Earlier this week, on Monday it was allegedly reported that airtime vendors had increased the price for airtime scratch cards to 10% – blaming the newly introduced taxes. However, we received no comment from any telcos or from UCC.
If recalled, this isn’t the first time vendors hike airtime prices. In November last year, vendors across the country increased airtime prices by between UGX100 and UGX400 which sparked anger amongst consumers. Telcos denied knowledge of the increment in rates although vendors claim they were advised by their distributors to effect the increase.
PC Tech Magazine has come to understand that airtime vendors are given a 2% commission off the airtime they sell.
With this said, Government regulatory body of the communications sector; Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) in March this year gave a directive to stop sales for airtime scratch cards in favor of electronic points of sales and distribution. The reason for the directive, as rumored was vendors illegally increasing retail prices.
Retailers were given till June 30th to July 1st from the time of the announcement to stop the selling or distributing airtime scratch cards, and anyone found doing so unlawfully would face punishment from the authorities. While the deadline seem to have passed, the communication body in a new announcement has extended the deadline to July 31st, 2018.
“We hereby inform the general public that UCC has banned the use of scratch/airtime cards with effect from 31st July, 2018,” UCC writes in a press notice.
Airtime retailers have been advised to return unused, unsold, stock to their distributor or stockist for a refund or get compensated.
Customers are subjected to use mobile money, Agent’s Easy Load, PayWay, Mula App, Pebuu, any other electronic payment option.