Tuesday, May 22, 2012


We all love communication and all technologies that facilitate it. And in Malawi, we go a step further; we love communication aided by poor technologies. To be as objective as possible, the country’s two most subscribed mobile operators, AIRTEL and TNM, are giving us a raw deal.

Not once or twice, but on numerous occasions have failed to communicate effectively just because the network is poor, a text message is delivered 24 hours later or I lose my top-up credit even before I use it.

I might be to blame on the loss of credit, maybe it’s my inability to understand all these promotional formulas going on with the two operators.

However, give me a break when it comes to the other setbacks. Why on earth should a text message be delivered 24 hours later? This has happened on several even when the person on the other end is based in an area where there is supposed to be clear network.   

I remember of a day when I over-scratched my Airtel top-up card. After so many attempts to get hold of a customer care officer, who didn’t sound so willing to help, I was told to wait for two days so that they have to follow up the information I had given. Imagine that, waiting for two days, to retrieve a 100 Kwacha worth of airtime.

It is disheartening how these two operators make so much noise with promotions where so many valuables are handed out to customers yet when it comes to making communication efficient and instant, they leave a lot to be desired.   

I like what I have seen in today’s Daily Times concerning the fine that the Nigeria government has meted out on Airtel and MTN for bad service. The story goes further to inform us that this is not the first time for phone operators to be punished for negligence or laxity.

How I wish our government, through relevant authorities, kept check of how AIRTEL and TNM are providing their services to Malawians. And if they fail to deliver, let them be punished. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

No need for them to be obsessed by the growth of subscribers if they can’t serve them well.

I have taken frustration for long, may you take my advice just for a moment.

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