I hate please call me texts, I prefer missed calls (flash). Worse than please call me is “Nisambizie credo”, especially when it comes from someone … (wacha tu). Now that those two options are hated by many, Safaricom thought it wise to introduce a third option, what they call Reverse Call. The Safaricom Reverse Call is pretty simple – what it does is to allow a Safaricom subscriber to call another Safaricom subscriber, but instead of the caller being the one who pays for the call, the recipient of the call is the one who will be charged, but at exactly the same rate the caller would have been charged.
This is how it works. Let’s assume you wanted to call Safaricom on their number 0722000000, but have them pay for the call. What you would do is to dial # before the number then dial the number as usual. In that case you’d call Safaricom using the format #0722000000 then call. When the recipient receives the call, he or she will be asked to press 1 to accept the charges, and once he accepts the incur the charges, the call will continue as usual. The voice prompt in the reverse call is per the audio clip below. When the recipient presses 2 to reject the voice call request, the caller is sent a message saying, “Dear customer your reverse call request was unsuccessful, kindly Top up airtime or dial *131# for okoa jahazi.”
I can’t tell whether this Safaricom reverse call add on will be more acceptable to people than please call me that has become so famous, or even the annoying “nisambizie credo“. Personally I tend to imagine receiving a phone call, but before I can start speaking with whoever is calling, a voice asks me to press 1 to accept the charges of the call, or 2 to decline. By pressing 1 I will be accepting to incur costs I had no plans of incurring at that moment, and declining will send a message to the caller that either I am broke (something very few of us would like to be in public), or that I don’t care enough to incur a little cost on the caller’s behalf. Whether the public will be attuned to the new feature is something we just have to wait and see.