NetOne’s lying, incompetent, and thieving ways!

Source: NetOne’s lying, incompetent, and thieving ways!

All those who are close to me know fully well how much I detest incompetence and ineptitude.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

The only other thing I loath more is lying.

One can, therefore, only imagine how I would feel when confronted with both these vices.

Then, throw stealing into that mix!

Yet, that is exactly what I had to face today with the state-owned mobile network operator NetOne.

I woke up in the morning, all pumped up and ready for some work.

Of course, knowing that the bulk of my work required internet access, I had to drive into Kwekwe CBD – as planned beforehand – to purchase the necessary airtime that would then be converted into data bundles.

After spending some hard-earned cash on the airtime, I was ready to convert it into data bundles – only to discover that the platform was down.

As much as I was most disappointed, I decided to call the NetOne Customer Service Center for an explanation.

The toll-free number was also down, and thus, the call center was not reachable.

From there, I proceeded to the Kwekwe NetOne offices to find out what was happening.

Let’s remember that the only other available NetOne customer service platforms are online.

And, yes, one needs to be connected to the internet to use these services – even when the problem he wants addressed is a failure to access the internet!

Unsurprisingly, all I received from the office was some pathetic acknowledgment that the NetOne system was indeed down and that their technical team was attending to the matter.

When I inquired further, as what time the system was expected to be up and running, I only managed to draw blank faces and admissions of ignorance.

The best ‘time’ I could force out of their mouths was, ‘definitely today’ – whereupon I told them that I did not operate on vague timeframes but on definitive answers.

I could tell that they were now clueless as what to do next.

Subsequently, I gave them the phone number to one of NetOne’s senior engineers (which I had saved in my phone) in the capital, Harare, thereby insisting that they call him.

As it turned out, he also had no idea of progress on work being done on the system.


He then referred them to another NetOne employee, whom they called, and was informed that the system would be fixed by midday today.

I left the office.

Of course, it is way past midday, but we still can not purchase data bundles.

To say I am disappointed would be a gross understatement.

This means that important work that needed to be done this morning has to wait due to the non-availability of internet services.

However, what really sickens me to the core is the apparent incompetence and deceptiveness of the responsible internet service provider.

To begin with, for what reason did NetOne not promptly inform its supposed ‘valued customers’ on these system challenges?

In fact, as I write this article, some eight hours after the events of this morning, there is still deafening silence from the state-owned NetOne.

The system challenge has similarly not been resolved yet.

I can just imagine how many other ‘valued customers’ are in the dark as to this system issue, and have already bought or are likely to buy NetOne airtime without knowing they can not convert it into data bundles.

How much has NetOne made today in airtime sales, yet these buyers are unable to use it for the purpose for which it was bought?

I am quite convinced that NetOne knows very well that by informing their ‘valued customers’ of this inability to convert their airtime into data bundles, the company would lose significant revenue.

Is this not a form of thievery and daylight robbery?

This is quite unfair, unprofessional, and unacceptable conduct.

Are these ‘valued customers’ who fell for this elaborate deception not entitled to some form of refund?

It should be remembered that those who had urgent things to do using NetOne data bundles – from airtime which they purchased today – were left with no choice but to buy another set of airtime from competitors such as Econet.

Is that really fair?

Data bundles do not come cheap in Zimbabwe.

Already, I have failed to do quite a considerable amount of work today all because of NetOne’s incompetence, deceptiveness, and thievery.

The least they could have done was to communicate openly and promptly with their ‘valued customers’ as to both the system challenges and a more accurate timeframe for its resolution.

NetOne should have kept their own customer service agents fully up to speed with the problem and progress on its rectification.

We grew up being taught that ‘customer was king’.

This is clearly not how NetOne appears to view its customers.

To them, we are all a bunch of fools who should be fleeced even the little cash for which we have worked so hard.