Senegal: The Netizens Go Against Orange

It has been quite some time since network provider Orange has receive criticism from the Senegalese netizens. On the web, they have unleashed their bleakness towards the network carrier who has over the highest number of subscribers in the country (8 million in 2012).

What is wrong with Orange Senegal?

Since June of this year, the network provider has begun billing its subscribers upon reaching voicemail, that is, even without leaving a message. The cost of the bill is of at least 2 fcfa. The company’s high call rates and billing have been noted by many netizens. This wave of protest has given birth to a Facebook group of over 16,000 members called, “If you too feel defrauded by Orange!!!” The virtual platform is becoming the new arena of outraged users.

One of the most influential bloggers in Senegal Basile NIANE, has started the hashtag “#orangesatch” (Orange thief, in wolof) on the web and many netizens are now putting forward their complaints using the hashtag on both Faccbook and Twitter.

According to NIANE, the network provider’s practices come close to “scamming behind its customers’ backs,” as he wrote on his blog. “I will not even go over the various billing messages sent on a daily basis to the user, nor will I talk about the theft of prepaid units and other scamming tricks. The historical network provider does not respect its customers considering that it did not inform them prior to sending or carrying out a decision. It’s a couldn’t-give-a-damn attitude.” He intends on carrying out a battle against it on the web.

I will personally be involved until the end with the movement. There will be a great gathering in the Independence Square in a few days.”

The company’s internet service with its 3G key hasn’t been sparred from the criticisms…

How will this affect cross-operator number transfer in Senegal?

Considering that the ARTP (Authority Regulating Telecoms and Posts) is implementing cross-operator number transfers, this roll of bad press comes at an interesting time.

The idea is that subscribers will be able to switch network providers without losing their phone numbers. A dialogue on the various opportunities and methods to set up such a service has been opened.

Mountaga CISSE, blogger and admin of the site ITMAG feels that, “Orange is risking a lot if it doesn’t react quickly to the bad buzz surrounding it on the internet. Orange should officially address the issues presented by the users and take immediate measures to fix things or else, a lot of its clients will not hesitate to go to the competition the minute the service is made available.” He added, “this has been seen in many countries where the cross-operator switch was made possible. The dominating network provider is always sanctioned to the benefit of others even if the switch enables it to gain a few new users who weren’t satisfied on the other side.”

Orange has been warned.

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