The High Court has thwarted a petition to have Safaricom stopped from introducing an expiry date for its loyalty points popularly known as Bonga points.
Justice Mugure Thande noted that the petition was filed at the last minute and declined to stop Safaricom from introducing Bonga points expiry.
“The petition and application which have been filed at the very last minute be served upon all parties by 16.1.23,” the judge said.
Thande further directed the matter to be mentioned for directions on March 6, 2023.
Safaricom issued a notice to its customers that all unredeemed Bonga points would expire after three years, meaning that those accumulated before December 31, 2019, expired on January 1, 2023.
The telecommunications company termed the move as a business decision to encourage redemption and unlock the underlying revenue that totalled Ksh4.5 billion as of March 2022.
However, a Nakuru-based surgeon Dr Magare Gikenyi, in his petition, claimed that the Ksh4.5 billion would be lost due to Safaricom’s drastic action.
Gikenyi's petition sought to stop Safaricom’s decision to put an expiry date to Bonga points starting January 1, 2023.
“Considering the verse geographical background of Kenya, high illiteracy level in some parts of the country, lack of internet in some areas and many other factors, many Kenyans will suffer due to the poor administrative action of the respondents,” the petition said in part.
Gikenyi further indicated in his petition that Safaricom's announcement caught the public unaware.
Safaricom allows customers to redeem their Bonga points for talk-time (minutes), data bundles, MMS, SMS bundles, and merchandise redeemable at select retail outlets, at Lipa na M-Pesa buy goods till number and select pay bill numbers.
The Bonga Points programme, launched in 2017, earns Safaricom's customers one Bonga point for every Ksh10 spent on Safaricom network on voice, mobile data and SMS.
Customers also earn one Bonga Point for every Ksh100 spent on the Safaricom network on M-Pesa transactions.