Opinion

Vivacell must stop stealing customer’s credits

South Sudanese are quiet by nature. We are naturally a warm mannered people who enjoy talking but hesitate when it matters most. Our calm nature may be a blessing or curse depending on where you apply it. The calm nature is much appreciated by many foreigners within the country. As a matter of fact, South Sudan is the only country in the world where businessmen practice exploitation of consumers. Anybody in the market can charge price he/she wants. We don’t have consumer protection association to protect consumers from price overcharged.

While our calm nature has pulled us back from the brink of disaster, it is instructive to note that many people including Vivacell telecommunication Company have taken advantage of our calm nature to inflict plain stealing and other atrocities on us. As a matter of fact, South Sudanese are the most abused people by foreigners from East African countries such as Uganda and Kenya. In our own country, the South Sudanese are oppressed by aliens to the extent that we mostly feel like strangers in our own country. Let me give you just one example.

Vivcell, the most terrible network is a mobile telephone company operating in our country. It is a foreign company owned by Lebanese with its headquarters in Beirut. They have advertised themselves as market leaders in the communication sector and are known all over the country for their disturbing messages known as caller tune and wasteful of social events like the so-called “Talent Search Shows” etc. As I am writing this piece, many people prefer other networks than Vivacell. People fear to communicate sensitive issues through this network (Vivacell) because you can be easily tracked. I preferred other networks than Vivacell when communicating to my girlfriend. I use Vivacell to pass my greetings to friends and relatives only.

They are loud and aggressive when it comes to marketing their products and will not hesitate to take advantage of every situation to further their interest. Sadly, this Vivacell telecommunication company is the worst corporate entity that has ever operated in the country since 2009 before the independence. They have gained the reputation of one thing only: theft of their customer’s phone credits!

Vivacell have gained the disrepute of disrespecting and treating the citizens of this country with disrespect. They operate with so much impunity as if laws are not in existence in this country. Vivacell can get away with everything including murder! For the past weeks, Vivacell has put their stealing image in top gear by stealing both data bundles and call credits from their customers. I bought a recharge credit of 50 South Sudanese pound and subscribed with a data bundle from Vivacell and within 24 hours it is all gone. Subsequent calls to their office brought the response that they are having network challenges and will restore my credits as soon as possible. I then received a message from them that my credit has been restored. When I checked the credits on my phone, they have restored only 15 South Sudanese pounds from 50 SSP and none of my Data bundles. I did not communicate with anyone since I recharged. Imagine! Subsequent calls to their office have drawn a blank. This has not been strange to me, several people have complained of this daylight stealing of their phone credits by Vivacell and ridiculous restoration of it when they complain.

The question to ask is; do we have laws in this country? Has Vivacell grown so big that they can treat their customers poorly and still operate? What is the Ministry of information, telecommunication and postal service doing about this naked theft from Vivacell? Have our politicians become so corrupt that institutions like communication companies can be left off the hook because of bribes? What kind of country are we in when these foreign companies treat us with disrespect and still enjoy the protection of our government? Sometimes I feel so sad to be a South Sudanese citizen.

Vivacell must not be so happy that they can oppress South Sudanese and not expect a reaction. One day when the people feel their own Government has abandoned them, they will rise up and demand their respect. Till then, Vivacell can continue stealing from South Sudanese to fund their useless programmes and in God’s own due time, they will pay the price. There is no reason for Vivacell to continue their daylight stealing!

The writer is a youth activist reachable via: riakmading@gmail.com or call +211927020700

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