By now you’ve probably already heard the news. If you haven’t here’s the thing: on Sunday, 25th November, Safaricom will refund its customers all the data that they used on 23rd and 24th November 2018.
Essentially, that means that if you, say, use up 5GB data between Friday and Saturday, on Sunday, you will be able to get back your 5GB and use it all over again. Having your cake and eating it, right?
That deal sounds good, right?
Now, if, like yours truly, don’t like letting any such deals go without being utilized to the fullest then here are couple of ways you can position yourself to make the most out of them the entire weekend.
1. Black Friday shopping
Black Friday is here with us. While the late November shopping frenzy, occasioned by a holiday thousands of miles away, has never been part and parcel of the Kenyan society, it has taken root over the last couple of years thanks, in part, to the rise of e-commerce and online shopping in Kenya. Sure, there are lots of hiccups when it comes to shopping online but the convenience it brings, albeit shortlived when things go wrong, is mostly worth the risk.
This year, as already highlighted, there are a couple of items you can buy online at some pretty good rates.
It doesn’t matter whether you are shopping locally (on Jumia Kenya, Kilimall or Masoko) or abroad (Amazon US, Amazon UK, Best Buy et al), there’s a constant: you’ll need to be online.
Now, the trickiest part about Black Friday, even by my experience, is getting the item you want. Sure, you’ll probably see all those glitzy commercials and read articles on sites like this one about the deals you can get but getting the said deals is a whole different matter. Not only do you need to be online for a while scouring various e-commerce portals for the said deals, you might need to do extended searches and browsing to unearth the so-called hidden treasures that see items going for a bargain, as little as a shilling, Kshs 5 or a pretty good mid-range smartphone for Kshs 9,999.
There is also the bit where just like people used to (maybe they still do, we wouldn’t know here since the Black Friday “culture” is just kicking in) in physical retail spaces on Black Friday, there’ll be jostling, pushing and shoving. Online, that manifests itself in the items and deals you really want either going out of stock before you get to them or disappearing from your cart due to the expiration of the allowed reserve time. In other instances, too, the site you are shopping from just gives in to the immense pressure and becomes unresponsive.
So, it’s a given. You’ll need data. Lots of it. And a fast and reliable connection while at it.
If you were going to pass on the hustle, maybe the thought that someone will give you back all your data will change your mind? I mean, you’re buying something you probably need (I am trying to accommodate all of us impulse buyers here) at a bargain price and someone else is facilitating you to do so, why not?
2. Learn something new
If there’s something you need to constantly do to yourself all the time is making sure you learn something new. Expand your horizons. It’s why we have this section on this site called “Knowledge Base”. The aim there is to have you leave more informed and knowledgeable than you were when you came here. However, we can only do so much. There are people out there who specialize on this and are so good at it. So good that I also turn to them from time to time to either enhance a certain skill set that I have or to acquire a new one.
You might be behind on everything you said you would do this year but guess what? It’s never too late to start learning that new programming language that you promised you would learn this year. Python? Yeah, you can just get started right about now. Platforms that offer courses, like Udemy, not only give you the relevant coursework, they throw in videos in the mix. Since videos can be serious data hogs, it doesn’t hurt to cram a short professional course into the next 48 hours of your life and learn something new without incurring as high a cost as you would ordinarily. In fact, it’s the best time. There are Black Friday sales on platforms like Udemy that will have you enroll in a course of your choice for just Kshs 1,000. Then you spend the weekend using data that you will get back and continue using, anyway. Where is the loss?
3. Update all the apps
What more should I say? There’s no need to wait till Monday when you go to school or the office in order to use the free Wi-Fi. Update all your apps using your mobile data then get it all back on Sunday and do something else with it.
4. Get that Windows 10 update you’ve been putting on hold for a while
There’s no denying that a lot of us use computers powered by Windows, our preference for Google’s ecosystem be damned.
Microsoft released the Windows 10 October 2018 update (normally, we would make fun of Microsoft for its terrible naming scheme but we just need to have a quick look at how Android companies go about that naming business in order to shut up) in, well, October.
While that is so, it is understandable why anyone would’ve put off updating their computer by now. The update ran into some major issues the moment it was released and had to be halted. Even though it has since been given the green light by Microsoft and is rolling out again, there are still some issues but those are not as bad as deletion of all your files.
With those circumstances and given what’s on offer this weekend, that may be a window (pardon the pun) into just getting the update done once and for all instead of having to wait till you can get some good Wi-Fi (tip: Windows will probably try to sneak in the download behind your back if you haven’t altered your settings).
5. Stream the Premier League, kwani iko nini?
Uuum, yeah, there’s the London derby this weekend. If, for some reason or the other, you won’t be somewhere you can watch the game on Saturday night then worry not. Turn on your mobile data, fire up Mobdro (or whatever else you use to watch live football) and get in on the action. Even better, you can use the Kwese iFlix app we haven’t had much use for since the World Cup ended to stream one of the 6PM matches. Both Manchester sides will be in action at that time, as will former champions Leicester and Liverpool.
Bonus: Download a bunch of TV shows
It’s a good time to have a streaming video-on-demand subscription right now. There are lots of nice new television shows you can stock up on if you’re, say, hitting the road this weekend. I am not going anywhere – because we have to shoot another episode of 24Bit – but if I was (and I wish I was), I’d download one of these shows: Narcos Mexico, Making a Murderer and House of Cards (all Netflix), Succession and Condor (Showmax), for watching while away from either my TV or a reliable network connection to stream.
The fine print
Of course, just as was the case the last time there was such an offer, there are some catches. First things first, you will be refunded data that you have used, not bought. So, say you buy a 5GB data bundle and use up just 3GB data between Friday and Saturday, what you’ll get back on Sunday will be the 3GB, not the 5GB.
Also, it is worth noting that the data that you get back on Sunday will be valid for use on Sunday alone hence my emphasis on cramming as much as you can to just this weekend in order to full take advantage of the said offer which is part of Safaricom’s 18th birthday celebrations.
The offer also applies to Safaricom Platinum subscribers.
If you spend your data over the two days while roaming, that won’t be refunded.
In order to get the data refund, subscribers will have to dial *444*20# on Sunday. The same shortcode can be used to keep track of how much data one has used – in case any of these apps is not your cup of tea.