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Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. [File, Standard]

Safaricom has dismissed social media claims that it plans to phase out the “reverse call” service by the end of June 2022.

A reverse call is a service that allows a customer to place a call with or without airtime, and the call recipient pays on the caller’s behalf.

The service allows a caller to transfer the cost of the call to the recipient by adding “https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/explainers/article/2001447477/#” before the number they are calling.

The phone company’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, took to his official Twitter account to refute claims that the service “meets the needs of most of its customers”.

“I have received many questions about whether we are ‘killing’ our reverse call service. It’s wrong. We continue to provide this service as it meets a key need for a large portion of our customer base,” Ndegwa tweeted.

The emergence of online claims has drawn mixed reactions among netizens, with some supporting its abolition while others strongly oppose it.

“Kill him! Every person who has ever received this reverse call in my circle, click! They say it’s better for someone to send a ‘Call me please'”, Purity Ayiecha commented.

Another Twitter user, Dr Khalif, said: “Don’t kill him. The payer has the option of accepting the appeal or rejecting it. What you have to kill are Safaricom’s exorbitant call charges,”

Safaricom launched the service on June 18, 2019 to allow users on its network to pass call charges on to recipients.

“At Safaricom, we maintain our commitment to always provide our customers with relevant products that meet their needs. This innovation is in line with this commitment and has been designed to reflect the relationships between our customers with the aim of allowing them to always stay in touch with their loved ones,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Chief Customer Officer of Safaricom at the time.

During a reverse call, a customer receiving a reverse call request sees the caller’s details appear on the screen as normal.

As soon as they pick up the call, they receive a voice prompt asking them to type “1” to accept the reverse call. The cost of the call is equivalent to the recipient’s normal call cost.

The service is only available for on-net calls and will not apply to off-net, roaming and international calls.

The reverse call feature complements Safaricom’s original “Call Me Please” service which allows a customer to send five free messages to other customers requesting a call back.