Safaricom repossessing numbers (What the heck!)

The more and more I read sentiments here the more and more I see a case for
a class-action suit against Safaricom. I thought I had suffered alone, I am
glad I’m not alone.

Warm regards,

Edwin Kiama

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On Tue, Sep 8, 2020 at 8:31 AM Beryl Aidi via kictanet <
kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

> I agree with Washington’s sentiments, especially given that Safaricom’s
> biggest earnings come from data and Mpesa. Furthermore, in some countries,
> the numbers often revoked are not even registered, as in those lines one
> acquires at the airport from a vending machine. But in Kenya where we have
> by law have to register each number, the terms of qualifies as an active
> use should be reviewed given all the arguments that have been raised
> concerning identity, privacy and security issues,
> Best
> Beryl
>
>
> On Mon, Sep 7, 2020 at 11:36 PM Odhiambo Washington via kictanet <
> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>
>> This is all well n good. The blanket of transactions then needs to
>> include mpesa tx.
>>
>> On Mon, 7 Sep 2020, 16:21 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> *
>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
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>>
>
>
> —
> Beryl
> ***********************************************
> Beryl Aidi
> Freelance Campaign and Communication Specialist
> Skype: beryl.aidi
> Twitter: @thespannergal
>
> Darkness cannot put out the Light. It can only make God brighter. —Author
> Unknown.
>
>
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