MTN surprised me!

Last Friday I bought an MTN F@stlink Internet dongle.  I followed the instructions to load the credits and activate the bundle (N8,000 for 24/7 and 5GB).

It worked all of Friday and half of Saturday.  Thereafter it stopped working.  Clicking the “bundle” button on the GUI kept telling me I was NOT subscribed to any data package!  How can that be?

I called Customer Service on Sunday evening and after apologizing for some “system” issues they were having, they later advised that I go back to the service centre from where I bought the device.

I prayed to God to grant me  patience and forbearance for what would undoubtedly be a pain, a disruption of my Monday plans and a task on my patience.  At the service centre, I met a friendly front desk fellow who sat down with me to analyze my problem before it was my turn to be attended by a Customer Service Agent.  To cut the story short, this friendly front desk fellow told me what he thought had happened.

“You did not subscribe properly to the data plan after loading the N8,000 credit.  You were supposed to wait for a confirmatory SMS indicating successful subscription.  Did you get such an SMS?”.  “No”, I replied, and showed him the messages on my laptop.  “Very sorry”, he continued.  “Since you started to use the Internet before/without getting the text message, you were browsing on the credits loaded and MTN was billing you like someone outside a data plan.  You may unfortunately have used up all of the N8,000.  You will have to pay another N8,000 to reload!”.

Thank God for answering my prayer about forbearance.  It was also a good thing I had a good night’s sleep so I was calm.  “Is that an official reply?”, I asked him, “Yes”.

“May I still see the Customer Service Agent, so they can check your systems and perhaps trace the issue, because even doing the ordinary mathematics of N15 per KB, I used the device for too short a time to exhaust N8,000”.

I met a lady Customer Service Agent, who confirmed that analysis of our friendly front desk guy.  I still kept my cool, lamenting internally what a fool I was to have had to throw away N8,000 bucks “just like that”.

Apart from the grace of God obviously and the understanding Lady, I believe points that turned the tide included the following:

–  I did try to wait for the supposed confirmatory SMS reply.  It failed to arrive in time.  My mail box had a trail of SMS replies and their time stamps
–  Since I bought both the device and the credits at the MTN office, the guy who attended to me initially ought to have activated the package himself (front desk guy said so; I reminded the lady and she did not protest it).

“We will share the cost” she said, meaning I would have to pay N4,000 while they give me N4,000.

But she soon changed her mind and refunded the entire N8,000 credit.

As I told her in gratitude as I turned to leave, “If MTN always does things like this, everybody will move over to MTN”.

I tell this story in gratitude because as MTN knows, they have never really been in my good books of “customer friendly” businesses.

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