#Article (Archive)

Africell refutes PURA’s claims

Feb 17, 2020, 1:45 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

(Friday 14th February 2020 Issue)

Africell, one of the leading GSM operators in the country has dismissed claims by The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) that (PURA) directed Africell to immediately refund and compensate customers that were affected by the ‘unlimited bundles’.

“I want to make it clear to you that it was Africell that in fact put the offer before PURA. The welfare of our customers is among our top priorities. We decided to make sure that those customers that were affected are refunded and we also compensated them,” Musa Ceesay, head of Corporate Affairs and Public Relations told The Point in an interview yesterday

Africell, he explained, has currently purchased six millions U.S. Dollars’ worth of materials with a view to upgrade the internet connection.

“The move is geared towards satisfying our customers. The materials are currently in China and we will be shipping them into the country soon. I can assure you that if the materials are in the country we will never have the issue of network congestion. The company is the leading the GSM operations in the country. The welfare of our loyal customers remains top development agenda for the management of the company.”

Mr. Ceesay continued: “In our continued efforts to ensure that all customers are satisfied, Africell will be refunding all affected subscribers with the credit used to buy the unlimited bundles. These customers can also continue to enjoy the current services that they are subscribed to.”

The recent problem that some customers were encountering recently, he added, was as a result of congestion, while claiming that it didn’t affect large number of people. “The matter has been solved and it will become history. The management has put mechanism in place in ensuring that it doesn’t repeat again.”

The only problem that Africell failed to do, he went on, was to announce that people could not currently enjoy unlimited internet access.

 He added that what Africell is offering to its loyal customers is up to standard and it’s in fact what is happening in other countries.

According to him, Africell was the one that went to PURA and explained to them the situation. “Nothing has change in terms of the unlimited bundles that we’re selling. It’s just the name of unlimited which is change to mega bundles because most users never reached the ceiling of what they were purchasing starting from one MBPS to five MBPS.”

Africell head of corporate affairs stated that they have taken into consideration of what people are saying and that they compensated and apologised to people that were affected. Africell, he added, is the biggest and the largest tax payer in the country and they are contributing more than any other company.

“Our customers believed in what we are doing and the services that we are offering to them. We will maintain that momentum and continue doing what we are doing especially for the development of the country,” he stated. He thus added that 554 customers were the ones affected.

Meanwhile, PURA in it press release said they have received numerous complaints from aggrieved subscribes pertaining to the unilateral decision by Africell to change its unlimited bundle offering.

The release further added that in ensuring that sanity prevails in the market and in the “interest of ensuring consumers are adequately protect, Africell was directed to immediately process mandatory ‘cash’ refunds to all subscribers that subscribed to the ‘unlimited data package’ from the 1st January 2020 up to February 11th 2020.”