KAMPALA – MTN Uganda subscribers including Linda Nabusayi, a Presidential Press Secretary, took to Twitter to accuse the telecom company of making it nearly impossible to cancel a mobile money transaction made in error.
Subscribers have also asked the regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to investigate MTN Uganda—with many accusing the firm of cheating them in mobile money transactions where customers lose huge sums of money in wrong transactions.
The Twitter criticism was set off on Monday by a presidential aide who tweeted that she had made a mistake while trying to send money to her niece.
When she called the company and asked for the transaction to be reversed, she was told she needed a Police, LC1 letters and a court order to claim the money from the recipient.
“I erroneously sent money meant for my niece to her late father’s number which she could not access. MTN Uganda says I should get letters of administration of my brothers estate, his death certificate, LC1 letter, police letter or I cant get money back. Where does this money go,”Nabusayi twitted, igniting the storm on social media against MTN Uganda, whose handlers remained tightlipped most of the time.
Nabusayi also wondered where money sent on wrong numbers goes.
MTN Uganda could not give answers to the question.
One of the customers said that Nabusayi’s case is just a drop in the ocean for such cases.
He claimed that many users have their monies stuck with MTN Uganda “in such lame and unnecessary bring this and that policies of yours.”
He called for a massive probe on dormant sim cards
“Hi Linda. At least you have the clout to raise the issue on social media and rock the MTN boat. I hope you will use this experience to add your voice where needed and help the rest of Ugandans who are suffering the same fate. Please speak for the rest,” Nada Andersen said.
“This is broad day robbery by MTN Uganda on Ugandan citizens. UCC needs to slap a few million dollars punishment to MTN Uganda and they will learn. Their network is poor and they treat clients like ……… On top lie that they bought 5G already,” Em Martin wrote.
A spokeswoman for MTN Uganda said the company had internal policies for money sent in error.
So long as the money had not been withdrawn at the other end, cash could be frozen after a subscriber informed them of an erroneous transaction. Then after some checks, it could be returned.
If the wrong recipient had already withdrawn the money, then “the customer would be advised to negotiate with the person [wrong recipient]”
Ms. Nabusayi has since received her money back following a massive social media uproar that lasted for two days.
“Good morning tweeps. Thank you all for your concern. And thank you @mtnug I got the money back. I appreciate you all” she posted on Tuesday.
MTN Uganda said Nabusayi’s case was different and “we are glad we’ve reached a logical conclusion”.
According to the regulator, nearly all of Uganda’s 24 million mobile subscribers also have a mobile money account.
The firm is Uganda’s biggest telecom concern, followed by India’s Bharti Airtel.
Customers also accused MTN Uganda of continuously cheating them through making unauthorised deductions off their airtime.
The clients say the companies make deductions for dropped calls when messages are not delivered and through imposing packages like ringtones purporting that clients subscribed for them.