When I made noise over Safaricom’s Internet services and their direct consumption of airtime once data bundles are exhausted, Safaricom moved with speed to introduce Data Manager. Data Manager is a handy tool, enabled by default, that prevents you from accessing the Internet once your data bundles are exhausted , not matter how much in airtime you have left.
Before this, Safaricom used to divert data cost to the airtime. Woe unto you if you had hundreds to thousands of shilling in airtime balance and you were unaware that your data bundles had run out. This is because browsing on airtime used to consume shs 8 per MB, and since browsing via direct Airtime is very fast, within a few minutes you could have utilized a lot of MBs, even GBs. Assuming you used up 1 GB of data before realizing that your data bundles had run out, your shs 8,000 could have gone to waste. That’s why at one time I lost shs 4,000 of airtime. Another time it was shs 800, yet another time it was shs 1,200.
The same thing happened to me when I bought my Faiba 4G line – twice actually. The first time was the very fast time I loaded the line with shs 2,000, then bought the shs 1,000 25 GB data bundle. Within days, the data bundle ran out, but when I went to buy the next data bundle, my extra shs 1,000 was already lost. Recently I lost shs 600 on Faiba 4G when I forgot to check whether or not I still had data.
To prevent further airtime loss on Faiba 4G, I decided that I will only be buying data bundles directly from MPESA, not through preloaded airtime. This is possible through the Faiba 4G App where you can choose to either buy airtime, or buy bundles. When you go to buy bundles option, you are presented with the alternatives of either buying through airtime or through MPESA.
The disadvantage of buying bundles through MPESA is that cash management becomes an issue. For example for this month I had set aside (mentally) shs 900 for data usage. This is because I figured out that buying 8 GB data for shs 300 that lasts for 7 days is much cheaper than buying 25 GB data for shs 1000 that lasts for one month – as at the end of the day I got to spend shs 37.5 per GB instead of shs 40 per GB for the monthly option.
Setting aside shs 900, or at times shs 1,200 on MPESA for Faiba 4G data has its own downsides. On some occasions, the 7 days elapses before the data is exhausted, meaning I got to lose, while at times the data gets consumed way too fast before the week is over. A 30 days data service is however able to take care of these up and down fluctuations more preciously. The other downside, and this is the downside that has been solved by the Faiba 4G’s new data manager, is that I have been asked for emergency money, which I have to send from the shs 900 already set aside for this month’s data consumption. If this money was residing in my Faiba 4G line in form of airtime, I could have assumed that I am totally broke. That, I could have been unable to send any money to anyone.
Now that Faiba 4G has introduced data manager, what I am going to be doing going forward is to always buy shs 1,200 Faiba 4G airtime, enable Faiba 4G data Manager, then buy the data every week as I have always done. With data manager in place, the next step should be the introducing of carryover of unused data. When that’s done, I’ll be able to gain some weight.