Staff and former pupils of Fred's Academy celebrate at the school on November 22 2017 for emerging the best nationally in the KCPE results. The school registered a meen score of 419 with 54 of the 55 candidates scoring 400 marks and above. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALLStaff and former pupils of Fred's Academy celebrate at the school on November 22 2017 for emerging the best nationally in the KCPE results. The school registered a meen score of 419 with 54 of the 55 candidates scoring 400 marks and above. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL
By PATRICK LANG’AT

Telecommunications giant Safaricom has ordered a firm to refund more than Sh10.6 million to its customers who were billed more than once to enquire about the KCPE examination results following a technical hitch.

Safaricom also wants those who were charged but did not receive any response to get a refund.

Candidates, guardians and schools that had presented candidates to sit the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) were required to send their index numbers to the short code 22252 to receive their results.

Each message is charged Sh25. Safaricom said a total of 424, 011 such requests were affected in the double billing, or charging with no response.

The service, Safaricom said, had been given to a third party named Challa Communications Limited, who were licensed by the Communications Authority and had been contracted by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).

REFUND

“We have instructed Challa Communications to refund all of the affected customers starting this afternoon, targeting those who queried the system more than once, as well as those who may have been billed without receiving any response,” Safaricom said in a statement signed by Mr Joe Ogutu, the director of strategy.

In the statement, Safaricom said that Challa had informed them of a technical challenge that meant customers who queried the system experienced delays in receiving the result.

“This prompted some customers to repeat their query, and in the process, with some billed multiple times for each attempt. As a result, 424, 011 requests were affected,” said Mr Ogutu.

In the statement, Safaricom promised to help Challa Communications deal with any technical hitches in future.

“Following a number of customer complaints related to the 22252 short code used to deliver KCPE results, Safaricom initiated a full investigation with a view to ensuring that all customers were able to use the service and were not overcharged for the use,” the telecoms giant said in the statement.