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HomeNewsSafaricom backtracks on Bonga points expiry

Safaricom backtracks on Bonga points expiry

"At no point did Safaricom announce that Bonga (Points) were expiring,” Safaricom is quoted saying

Safaricom says that it never announced the expiry of Bonga points, contrary to reports.

The telecommunications company had in, November last year, stated that it accrued Bonga points that are older than 3 years i.e. those accumulated before the end of 2019, would expire at the end of 2022, giving its subscribers about a month to figure out ways of using up their accrued Bonga points.

Bonga points are reward points that the company awards to its customers for the use of its various services like data, calls and SMSs at a rate of Kshs 10 for a Bonga point.

“At no point did Safaricom announce that Bonga (Points) were expiring,” Safaricom is quoted saying by the Business Daily, Kenya’s largest business publication, in an email response to their queries regarding the expiry.

As reported, in November, the company had updated its terms and conditions for the product to indicate that Bonga points that are over 3 years would be expiring at the end of the year.

“Effective 1st January 2023, all Bonga Points older than three (3) years will expire and will be unavailable for redemption,” an update to the terms, which is still live on the Safaricom website as at the time of publication, reads.

Another live page on the site citing Bonga points terms and conditions, however, makes no mention of the expiry, leaving many confused about the telco’s two-faced stance on the matter.

The telco is also reportedly showing Bonga points accrued before 2019 when customers query for the same using its *126# short code and allowing their redemption, days after the earlier set 1st January 2023 deadline.

Safaricom had cited its decision to have older accumulated Bonga points as a “business decision” informed by the need to clear its accounting books of the huge Kshs 4.5 billion in liabilities as at the time of the closure of its financial year in March 2022.

As a result, before the close of 2022, a lawsuit against it was lodged by a Dr Magare Gikenyi who took the company to task for the move. The case is ongoing with a judge having declined to issue orders to suspend the expiry of Bonga points on a technicality: the suit had been lodged at the last minute before the set expiry date and, thus, parties involved may not have had enough time to be served and adequately respond. However, the case is still on. It remains to be seen what effect the about-turn by Safaricom will have on it.

Also arising from Safaricom’s move to have Bonga points expire was a looming probe by Parliament.

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