I’ve been a Spectranet subscriber for 3 years and I must admit they have some of the most pocket friendly data plans in Nigeria. I usually opt for the 40G at #12000.
So last Monday, three weeks into my monthly plan when I exhausted aforementioned data as usual, I took to the ISPs self-care portal to pay for a new subscription online as usual with my GTB Naira MasterCard.
Took me about five minutes to do so and my internet driven life was back to normal.
On Tuesday evening I set out to visit my girlfriend as I like to do in the evenings but this time I had to board a taxi as the mechanics were still in possession of my vehicle. I took my smartphone and Spectranet Mifi along for the ride. The driver stopped only once at a pharmacy so I could get some drugs for my throbbing headache as well as some malaria medicine. When we arrived, I paid the cab driver and he drove off. Little did I know he did so with the mifi device I had carelessly forgotten in the cab.
I was devastated obviously because I wouldn’t be able to log into Instagram, Facebook or The Herald for hours.
I sent an email to Spectranet Care and told them of the tragic incident later that night after my girlfriend had consoled me and given me her ATM card to keep for her. God bless her heart.
Hours later before I woke up, Care responded telling me that I would need to show proof of the lost one and that my account with the newly loaded #12000 would be transferred.
The next day still under the influence of malaria drugs I set out for the nearest Spectranet office and I was lucky to find one a short distance from my abode.
As I ventured towards the Spectranet team members, two nice ladies, I had no idea I was going to be in for a marathon session of “what has happened to common sense?”
You see common sense is not common is an adage that is not nearly bastardized enough, however this is not an epistle to mock but to correct so the names and identities of the staff involved will be concealed and replaced.
One of the Spectranet attendants looked like Ini Edo so let’s call her Ini and the other one we will call Amaka. Ini was the prime actor in this experience as she was the one who attended to me.
I told her the story of the carelessness, the malaria and the taxi cab. Then I showed her my proof of ownership of the former device and asked her what the procedure to get a new one was.
She informed me that I would have to buy a new device at the price of the old one. And then request for an account transfer so my previously loaded data could be uploaded into the new device.
I knew I’d have to buy a new device which was precisely why I had taken my girlfriends ATM the previous night. (This may sound like a jerk move but I was making her pay since she demanded I come see her even though I was ill and had no car. #12000 is small potatoes anyway, after all she is dating me, soon to be one of the richest men in Nigeria. I will also procure her a Bella Naija wedding and a Mercedes Benz upon delivery of first child. :D)
The quirk with Spectranet suddenly reared its ugly head. And things went from 0 to a 100 real quick!
Me: How much?
Another epic fail in the quest for common sense paradise began to unravel around me.
Spectranet for close to this entire year has been running a promo. They give you a device and 5gb for 12000 or you can opt for the same device and 30gb for #16000. Being the high roller that I am and with high data demands I opted for the latter at the time of initial purchase.
The young lady then informed me I was liable to pay #16000 for a new device and not the preferable 12000. Since I had coughed up the big bucks at initial stage, she was basically saying it was company policy that I did same now.
The Ijebu man in me came out like the way Bruce Banner gives way to the Incredible Hulk. I was incensed with great anger and it was at this point one begins to know why man is not god. If I was Buhari at that very moment, my body language would have made the Indian owners of Spectranet pack up their bags and relocate to China where they may have been able to repent and live a life of solitude near the famous Tibetan mountains.
In the ensuing battle of why it did not make sense for them to mandate me to pay 16000, since 12000 was an option, I heard all kind of ridiculous explanations.
Take this one from Ini’s supervisor for instance. “Sir I have been informed that you lost your device by Ini. We are unable to give you a new device for #12000 because that’s a promotional price. You have to pay #17000 because that is the actual price. Even the #16000 is also a promotion price. The device alone costs #17000.”
As I stood there listening to his explanation, I wondered if this was the Nigeria my children would also get to experience. A place so devoid of common sense, elementary human compassion and business ethics that it makes you want to apply for a ten year visa to Ghana even though ECOWAS entry is free.
After countless calls to Spectranet Care, including some calls with Care agents who never got back to me as promised (the thunder that will fire you guys eh…), we seemed like we were making some progress. I had been there about 50 minutes and I was literally sick and tired. I headed out to a nearby hotel with superb fish pepper soup. Ini had promised to call me when there was an update, and I awaited her call for the 50 minutes it took the hotel to prepare the fish pepper soup and me to consume it. Then I waited some more as they prepared an nkwobi special take away for me. After another 10 minutes I heard from Ini it was still bad news. At this point I was disgusted and it was partly because my hot Nkwobi was probably going to go cold before this was sorted.
I stormed back upstairs and met a third colleagues this time, a gentleman whose name was never a subject of discussion.
When he saw my face he asked ini “is this the guy?” After Ini affirmed my identity, the guy said i should be patient with them. I told him I had already been waiting for two hours. He called the supervisor again. The guy was not budging. Apparently that supervisor was under orders from the ogas at the top. The Indian bosses I wondered out loud.
Angered even further I called Spectranet again, and finally I was speaking with a guy with sense. Isaac I believe the name was. They need to make the guy CEO. He ordered Ini to give me a device at 12k. And to my delight he said when I exhausted the promo 5gb they would transfer the balance of the 40gb I hadn’t yet consumed before losing my former device. Yay!
Ini however said she wouldn’t budge until an approval came from someone more senior. Thankfully Isaac also made this happen quickly and I was out of there in another 30 minutes.
It took approximately 3 hours but finally a staff of Spectranet with common sense and customer empathy was located and I was back to streaming as far as there’s uptime.
But seriously I hope this article ensures nobody has to go through that again. This should be a simple matter that the company should ensure all their staff and their supervisors and their supervisors supervisor understands.