poa! Internet technician assisting a customer

By Victor Magunamu, Kenya

poa! Internet, the low cost internet provider servicing informal settlements in Nairobi has initiated the country’s first ever internet refund for interruption.

Although internet suppliers like TalkTalk in the UK do refund clients for downtime, this concept is new in Africa and Kenya has no regulation on consumer refunds on Internet downtime.

Refunds for Internet outages have been a fraught issue worldwide. Although the Internet is viewed by many as an essential utility, the laws around the world rarely require ISPs to refund for service issues.

Last year, in the UK, new regulations were issued making refunds compulsory on Internet service failures of more than two days.

The internet firm with connections in Nairobi’s slums like Kibra, Kawangware and parts of Kiambu , yesterday notified its home customers that it will be crediting them with a full week of free and unlimited internet following service interruptions in recent weeks.

The low cost internet provider’s customers’ have experiencing an increasing number of intermittent service issues across Kawangware caused by downtime from its main supplier which was challenged by the scale of growth in subscriber base.

However, in the process of changing to a new supplier in September, and converting the original supplier to a secondary back-up connection, the company left Kawangware customers without Internet for several hours at a time.

 “At the end of September, however, the installation of our second supplier caused a major outage that impacted almost all of Kawangware for many hours, leaving homes without service through the night. This outage does not represent our commitment to an affordable and reliable internet service,” poa! Internet chief executive Chris Rhodes said.

“For this reason, and to show our ongoing commitment to our customers, we are crediting all our home customers with a week’s free unlimited internet to say sorry. These customers will therefore see the credit applied to their next month’s invoice,” he said.

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