How Safaricom Steals from its MPesa Clients Using Telkom Clients’ Numbers

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By Kenya Confidential Economic Crimes Desk, Nairobi – August 19, 2020

You send as little as Ksh 200 to a Telkom Number using Mpesa.Mpesa confirms the MONEY is sent and charges Ksh 45.

You get a message from Mpesa saying, “OHI3Q6JNBN Confirmed. Ksh200.00 sent to 07514XXXXX on 18/8/20 at 4:41 PM. New M-PESA balance is Ksh xxxxxx. Transaction cost, Ksh45.00. To reverse, forward this message to 456”

Safaricom even states that the money was sent on 18/8/20 at 4.41 pm BUT in reality the money was NEVER forwarded to Telkom number owner.

You send a message to Safaricom Customer Care asking; I sent sent Ksh 200 to a Telkom subscriber as per the message above but he never got the message WHY?? This is the second time in two weeks and costs me Ksh 45/= every time.

You get a message advising; “Jambo, thank you for contacting Safaricom. Your query is not well understood. Kindly state how you wish to be assisted. Dial *100#ok for all service and *544#ok to buy any bundle. Thank you.”

You clarify that, “I sent Ksh 200 to a Telkom subscriber with Mpesa and I got the following message but the MONEY was not forwarded to the number – OHI3Q6JNBN Confirmed. Ksh200.00 sent to 07514xxxx on 18/8/20 at 4:41 PM. New M-PESA balance is Kshxxxxxx. Transaction cost, Ksh45.00. To reverse, forward this message to 456.

Safaricon tells you; “Jambo, check your M-PESA balance by M-PESA>my account>Show balance>M-PESA PIN>Send. Thank you.”

Your balance shows Mpesa deducted Ksh 200, the money you sent sent to a Telkom subscriber as per their message but the person you sent to says he never got the MPESA message about the money.

Then Safaricom sends you another message saying; “Jambo, to reverse money deposited to wrong number, forward the M-PESA sms received to 2530.Thank you.”

The company literally lures you to the trap in order to steal your Ksh 45.00 since you have to resend the money to the Telkom subscriber. It even tries to confuse you that the money was “deposited to wrong number” – which they obviously don’t give.

Getting annoyed you inform Safaricom; “It is NOT repeat NOT the wrong number. It is MPESA that has NOT sent the money to the Telkom subscriber I sent the MONEY too. The number is 07514xxxxx and the money has NOT been forwarded by Mpesa. WHY?? This is the second time in two weeks and costs me Ksh 45.”

You realise you are wasting your valuable time as the person you were sending the money gets anxious over his medication money and you decide to reverse the transaction.

Immediately you send a reversal request, you get a message on REVERSAL meaning the money was all along with Safaricom MPesa system and NEVER forwarded.

You are told; “OHI5QA5L2L confirmed. Reversal of transaction OHI3Q6JNBN has been successfully reversed on 18/8/20 at 6:00 PM and Ksh200.00 is credited to your M-PESA account. New M-PESA account balance is Kshxxxxx.

The money said to have been “OHI3Q6JNBN Confirmed as sent, Ksh200.00 to 07514xxxx on 18/8/20 at 4:41 PM.” Is reversed at 6.00 PM – one hour and 19 minutes of FRUSTRATION!!

You share the issue with Safaricom Customer Care twitter, and this is what your get; “Hello Blabla, what is the context?.^FO”

Mindful of your medical duty, you send another Ksh 200 to give Safaricom opportunity to take another Ksh 45 and promptly you get the following message; “OHI6QC2NP8 Confirmed. Ksh200.00 sent to 0751433761 on 18/8/20 at 6:35 PM. New M-PESA balance is Kshxxxxxx. Transaction cost, Ksh45.00. To reverse, forward this message to 456.”

Mpesa: Used by Safaricom to rob Kenyans

You pose the question to Safaricom; “How come the Telkom subscriber got the MONEY the second time on the same number? I want a refund of Ksh 45.”

This time round you get NO response from Safaricom !!!!

So tell them; I am going to complain to Communications Authority of Kenya and Treasury and begin a media campaign to STOP such theft. That is why I will PETITION Parliament to provide a Mobile Money Reversal Refund Law when mobile MONEY provider FAILS to transmit the MONEY to a CORRECT number – if I have to.

After a while Safaricom tries to justify its fraudulent behaviour thus, “When you request for a reversal, the transaction charges are NEVER reversed. You requested for a reversal, and we acted as per your wish Sir.”

It annoyingly adds; “The best way you would have approached this was to contact us and request for us to make a follow up so that the recipient gets the funds. We usually act as per the customer’s requests, in this case, we did the reversal. Apologies for the experience. Stay safe.” ^MM

Safaricom does NOT advice its customers when its help line No 100 is called or messages sent to it. The 100 number auto response does NOT guide customers on matters on money not forwarded.

