And Airtel Ghana completely lost my respect

Airtel Logo

Introducing new products and enjoying its short term benefits is one of the focuses of most Ghanaian telecommunication companies. Most of them don’t see the benefits of its long term benefits and especially loyalty from customers, which, to me, is indecorous on the part of these telecommunication companies.
It could be recalled that on Friday, 23 January, 2015, the founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, announced a partnership with Airtel Ghana that will allow its people browse Facebook for free on the network. Mark’s long note brought a Brobdingnagian relief to Ghanaian bloggers and netizens including myself because alas!, we can spend long hours browsing the world’s famous social media platform and track trends with ease.
Aside videos, you can see photos and share whenever you want without restrictions. This service made a lot of sense because watching videos on Facebook is just like streaming video on YouTube and it consumes a lot of Internet bundles.
But suddenly and impudently, Airtel Ghana disabled the most important portion of the service – that is the photos viewing and uploads.
First of all, nobody asked them to bring this service. I believe it was because of customer service satisfaction that led them to introduce this product which sounds hysterical but they lacked the skills of maintaining it.
I have been browsing with Airtel modem for almost three (3) good years and I have been in love of their fast internet connection. The last time I felt offended by their service was merely two month ago where I tried bundling GHC 60.00 worth of credit but they took the credit without giving me my data. It took me almost 5 days to get it back and I called the customer service to express my disgust.
But this time, they offended all their customers. I won’t speak on this matter because I own this platform – I want to speak on behalf of everyone affected by this sudden change.
I was browsing Facebook three days ago when I realised that, the ‘Airtel Free Facebook’ notification tab had changed. I saw “You’re in data mode” then “Go to free”.

This is how the ‘Free Facebook’ notfication tab now looks on my Galaxy S4

When I switched, it led me to another alert which reads; “You’re in free mode” then “See photos”. Under the free mode, the telecommunication giant had stated that, if you want to see common photos, you need to switch to data mode because they no longer allow photos viewing on free mode. So now, under the free mode, Airtel users are allowed to see only texts.

If you want to see a photo or video, you will get a pop-up like this.

This got me laughing but devastated and disappointed in their change, so immediately, I withdrew my respect for them.
 I remember the free Facebook which allows you to see only texts exited long before Mark made their new partnership announcement. Mark clearly stated in his announcement that, their partnership was in support of Facebook’s aim of making internet free and accessible anywhere on earth but it was all bait.
I am not asking Airtel to bring back the better ‘Free Facebok’ service – I am asking that they should at least respect their customers and stick to their promises. In so doing, they will even win more loyal customers. All sorts of noise were made when Mark announced their partnership but in just one year, they could hold on. Making Internet free and accessible is possible and the benefits come back to service providers.
I am not fond of switching networks but Airtel Ghana simply wants loyal customers like me to GO and I will GO!

Follow David Mawuli on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @davidmawuli

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