Man petitions Safaricom to pay subscribers Sh10,000 over M-Pesa outage

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Safaricom is facing a possible suit over the outage experienced by M-Pesa users on December 8.

Martin Ndung’u, a subscriber, on Tuesday gave the mobile service provider until Thursday to admit culpability following the disruption of services.

The petitioner says the telco, after the admission, should pay its 24 million subscribers Sh10,000 each in reparation for the inconveniences during the downtime.

“Our client proposes that in preparation for the inconvenience, you credit each of the 24 million subscribers with Sh10,000 seeing that you move an average of Sh16.3 billion daily,”  the demand letter reads.

Ndung’u, through lawyers Gichuki Waigwa and Associates Advocates, said if Safaricom does not honour the demand, it will be sued for contravening the Customer Protection Act, 2012.

He argues that the subscribes incurred costs as they could not pay electricity bills, send money, or place bets with gambling firms. 

The notice has been served upon the Board chairman and director general of the Communications Authority of Kenya.

Ndung’u says the intended ‘class action suit’ will succeed as the ingredients of commonality, adequacy, numerosity, and typicality exist.

M-Pesa users were on Saturday left stranded after a technical hitch blocked communication through its servers.

Safaricom said the problem arose from database degradation. The telco apologised over the hours-long problem.

“We regret to notify our customers and partners that M-Pesa services are currently unavailable due to a database degradation leading to loss of service.”

“We deeply regret any inconvenience caused and we will give an update once our services are available,” read another part.

But Ndung’u said following the three-day dilemma, M-Pesa users were embarrassed for being unable to settle bills and business deals remained incomplete.

This he said affected confidence in M-Pesa platform and government revenue.

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