The Mpesa client concluded; “That is typical FRAUDULENT exercise. My inquiry was very clear and your response ambiguously escapism. Early this month I suffered a similar loss vide; OH82G3D2P8 Confirmed. Ksh500.00 sent to 07514xxxx on 8/8/20 at 4:15 PM. New M-PESA balance is Kshxxxx Transaction cost, Ksh45.00. To reverse, forward this message to 456. Which was not paid to the number.”

He adds, “I had to REVERSE it and promptly Safaricom responded. OH81G4QZZP confirmed. Reversal of transaction OH82G3D2P8 has been successfully reversed on 8/8/20 at 4:47 PM and Ksh500.00 is credited to your M-PESA account. New M-PESA account balance is Kshxxxxx.”

He explained, “I had to resend the money as per “OH81G4VT2J Confirmed. Ksh500.00 sent to 0751433761 on 8/8/20 at 4:50 PM. New M-PESA balance is Kshxxxxx. Transaction cost, Ksh45.00. To reverse, forward this message to 456.”

That is Ksh 90 STOLEN by multi-billionaire Safaricom PLC in a fortnight using only ONE Telkom number. . By the way the same can be done with Safaricom numbers since they won’t make a refund either.

The Safaricom MPesa client resolved; “I am going to complain to Communications Authority of Kenya and Treasury and begin a media campaign to STOP such theft. I will PETITION Parliament to provide a reversal refund when mobile MONEY provider FAILS to transmit the MONEY to a CORRECT number if I have to.”

If Safaricom MPesa does that with 100,000 of its 30 million customers, it would fraudulently and by false pretences rob Kenyans Ksh 4,500,000 in a few hours. . 

Who knows how many Kenyans MPesa Safaricom defrauds every day to add to its billions of ill-gotten profits every year? . By the way the same can be done with Safaricom numbers since they won’t make a refund either.

Both the Treasury and Communications Authority of Kenya MUST STOP this Corporate FRAUD and force Safaricom and other mobile money providers to refund cash they fraudulently obtain by False Pretenses for services not provided!

Meanwhile Safaricom is being sued by Nairobi residents whose residential wall have been frequently plastered with annoying marketing posters in violation of Consumer Protection Act 2012 – Consumer Rights Part 11 paragraph 4 (1) for over three years.

A letter to the Managing Director Peter Ndegwa notifies him as follows;

July 17, 2020

Mr Peter Ndegwa,

Chief Executive Officer

SAFARICOM PLC

Waiyaki Way, Westlands
PO Box 66827, 00800 

Nairobi – Kenya

Dear Sir,

CIVIL SUIT FOR VIOLATION OF CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT 2012 AND PUBLIC ANNOYANCE BY SAFARICOM PLC.

This is to notify you of our decision to sue you in your capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom Limited and Safaricom PLC. You ignored or refused to respond to our letter of July 2, 2020 on our plight, leaving us with no other option but to seek legal redress by suing you and Safaricom PLC.

The grounds for the remedy sought are as follows: 

Empowered by Consumer Protection Act 2012 – Consumer Rights Part 11 paragraph 4 (1) to commence a proceeding on behalf my fellow residents do hereby state the following as grounds of our suit:

  1. That on varied days in the years of 2018, 2019 and 2020, Safaricom Home Fibre caused its agents to willfully paste unsolicited and annoying posters in contravention of Consumer Protection Act, Part 11 by providing your customers with (9) unsolicited goods and services (annoying posters) and (11) Advertising on illegal sites – (our walls water tanks and personal cars).
  2. We are seeking compensation for emotional torture, distress and annoyance caused by Safaricom Home Fibre negligence and failure to stop your agents from subjecting us to gross nuisance even after numerous complaints through your Social Media platforms of Twitter, Facebook and email.
  3. Compensation for financial loss of paying a cleaner to remove Safaricom Home Fibre posters – photograph samples of which are attached.
  4. A written undertaking that we shall not suffer such offending conduct by Safaricom Home Fibre and your agents in future.
  5. Corporate apology for emotional distress and annoyance we have been subjected to. You can reach all customers you need to subscribe to Safaricom Home Fibre through Newspaper,  Television and Radio advertisements.
Eyesore: Safaricom posters plastered to dirty residential walls

The Managing Director or company lawyer never responded to the residents numerous complaints and its agents continue with their nuisance without any fear of the Law.

Last word:

Safaricom or any other Mobile Phone company is NOT above the Laws of Kenya for it to display such corporate fraud and arrogance.

The residents hope is that the prayers of the weak shall be answered in the David and Goliath suit.

“Residents of BBF 215 who have been target objects of your unsolicited posters plastered on walls, water tanks and of late personal cars have resolved, inter alia, to seek legal redress,” they told the Ivory Tower-seated Safaricom boss.