We are not abolishing 'reverse call' service, Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa clarifies

Safaricom Chief Executive Peter Ndegwa. [File, Standard]

Safaricom has dismissed social media claims that it plans to abolish the ‘reverse call’ service by end of June 2022.

A reverse call is a service that allows a customer to make a call with or without airtime, and the receiver of the call pays on the caller's behalf.

The service enables a caller to transfer the cost of the call to the receiver by adding '#' before the number they are calling.

The telco’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa took to his official Twitter account to refute the claims saying the service ‘addresses the needs of most of its customers.

“I have received many queries on whether we are ‘killing’ our reverse call service. This is untrue. We continue to provide this service as it addresses a key need to a large part of our customer base,” Ndegwa tweeted.

The emergence of the claims online has elicited mixed reactions among netizens as some support its abolition while others strongly oppose it.

“Kill it! Every person who has ever received that reverse call within my circle, clicks! They say better someone send a ‘Please call me,” Purity Ayiecha commented.

Another Twitter user, Dr Khalif said “Don't kill it. The payer has a choice of receiving the call or rejecting it. What you need to kill is the exorbitant call charges by Safaricom,”

Safaricom introduced the service on June 18, 2019, to enable its network users to transfer call charges to their recipients.

“At Safaricom, we maintain our commitment to always provide our customers with relevant products in line with their needs. This innovation is in line with this commitment and has been tailored to mirror the relationships between our customers with a goal of empowering them to always remain connected with their loved ones,” Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Chief Customer Officer said at the time.

On a reverse call, a customer receiving a reverse call request sees the caller’s details appear on the screen as normal.

As soon as they pick up the call, they receive a voice prompt asking them to key in “1” to accept the reverse call. The cost of the call is equivalent to the receiver’s normal call cost.

The service is only available for on-net calls and will not be applicable for off-net, roaming and international calls.

The Reverse Call feature complements Safaricom’s initial “Please Call Me” service which enables a customer to send five free messages to other customers requesting a callback.