Safaricom sunsetting Platinum subscription plans from end of August

Safaricom is planning an end to its Platinum subscription plans effective August 30th, 2020.

An alert that has been received by subscribers over the last few days reads, in part, “Dear customer, Platinum Plans will NOT be available from Aug 30th 2020.

The message goes on to advise subscribers to switch to the company’s All-In-One bundles.

Unveiled in February 2018, Safaricom’s Platinum offering has been available in four plans: Platinum 2K, Platinum 3K, Platinum 5K and Platinum 10K.

Safaricom introduced Platinum as a way of reaching out to its high-value subscribers by offering them all-inclusive subscription plans.

However, since then, the company has also debuted several other products that have rendered Platinum less and less attractive by the day.

A year since it unveiled Platinum, Safaricom introduced the All-In-One bundles that offered users pretty much the same proposition but at more affordable rates and without the add-ons like international calls. The rates and offerings under the bundles have since changed, though, providing some differentiation in the products on offer from Kenya’s largest mobile network operator.

Not long after the introduction of the All-In-One bundles, Safaricom notified subscribers of another product it had introduced a year earlier, Flex, that it was being discontinued in its favour.

Since October last year, Safaricom lets users choose the amount of data and the number of voice minutes and SMS they wish to purchase with no expiry date, fulfilling its transparency and simplicity pledge to customers but further eroding the biggest selling points of plans like Platinum.

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With the launch of a revamped postpaid product, Karibu PostPay, at the start of this year, it became apparent that Platinum’s time was really up. It was only a matter of when, not if. Sure, it still has its fans but it is not hard to see where we are coming from with it and where we are going.

Safaricom is yet to confirm why it is sunsetting Platinum but the writing has been on the wall for a while.

First of all, there has been the confusion between the Platinum+ plans, like the ones users can subscribe to directly via the Safaricom mobile app and the Platinum plans that they can access when using the *544# shortcode. Both plans were made available at launch, with a clear distinction (the former renews every month while the latter can be topped up at any time) but have been varied over time price and offering-wise and are often presented differently.

Also, there has been little mention of the perks that Platinum (Plus) subscribers were to enjoy like lounge access at airports and discounts at eateries and petrol stations. Platinum customers’ dedicated lounges and physical customer touchpoints like the one at the Sarit Centre shopping mall have since been retrofitted to become a part of the existing Safaricom customer service and retail shop network after the rebrand last year that saw the brand drop its Twaweza messaging and opting for an assuring message to its over 35 million subscribers across the country.

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