In 2007, I started my journey into the unreliable, money zapping, poor customer servicing and bad quality of service rendering jungle of Nigerian network providers.
Airtel, you were my first love. I approached you when you were still VMobile and our love affair started. You couldn’t give me much but I loved you anyway. Troubled times came and you had to change your surname and subsequently your sponsors named you Celtel. Apparently you must have been so troubled that after just a short while, you changed your surname again to Zain, and then again; to Airtel.
You are still my first love, but I have suffered enough. People who patronise the other woman, MTN, refused to call me because they claimed that it was too expensive. People who patronised miss MTN had midnight calls and they chatted all night but you would not give me such a privilege. In terms of internet, you were also slow to jump on the high speed route. I have been with you the longest but sadly all you do is act as just a line I use to receive calls. We have had better days and you give me some of the lowest call rates but sadly I have relegated you to just receiving calls and the occasional phone call.
Miss MTN or “Empty Hen” as she is currently referred to in several forums is the biggest madam in Nigeria with so much issues from strings of complaining husbands. If there were a record for the amount of divorces filed without there being actually a divorce, it will be taken by patrons of miss MTN. She fails you most of the times while having the record for the most amount of times she has offered promos. She has even promised us an airplane. Strange that is, considering that she could very well invest in herself and get good recommendations.
For the people that use her to get on the internet, you have my utmost unfiltered respect. I have tried her several times but she has frustrated the hell out of me. God help you if you depend on her in time of emergencies. For that, you are on your own (OYO lo wa!). I tried to use her for voice, but she quickly reminded me that she is a premium escort and she billed my pockets dry. I ran for my dear life and now all she does is linger in my laptop bag pending when she will lose the fat and get into shape.
Mr Glo is a son of the land. He innovated a lot both with his offering of per second billing and in introducing Blackberry packages. He even had the fastest HSDPA network at a time.
I organised a meeting with him and tried out his data service. He did not fail me, as he gave me very fast internet at the time with no buffering in videos. I was happy, I sank a lot of my cash in his 7500/6G plan. Of recent he has become complacent and is no longer the fastest for data. I made the mistake of subscribing to his services only to discover that he had a problem that crippled me data wise and he instead put me on the EDGE. I was pissed but there was nothing I could do. Scratch that. I ran! Since then I have avoided him like a plague. Maybe someday he can bring a better offering, but for now?, pass!
Etisalat is currently the trendy, hippy, youthful teenager that wants to please everyone. In her earlier days, when it rained she got absent minded. She has improved a lot and she wants to eat into the shares of the madam at the top. She was one of the last to move on to high speed internet but when she did it was frigging fast. She currently powers my Blackberry phone at the moment and I have not heard any complains but apparently she also breaks the heart of certain people.
She even gave me a bonus of five thousand Naira, though she is not so jealous with it, permitting me to call people on other networks as well. I am enjoying her high speed internet and can only hope that she does not become complacent or unreliable.
I never used the grandpa called Nitel but I included him on the list because I schooled near one of his offices. Other than that, he never existed in my world.
That is my brief narration of my experiences with Nigerian network operators. Care to share yours?