By Donu Kogbara
Last week, I complained about the fact that Glo did not honour a “special offer” that was conveyed to me via a text message a couple of weeks ago.
According to the text message, any credits I loaded onto my phone before a certain date would be doubled free of charge. But when I bought N5000 credit, I didn’t receive an additional N5000 worth of credit; and I didn’t march to the nearest Glo office to protest because I’m trying to avoid stressful scenarios that might make my blood pressure soar. But I said that we “Nigerians are too prone to sighing and shrugging philosophically when things go wrong…”
…and that “too many of us think and behave like defeated victims and put up with rubbish”…and that “we will continue to get a raw deal until we become MUCH more combative and develop a MUCH stronger sense of entitlement.”
Shortly after this complaint was published, I got a call from a Glo Public Relations Officer called Arinze. He was very apologetic. He assured me that the special offer had not been a scam and promised to make enquiries on my behalf.
I told him a) that several Vanguard readers had written to tell me that they’d had similar bad experiences and b) that I hoped he would be just as interested in assisting non-journalists who also feel cheated by Glo.
In other words, it is not enough to be nice to columnists who have the power to tarnish Glo’s glossy corporate image on the pages of newspapers. There should also be a strong and sincere commitment to satisfying ALL Glo customers.
Arinze’s polite response was that he would like to treat all legitimately disgruntled customers equally but can’t help those who don’t bother to formally notify Glo representatives when they feel short-changed. And I think that this is a very fair point and that we should give Arinze the benefit of the doubt.
Even in highly developed countries – the UK, for example – where consumer laws are sophisticated, consumer-friendly and fairly easily enforced, companies that aren’t meeting their obligations to the general public (fully or at all) cannot be properly held to account if customers don’t make the effort to raise alarms about poor services/products and don’t demand the respect they deserve.
Anyway, Dear Readers, it’s a good sign that Glo took the trouble to send Arinze to get in touch with me. But good signs can be superficial and misleading in the sense that they don’t always lead to good results. So let’s wait and see.
If Glo fails to deliver a promised benefit, walk into a Glo office and politely explain your position to a Glo employee. If you’re not happy with the outcome of your attempt to seek justice, let me know and I’ll let Arinze know!
In the meantime, Glo is not the only network that needs to beef up its PR and performance. Here are two of the many letters I received about this issue.
From A. Ogaga (firstname.lastname@example.org): It was nice of you to bare your mind on the Glo thing. Truth is that the twin word – corruption and deception, have been entwined into the very fabrics of our national life. We have seen mega-deception by our government functionaries and corporate organisations. This is why the fight against corruption is heading down the drain.
While believing that we cannot sit back and look helplessly, it is advisable that we should not fall for their cheap deception. When I got a similar mail on my MTN line, I ignored it because I knew that stingy network couldn’t be that generous.
From +2348020393163 Monorien Christopher
Your write up entitled NA WA FOR GLO! should be recast as NA WA FOR NETWORKS IN NIGERIA! This is because the issue of promo deception you discussed is not peculiar to Glo. It is applicable to other network providers. Network providers in Nigeria seem to have perfected the art of developing new strategies for cheating subscribers. Well we live in Nigeria where we are well disposed to accommodating unpleasant experiences. If you can’t then look else where. Welcome to Nigeria where we are suffering and smiling.
Talking about sitting back and looking helplessly, I must admit I had been toeing that line of action for too long, though with a guilty conscience. For quite sometime now, I discovered that MTN had been charging me extra two seconds for each call I make. Initially I felt like complaining but the Nigerian mentality of sit-down-look got a better of me and I just let it go. As I thank you, DK for igniting this fire to talk in me, I want to ask MTN why they are depriving me and perhaps other millions of Nigeria of extra seconds of their airtime.
Once again thank you DK. With more of your type in our society, we certainly will fight corruption to a disgraceful halt.