By Moses Kay Fembeh
Orange Sierra Leone is one of the leading telecommunications in the country, but it has been involved in several activities that have negatively impacted the lives of its entrusted customers. It could be recalled that after the August 10 insurrection in the country, the government of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Sierra Leone Police commencedan investigation on the top management of Orange Sierra Leone for deliberately obstructing justice by refusing to cooperate with the special investigation committee that was set up by His Excellency Dr Julius Bio. The investigation committee was set up as a result of the August 10 insurrection.
According to the Sierra Leone police, the top management of Orange Sierra Leone is refusing to cooperate with the committee by not handing over the call data of eighty subscribers who are persons of interest to the set-up committee. As one of the leading telecommunications in the country, this could indicate that they have not only destroyed customers’ trust, but they have undermined their trustworthiness, and this act of theirs, has been the apprehension of the work of the investigation committee.
Many customers have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the way and manner Orange SL has been treating them, especially in the area of data usage or subscription and orange money.
“If you dial*800#, using orange sim, you will see options like daily, monthly and weekly subscription. For instance, if one buys data under the monthly subscription or any of the three options as the case may be, the data will not last with him/her for even two weeks,” said an angry subscriber.
A staff of the company who prefer anonymity said, their customers are truly vulnerable and certain people in their company disclosed customers’ contacts, names, and passwords to those fraudulent syndicate boys so that the latter would be able to call the particular customers and inform them that they have won a huge amount of money and sometimes promise offering them jobs which are always not true. Some even claim to be men of God and in the end, ask the customers to pay a certain amount for their prayers to be immediately answered.
Donald Cole, a resident of Eastern Freetown said his orange money was deducted from his Orange money wallet without giving his phone to anyone and without doing any transactions. “To my greatest surprise, I just received a text message on 21st September 2022 stating that I have cashed out five thousand New Leones (5,000NLS), but I did not give my phone to anyone nor do I cash out any money, how? I call Customer care 111 they said to me to wait the following day, and since then no one has gotten back to me,” she remarked.
The Public Relations Officer said, they, as a mobile company, cannot do such and that their brand is getting bigger every day, and he does not believe what the public says about them, but this is a proven issue.
Orange SL is not protecting its customers from fraudsters who keep on calling people and telling them that they have won a certain amount of money, only for such a person to send money to them.
Fatmata Kanu an Orange SL user told this medium that she has been receiving messages from Orange SL that she has won three hundred new leones. “At first I was surprised when I received that call because I did not play any lottery or gamble with my orange number, and what got me disappointed is when the caller asked me to send money to him and I just told him to deduct it from the said amount of that he claimed I won.
Elizabeth Sesay, another Orange SL customer and a businesswoman at Sackville Street, said, she received a call in August 2022, from Orange SL, that she has won twelve million old Leones. At first, she was joyful, but what baffles her was when she was asked to send her account details so that they could send the money to her account which was never true.
Customers want to know how fraudsters get access to their numbers, names, and addresses. Orange Sierra Leone should continue protecting their customers from fraudsters if only they want to maintain their credibility.
Radio sensitization is not enough to stop fraudulent practices, the system needs to be protected. Heroes Media has been trying to get information from the Director of Business, Edward Sesay, but this medium has not been able to get in touch with him. However, in a telephone interview with the Public Relations Officer, she told this medium that, she cannot comment on any issues that have to do with Call Data of the August 10 insurrection, as the matter is under police investigation.
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