KAMPALA – A lawyer in Kenya has dragged three telecoms to the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal for taking away expired data and unused Internet bundles.
Mr Adrian Kamotho, in his petition, says Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya are fraudulently taking away the expired data. The other respondent in the case is Communications Authority of Kenya (CA).
“The automatic switch of consumers whose bundles run out to out-of-bundle rates is fraudulent to the extent that consumers are unexpectedly thrust to forcible expenditure without being accorded an opportunity to give or decline consent,” Mr Kamotho’s petition reads in part
“Enormous price gap between in-bundle and out-of-bundle is evidently exploitative and discriminatory,” he adds.
The lawyer now wants the three operators compelled to offer a service where subscribers can roll over unused data at no costs.
The operators’ data bundles have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly expiry periods and subscribers can extend their respective terms by buying new data ahead of termination.
Mr Kamotho wants the tribunal to issue an order to stop the loss of unused data bundles after the expiry date.
“That an order directing the respondents to enable active subscribers to roll over used data at all times. That an order directing the respondents to enable consumers to transfer unused data to other users on the same network,” the petition adds.
This comes few days after the government of Ghana ordered all telecommunication companies to stop the expiry of data and voice bundles purchased by consumers.
In a letter dated October 9, 2019, and copied to the CEOs of MTN, Vodafone, Airtel Tigo and Glo too, the state ordered that all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers that has not been used must not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge.
In February, South Africa issued a similar directive ordering operators to allow subscribers to roll over ‘expired’ data.
The South African government also bars operators from implementing out-of-bundle charges without customers’ consent, where customers’ airtime is used in case data bundles are depleted.