Telecommunications operators have come out to clarify on the issue of increased prices of airtime cards in some parts of the country, a move that has sparked anger amongst consumers.
Starting from Friday evening, reports on social media indicated that there was an increase which this website confirmed on Sunday morning.
An airtime card worth Shs 500 is sold at shs 600 while the card for Shs 1000 is being sold at Shs 1200 in particular places.
Telecoms have denied knowledge of the increment in rates although vendors claim they were advised by their distributors to effect the increase.
When contacted, MTN Uganda Manager for Corporate Communications, Val Okecho told PC Tech Magazine that he had received reports of the increase before apologizing for the inconveniences caused.
“We have noted complaints raised and we apologize for the inconvenience caused by agents who have decided to impose their own recommended retail prices of our airtime vouchers,” Okecho said.
He clarified that it is not MTN’s position to increase prices of airtime vouchers suddenly and without official communication to customers.
“Important announcements are made through our official website and online media and further in the mainstream media about any changes,” he added.
Okecho advised customers to use other optional airtime recharge methods in the meantime as they work to resolve the issues.
“While we resolve this situation urgently, we advise our esteemed customers to make use of optional airtime recharge methods through Mobile money or via the Agent’s Easy Load option. Both of these recharge options reward you with an instant 30% bonus,” he said.
“Remember, its free to deposit money to your Mobile Money account from an agent and it’s also free to buy airtime for yourself or for another person, from your mobile money account,” he further noted.
Mohammad Yahfoufi the Africell Uganda Marketing Coordinator told this website that “Africell scratch cards should be sold at the exact value of the card”, adding that the company would follow up on their distributors to make sure this is done.
“We will make sure that our distribution team follows up on the retailers who are doing that,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Airtel Uganda were futile as all our calls and messages went unanswered.