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Customer Service in Kenya

Just as I was glad and happy to be back in my country Kenya, I always get a quick grip of reality of how normal things are. I wanted to have internet right away so I decided to restore my previous cellular phone numbers which I had a problem remembering as I always stay in Kenya for a short time before going back to Belize.

I walked into Airtel office and ask for assistance at the first counter and was directed where to go. So I went to the sales lady and following is the conversation we had: -

Airtel: (Just looking at me without even smiling or saying hello, her energy told me ‘Just tell me what you want my time is more precious to serve you’)

Dirishani: I would like to restore my old number which has been inactive over a year

Airtel: Do you have the sim card!?

Dirishani: Yes I have (I handed it to her)

Airtel: What is the number!?

Dirishani: I can’t remember it because I used it for a short period of time and thought….. (she interrupted me)

Airtel: No, I need to know your number for me to restore it (her energy told me "and get the hell out of here because I have better things to do"…then immediately she turned to her colleague and continued chatting).

Finishing my interrupted line which the Airtel saleslady was not interested inlistening: -

Dirishani: .....maybe it is possible for your office to trace back my number because the sim card is detected by the phone when inserted. What other options can you give me?

I wanted to buy another line and a wireless modem but had to leave to digest the first dose of cold treatment.

The other cellular phone company (safaricom) is even worse. There offices are always overcrowded with customers, their excuse being they have lots of customers. But instead I see that their office is small and they are understaffed. I wonder why they don’t open more offices? It is like they are telling their customers ‘their time and money is more important than their customers’. The automatic voice answering machine is a big joke; I don’t even know why they have it… maybe just to frustrate their customers.

This is the treatment you get almost everywhere in offices in Kenya. Sales people are not motivated to serve customers and make customers feel unwelcome. Sometimes I wonder if there is a way to make those lousy customer care representatives to realise there is a better way to serve people. I’m just one person after all, they make millions of profits. If they just loose me, they will not feel it in their financial accounts.

They all can learn something from Orange who are very friendly, their service is very quick and you feel important and valued as a customer.


  1. Hi Drishani,
    Indeed good post. In India too, you may experience similar treatment. Anyway keep writing.

  1. Dirishani said...:

    It's a small world.

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