Why I Will Not Use Zain’s Zap Again…..

This is a rant. Events occur in real time…..

Being that time of the month when bills are settled, and being very angry with a certain leading mobile network operator, who shall remain unnamed, I decided to send some money using Zain’s Zap money transfer service. Since I am supposed to be very organized, I get the cash and start the arduous task of locating a Zap dealer. You see the second largest mobile operator, Zain, almost 10 years in business, does not have very many agents for the money transfer service. From a second floor office, I am able to locate a few agents in downtown Nairobi.

I march gallantly to the first agent, an yes, they can serve me. Am so excited, especially when I remember how much I dislike the unnamed leading operator’s service. More on that later.

Since I registered for Zap about 3 months ago, I had never actually used the service and I can’t remember my PIN. So I quickly call Customer Support, who promptly pick my call…..that doesn’t happen in Kenya! The young man at the other end questions me to ascertin I am who I claim to be. He resets my PIN, and I quickly change it to ****. Awesome!

Back at the agent’s, I hand over the cash and we transact, now I have the electronic value in my SIM. I am jumping up and down. I fire off a quick text to the recipient, and tell him, please wait in a few seconds you will be Zap’ing rich.

The first attempt to send KES. 13,000 fails.  I try again, thinking I missed something, since this is the first time I am doing it. Again, I get a message about exceeding the limit of 5,000. Am stunned! Since am outside the agent’s shop, I go back in and ask about limits. Girl One tells me newly registered SIMS can only send/receive 5,000. I say I registered 3 months ago BUT have never transacted. The other Girl 2 says, that’s rubbish, you can send and receive any amount up to a max of 35,000. I agree with the second girl. The first says if I don’t agree with her, I try again. I try and get the same message. Am getting annoyed. Girl 1 suggests I send in 3 tranches – 5000, 5000, 3000 total 13,000. Mmmmmhhh….since the cost is only 10 per send transaction, I agree with her, pull a chair and start the motions.

The first 5,000 is off super fast, no delay. My confidence is restored in Zain. The second 5,000 bounces, something about the recipient’s account being over limit with electronic cash! I try again, and again. No luck. I even check my balance at a cost of 1/-, still at 8,000. Mmmm….

I remember Zain’s Customer Scare, sorry Care works and you can get through on the first attempt. I call, and some guy picks, I cry my heart out to him. He explains that my account limit is set to 5,000. I tell him that’s fine, could he make it 35,000?  No sir. He says he will put the request to the “technical people”, and I ask whether he can fast track that, so I can transact now. He says the “technical people” have gone for the day, so I have wait. I am stunned beyond words. I rant a bit, but cool off, telling him its not his fault. I finish saying I will never use Zap again. He courteously says, thank you for calling etc etc

Back at the agent’s I ask Girl 1, who is supposed to be most knowledgeable, what to do and she says unless the recipient withdraws the cash, we can’t send him more. I start shaking in anger, tears well up in my eyes. I cannot believe this. I pace around the shop thinking…and get a eureka! I ask to withdraw the 8,000 so I can send by parcel courier. It should get there in a couple of hours. Tough luck! The money I just gave them has been taken to the bank! OK, where is the next agent? They direct me, and am off.

The leading mobile operator, who still remains unnamed, seems to have agents all over, but I can’t transact with them right? I am angry with them. I walk all over trying to locate the next Zap agent, and voila! I spot one. Uh….they don’t have cash so we can’t transact. Fair enough, where is the next agent? I am directed and am off.

Third agent for the day, and yes, she has all the cash I need. I quickly withdraw, zap zap. No fuss. Am happy again as I walk towards the bus stage where the matatus to my village operate from. A text message lands in my phone. Recipient has had a brainwave! Why not send using ______ (the unnamed leading mobile operator in Kenya). I am almost hit by a speeding motorist as I jump and curse him.

Everywhere I look, I see the colour schemes of the unnamed leading operator. So I reluctantly walk into one agent and inquire whether the service is working. Yes sir. Can you serve me? Yes sir. Do you have electronic float? Yes sir. Are there any delays? No sir. Are you sure? Yes sir. Is the service down? No sir. I hand over the cash, and get the electronic value in my other SIM. I quickly fire it off to the recipient, who receives and acknowledges, by text. It worked!

That’s how I sent Zap using _____ (the unnamed leading mobile operator’s money transfer service).

Cc:  Zain / Zap Customer Care

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6 comments so far

  1. Eebarh on

    Sadly this happens to often, I have been a great supporter in the past but this days but this days I think it is just due to the fact that the are not that network (which shall remain un-named).

    They have ample room in which to pull up their socks and hopefully new management will do a better job of it, People are fed up with the “monopoly” but if the alternative is an experience like yours people just won’t switch, sad but true.

    • Guru on

      I have always said the problems faced by money transfer customers in Kenya with the dominant player, stem from the deep slumber the competition is in. Zain has a great product, feature wise, YuCash powered by Obopay is even more superior. But until they wake up and get me and the other customers using the service, sadly we are stuck with the uncaring monopoly. Yes, sad but true.

    • Guru on

      Thanks Eebrah for your comment. Lets see what YuCash has to offer.

  2. Muraya kamau on

    I am sorry I just cant stop laughing. Nice post. Marketing is something Zain has never figured out. Recently I heard someone say “Let me Mpesa you on Zain” Need I say more

    • Guru on

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, its amazing that the most inferior money transfer system is the most popular in Kenya. I still say we suffer crap service due to the competition sleeping. Make it worse, the regulator wont do anything, they already made money for the government on license fees. So we are on our own.

  3. Rufus on

    Nice Talk Man. I was contemplating to use Zap and i think i’d rather not.


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