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[Resolved] Common Sense was not Common to Airtel

Posted in Personal

Update 19:50 Sept 24, 2017: (had to pause writing this update, as yet another call came from an Airtel representative) Long and short, issue has been successfully resolved. Tried to move the 500 cedis from mobile money into Airtime, and worked as expected. Fast and simple!

I’m a happy man! I’m told issue won’t repeat should I wanna move 500 cedis for my next bundle in the near future, which means I can happily use Airtel Mobile Money for the reloads.

A big thanks to all at Airtel who worked to get this issue resolved. It means a lot to me.

Big ups to Airtel. Thank you.

Update 22:02 Sept 23, 2017: A good Samaritan forwarded my article to Airtel’s current CEO earlier today. Since then, I’ve received a few calls from Airtel representatives.

Is the issue resolved? Not that I know of. All I’ve been told so far is what I’ve already heard: “We’re working on it”, “We’ll get back to you”, ‘We’ll move you onto an Airtel user where such a transaction is possible’.

I’m no expert in Airtel user base classes. My request, to me, seems so basic and simple. I have a 200 cedis limit per day on my account. If there is an account level with more than that, can’t I be enrolled on there?

Some 24 hours now, and my basic reaction whenever I think about this here-and-there-we’re-coming-we’re-working-on-it ‘distin’ from Airtel makes me feel…

I’m not asking Airtel to go recover remains of the recently intentionally crashed Cassini. All I’m saying is, Lemme move 500 Cedis in my Mobile Money account into Airtime at a go. That’s all.

Heck, Jeffrey (the all-things Google Cloud guy) confirms he’s “able to top up 500 at a goal though”.

He did mention he’s on Airtel Premier. If so, can somebody put me on whatever that is?

My series of interactions with Airtel today in relation to their Mobile Money confirms the fact that they have no idea what they are doing.

After happily depositing 500 Cedis into my Airtel Mobile Money account today, here’s is the ordeal I had to go through.

I bundle Airtel’s 500 Gig internet packages periodically. Previously, I would buy, say 50 10 cedis scratch cards, and load them one by one.

With the idea of Mobile Money being shoved down our throats constantly, I wanted to try something new today – load Airtel Money worth 500 cedis, and through the mobile payment, subscribe for my 500 Gig internet bundle.

The experience has been undoubtedly horrible, and as it stands now, I’m in more of a limbo!

Useless Mobile Money?

After happily depositing 500 Cedis into my new Airtel Mobile Money account today, I head home to reset my PIN for first-time use.


Now to the lack of common sense part. I try to subscribe to Airtel 500 Gig internet bundle, and there is no option to pay with Airtel Money. This is via the *125# approach.

Fine! I move on to buy internet bundle, this time using the *500#menu. Surprisingly, there is no option to buy any bundle above 60 Gig or so! That’s NOT what I want.

1st Call to Customer Care (around 15:00 GMT): As dumb as the customer care representative’s suggestion was, I complied, hoping something good would come out of. Can you guess?

Simple! Turn off and on the phone. Looking back now, it was such a stupid advice. Nonetheless, I followed, Nothing happened.

2nd Call to Customer Care: The suggestion received was smart, and I had not thought of. But not so fast. Didn’t go well at all, and even spawn why I say Airtel lacks common sense.

The suggestion was to buy Airtime of 500 Cedis FROM my Mobile Money Account. Then with an Airtime of 500 Cedis, I could just follow the standard *125# prompts to subscribe the 500 Gig.

Didn’t work. I received the error:

Transaction failed at IN

That’s all. Does this error make sense? Didn’t to me, so placed another call.

3rd Call to Customer Care: Long and short of discussion, it was pointed out to me I can’t make more than 200 Cedis worth of purchase PER DAY through my Airtel Mobile Money to purchase Airtime.

In other words, I can’t buy Airtime worth more than 200 Cedis using money in my wallet.

In other words, if I wanna load 500 Cedis from my wallet into buying Airtime on my OWN number from my OWN wallet, I would have to do it in these steps:

  • Day 1: Buy 200 Cedis Airtime using Wallet money
  • Day 2: Buy 200 Cedis Airtime using Wallet money
  • Day 3: Buy 100 Cedis Airtime using Wallet money

A total of 500 Cedis of Airtime in 3 days, because there’s a limit of 200 Cedis max per day per mobile money usage in buying airtime on Airtel.

Here’s where the senselessness lies:

  • The number in question is my OWN NUMBER
  • Mobile money is my OWN MONEY
  • I intend to buy Airtime on the SAME NETWORK
  • I’m converting my Mobile Money into Airtime instead

4th Call to Customer Care: Boils down to they can’t help me any more, thus I’m told I’ll be ‘called back’. The limit on my account is set in stone, thus.

1st Call to Me from Customer Care: At this point, I lose it! Yet, they don’t care the fact that I’m restricted of moving my own money within my own number, to subscribe DATA to browse on their NETWORK. Gyimi!

If I was transferring the money out of your network, then you could say, we limit you. This case, the money WILL be used to buy Airtime on you OWN network, that’s REVENUE for you. But because of lack of common sense, they won’t allow.

I slot back SIM into router, and continue browsing. Thus, whatever calls that might have come afterwards at this point, I have no idea, and didn’t care!

Later this evening, I called, hoping someone sensible at Airtel would increase the threshold of how much I can transfer after my previous calls, and duh!

Transaction failed at IN

5th Call to Customer Care: There’s the suggestion to try transferring lower figures, so say, 100 or 200 Cedis. Sounds great. Tried, and the response I got, different.

Now I was told, ‘I have reached maximum transaction limit for the day’.

What? No money has been moved nor airtime purchased! Or me depositing the money in my account counts as ME doing a transaction for the day?

6th Call to Customer Care: And I’m told they can’t even check to see the balance I have in my Mobile Money, and therefore, can’t file a complaint on my behalf.

That killed me, ded! Airtel can’t see my mobile money account balance, although I can on my end, and as such, my issues are irrelevant, and they can’t log a complain?


I put money in my Airtel Mobile Money wallet for the FIRST TIME today, and the welcome I’ve had so far is behind my imagination. It is exhausting. Not for Airtel though, as the ALL the customer care representatives kept saying “We apologize”, “Please stay on the line”, “Please wait for some time”.

At the call center, they have all the time in the world, and in luxury! When your business depends on their services, that’s not something they worry about.

Hmmm… My own money ooh, my own money.

Last resort now would be for me to go cash out my money, then go buy the Airtime scratch cards and do the process I thought was longer and Mobile Money would shorten, but didn’t know it is a much more stupid endeavor.

Unfortunately, they’ll charge me about 5 cedis for the retrieving of my money transaction.

True, Kwantia yɛ Mmusu Ampa, when dealing with Airtel! Apuuuu!