What happens when you are an internet junkie i.e. your life revolves around what happens on the world wide web? Simple answer: you tend to gravitate towards any provider who can give you the best possible experience that makes that life possible.
In my case, that has been a serious struggle. From paying for attractive packages and not having any internet for at least half the time in a month when I am lucky to having a rather useless connection most of the time when the router indicates that all should be well.
That was until I decided to give Safaricom Home, Safaricom’s home broadband internet solution, a try. After two months of using the product, I can vouch for it and hope and pray that the service won’t be degraded down the line as has been the case with the competition.
See here how to get connected and other details.
One of the best things about Safaricom Home Fibre even before you get to the actual speeds is the speed with which requests are handled. While one can easily request for the service by calling 400 from their Safaricom line or dialing *400# and following the on-screen prompts, I found it much easier to contact a specific agent whose number was available at my place of residence. This way, it was easy to follow up with the agent, an employee of Safaricom no less, and get periodic updates on the status of my request. I am not sure what happens to those who call 400 or use the shortcode but the experience shouldn’t vary by far.
Once you have been in touch with Safaricom with regards to getting Home Fibre at your place, things should move fast and you should be connected in no time. In my case, I had read on the Safaricom Home portal that I should be connected in 48 hours so I had tuned myself to wait till the second day. Shock on me when I received calls from three technicians within 3 hours of making my payment for the Silver package (10mbps). I had to tell them that I would only be available for the installation of the necessary equipment (in this case, just the router since the other equipment was already pre-installed) the following day.
Sure, without fail, I was contacted the following by yet another batch of 3 technicians (they’re all part of the same team) who wanted to confirm that they were on course to making sure that I was connected by the end of then day. Come evening when I would eventually be available for the process to take place, I found the technician waiting for me. The whole process took about 5 minutes and it was done. After the installation the technician has to take photos to ascertain that he/she has done their work and send to their superiors as well as the other team that is tasked with finalizing the process.
This final part of the process is where things weren’t so smooth. Despite having been promised that the login credentials (SSID – Wi-Fi name – and password) would be sent the same day (of installation), that wasn’t the case. I had to call the following evening when I realized that my 48-hour window was elapsing and I hadn’t been helped. I dialled 400, the first time in almost two years that I resorted to calling customer care instead of sending a tweet. I gave out my Vuma@Home account number (this is sent in the email and text messages you receive immediately your account is set up after payment) and the customer service agent on the other end of the line had me wait while he did the final set up. Half an hour of being on call later, I got the message I was waiting for:
Done. That was it. Another half an hour later, there was a call, supposedly from Huawei (according to my Truecaller) asking about the level of support I had received during the entire process more so the installation by the technician and any subsequent occurrences.
My take away from the whole process was this:
- The communication by the installers is great. They’re eager to come and have you connected. You don’t need to keep calling or pestering customer care, they are the ones who call. In my case, in a span of under 18 hours, I had talked to a supervisor and half his technical team, all wondering if I had been connected and if not when I would be ready to have them come over to do so. The experience may not be the same for everyone but I liked this particular aspect.
- The M-Pesa payment integration is brilliant. In my case, I just needed to have the Kshs 3,499 needed for the Silver package and that was it. No pay bill number that I needed to key in. The amount was just deducted from my account (you get to authorize this when you dial *400# (not *855# anymore) once your account has been set up). Just as is the case when you select M-Pesa as a payment option when taking a Little cab.
Where it all really matters, the speed, it delivers
The whole point of getting broadband internet is to be able to be constantly connected and do whatever you intend to do with peace of mind, right? From my experience, Safaricom Home Fibre allows you to do just that. The experience will, of course, differ depending on the package you are subscribed to and your needs.
In all packages, the connection is shared among 4 subscribers with each guaranteed at least the peak speeds advertised. For me, at least if the speed tests I have been conducting are anything to go by, this has been the case.
My little army of droids and other connected devices are all able to stay online at the same time without any particular hitches.
What service are you using to access the internet? What’s your experience?