The world over, telcos take advantage of consumers of Internet and data services to reap them dry by not allowing them to consume data bundles at their pace. An analogy by Kabogo who intends to sue Kenyan telcos has been given thus “You cannot sell me sugar and then attach a condition that if I will not have consumed it within a specified time frame then you will come to repossess”. That is, Kabogo wants telcos to be compelled to allow data consumers to consume all the purchased data until the data is exhausted, not until a given time frame has elapsed, and in so doing, he hopes to make an end to the endless data expiry thievery typical of telcos the world over and in Kenya.
What Kabogo intends to do is not something new. Here at Kachwanya.com we have written against it several times, starting in 2011 when Kennedy Kachwanya penned an article on why telcos ought not to force anyone to use out of bundle Internet to my writing of how Safaricom was bent on stealing data from customers that led to the implementation of data manager by Safaricom. Recently, I also wrote a lengthy article on how Faiba is busy stealing data and airtime from its customers.
In South Africa, Icasa (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) forced the telcos to implement data expiry rules by June last year. The data rules that Icasa put in place included demanding from the telcos that no consumer data should “expire”, but rather all data must roll over to the next purchase, something that only Safaricom has been implementing in Kenya on select data offers. The other component of the data expiry rules by Icasa is that the South African telcos are not allowed to charge data consumers on out of bundle Internet, again, something only Safaricom has implemented locally.
For the above rules to be implemented in Kenya, former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has decided to visit the courts for the courts to compel the telcos including Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom and Faiba to stop the data expiry nonsense. A better option, Kabogo says, will be to have all data roll over to the next purchase. Kabogo has however not explained when he intend to file the case a the high court, but I personally would have loved the case to have been concluded as far back as when data oriented Internet got mainstream.