *Eric Mugendi*
>>
>> about.me/mugendi
>>
>> [image: Image removed by sender. Eric Mugendi on about.me]
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mon, 7 Sep 2020 at 11:11, simiyu mse via kictanet <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> I remember losing a number that way before mpesa became a thing. The
>> inconvenience was simple, notifying people of your change in number, losing
>> a few deals and life resumed. Not so much anymore with mpesa, ecitizen,
>> KRA, and many other 2FA services being linked to this number.
>>
>>
>>
>> I believe with Mpesa effectively acting as a bank account for people now,
>> the current quiet 6 month countdown is not very ergonomic. With people
>> using other providers as primary and keeping the safaricom line as
>> secondary/mpesa/ecitizen etc, it is time Safaricom introduced notification
>> methods on this pending loss of line. I mean we get birthday texts, it is
>> not any more difficult to implement.
>>
>>
>>
>> Either by sending emails a month to expiry, texts to your primary line
>> (the saf one in this case) and/or a secondary line. Even option for next of
>> kin. This gives one an option to salvage the issue before it turns quite
>> tumultuous. With our numbers being our identity in very many services.
>>
>>
>>
>> I remember Big Green was handing over KSh. 500m of unclaimed assets to
>> UFAA a short while ago, so there is alot done right, this just needs mild
>> sanding.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 1:30 PM Barrack Otieno via kictanet <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Listers,
>>
>>
>>
>> I think it might be good to give a right to reply to Safaricom on this
>> issue, not sure if Steve is still on the list or if this issue has been
>> brought to his attention. I personally would like to be educated on the
>> current state of affairs.Many folks are buying simcards for frivolous
>> reasons and throwing them away, i guess it is a tough balance for the
>> Telcos and
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, 5 Sep 2020, 10:16 am Wainaina Mungai via kictanet, <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Pole sana Brian,
>>
>>
>>
>> On this one, many people can relate. I look forward to a solution that
>> will ensure we get to keep our lines and have to give express authority to
>> have the same transfered.
>>
>>
>>
>> Wainaina
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, 5 Sep 2020, 08:21 Twahir Hussein Kassim via kictanet, <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Totally agree with you Maria!
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 10:37 PM maria@afrikaict via kictanet <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Brian and Listers:
>>
>>
>>
>> That’s odd but understandable. Have had my Safcom for the 20 years I have
>> been Washington DC Diaspora and yes there are times I have been gone for
>> several months fortunately not YEARS at a go!
>>
>>
>>
>> So the secret is just loading enough airtime and doing one small
>> transaction like buying airtime once a month!
>>
>>
>>
>> I did however have a shocking one with my Telkom Kenya line I have used
>> for 18 months 0770722018 just rudely assigned to someone else yet I was
>> MOSTLY in Kenya and used this LINE DAILY as the BETTER MORE AFFORDABLE
>> OPTION!
>>
>>
>>
>> Our Telcos can be RIDICULOUS in “FOLLOWING” set out regulations in a VERY
>> SELECTIVE MANNER!
>>
>>
>>
>> My SAFCOM MY MAISHA MY IDENTITY! I feel for you Ndugu Longwe, That one
>> fight it out hata kama ni KORTINI!
>>
>>
>>
>> My two cents take on the matter!
>>
>>
>>
>> Baraka,
>>
>> Maria
>>
>> On Friday, September 4, 2020, Brian Munyao Longwe via kictanet <
>> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>>
>> Hi folk,
>>
>>
>>
>> It’s been a long time. I hope you are all well?
>>
>>
>>
>> So – mimi niko na issue.
>>
>>
>>
>> My Safaricom number 0715964281 has apparently been repossessed and sold
>> to someone else. The other day I opened up my Safaricom app to send some
>> m-pesa to my daughter as she transits through Nairobi from Malaysia and
>> shock on me! It displayed the name as “Beatrice Chelangat”
>>
>>
>>
>> As many of you know – I have been “diaspora” for a good number of years
>> (close to 9) and am currently based in Malawi. I went to the Kenyans in
>> Malawi Whatsapp group and mentioned the issue and was told that my line is
>> gone because I failed to top up in over 6 months. (This is very true, I
>> think the last time I used the line was more than 8 months ago).
>>
>>
>>
>> What I find surprising is that this has never been a problem in the
>> preceding 9+ years that I have been diaspora. My line has many times gone
>> more than 6,7,8 months without a topup – but always “wakes up” when I load
>> airtime. And m-pesa has always worked. What gives?
>>
>>
>>
>> I am distressed because my m-pesa, my e-Citizen, NTSA, bank accounts and
>> many other digital assets / identity related items are linked to this
>> number which I have had for the past 15+ years. My digital identity (and
>> that of many others in similar predicament) is at risk. How did CA allow
>> this kind of reappropriation to happen without an extensive process?
>>
>>
>>
>> I would expect that at a minimum – after the expiry of a period of
>> non-use, and several alerts sent to the number Safaricom (or any other
>> mobile operator) should publish a gazette notice listing numbers (and
>> associated registered persons) they want to deactivate/repossess and allow
>> a period (3 months?) for the owners to claim their number. At the end of
>> this period then admittedly no one should complain.
>>
>>
>>
>> Otherwise as far as I am concerned I have just been the victim of a
>> sim-cloning scam perpetrated by the same company that provides me with the
>> telecoms service!
>>
>>
>>
>> I would like to hear what the thoughts of the many much brighter people
>> than me on this group are….
>>
>>
>>
>> Best regards,
>>
>>
>>
>> Mblayo
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> —
>>
>>
>> **************************** Dr. Mary Ngunyi*
>>
>> *Afrika ICT Strategies Inc.*
>>
>> *Technology Consultant*
>>
>> *US:1-301-642-5345;KE:+254-733-503-110;770722018;722802420*
>>
>> *mariangunyi@gmail.com <mariangunyi@gmail.com> *
>>
>>
>>
>> This message contains privileged information protected under
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>>
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