Airtel-Zambia is the mobile phone service provider with the most complaints from users

Airtel HQ in Lusaka
Airtel HQ in Lusaka

Airtel Zambia was the most complained against mobile phone service provider by customers while Zamtel is the least complained against mobile phone service provider during the year 2012.

The complaints include transmission of promotional messages, over charging, poor network, poor internet quality, expiration of data bundles and unavailability of the customer centre and redress line.

Consumer Competition and Protection Commission (CCPC) Public Relations Officer Hanford Chaaba said the trend had not changed in 2012 from that of 2011 as the commission again received and resolved complaints against the three mobile phone service providers namely Airtel, MTN and Zamtel.

Mr. Chaaba said a bulk of these complaints were against Airtel.

He told ZANIS in response to a press query in Lusaka today that the commission received a total of 25 cases, 15 against Airtel, six against MTN and four against Zamtel.

He however noted that this did not mean that Airtel was not compliant with the competition and consumer protection law but could be because the mobile company has more subscribers than the other two mobile operators.

Mr. Chaaba further stated that although not much had changed in terms of which company garnered more complaints, there has been a huge reduction in cases against mobile phone service providers.

He said this shows that the mobile phone service companies were making significant strides in improving their services.

In 2011, Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) revealed that it had recorded 149 complaints from customers against the three mobile companies.

ZICTA indicates that Airtel topped the chart with 68 complaints, ZAMTEL 40 and MTN 25.

The complaints against mobile companies include transmission of promotional messages, over charging, poor network, bad internet quality and unavailability of the customer centre and redress line.



  1. I find they have no set bundle times. it varies every time I buy one and sometimes shows on my screen as a purchased bundle and some times not. There is something very wrong somewhere. I am also sick and tired of being bombarded with texts and phone calls about things I have no interest in whatsoever.

  2. It has been brought to a lot of citizen’s attention that Airtel employees have been engaging themselves in what is termed as Eavesdropping, the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent. My source is from within Airtel and has confirmed this happening to even subscribers with private numbers for reason known to themselves. It is very unfortunate that this is the case with this mobile operator among other cases. I hereby urge ZICTA to strongly look into this matter as our entitlement to privacy as citizens is being infringed upon otherwise we will compile and expose this vice to the media for widespread awareness.

  3. Govt Step in. These mobile firms are charging an arm and leg. Govt should stipulate the maximum cost per minute on each of these networks and abolish the network to network fees. It costs these companies nothing for voice calls yet they charge in ngwees per second. Their assets majority of which are tax exempt and depreciated within 18 months. Yet they keep increasing rates as though they are barely making money. For those Indians at Airtel they should just go.. How is it you have the worst network yet you pay rentals of up to $6000 per month for your mwenyes and their exptriate benefits. They are sucking our country dry.

  4. CCPC, you know Airtel swindles people using so called promotions and so many hidden charges. Why are you protecting them by saying its because they have more customers? They frustrate people too much even when you go to their outlets you will find so many employees walking around in red t shirts but long ques waiting get some customer care which to me non existent. Try using airtel on your android when you are visiting from abroad and you will certainly cry. Airtel is horrible!!!

  5. ZICTA, huge reduction in complaints is not as a result of improvement in service delivery but it just that we are tired of these netwoks especially airtel. Their internet is pathetic and sometimes your call is directed to a strange number, one just hears a strange voice. It has happened to me on a number of times.

  6. Yes airtel sucks when it comes to poor network and over charging but don’t forget mtn with there messages and call they keep sending to us as early as 6hrs.

  7. Airtel must improve the User customer support ratio as it takes almost 30minutes to talk to their customer support staff. Right now some people are receiving corrupt text messages on airtel. The Zamtel network also has congestion at times and calls just get cut for no apparent reason. Zamtel are sending promotional messages everyday about school fees and 3 Flats which is very disturbing. ZICTA must ask the three providers to provide an option to users not to receive the promotional texts.

  8. Airtel will call you even for their promotional infor. They do not even care if you are asleep or busy. Atleast i have a phone that is able to block some of their calls

  9. Of all three networks, I prefer Airtel. I have my network 24/7, I have consistent Internet, I can enable or disable receipt of promotional messages, all I have to do is dial *121# and I and I can choose from smart services. I have learnt that we complain most times without cause. When I fail to get airtel call centre, I go to their Facebook page and post my issue and it is always rectified quickly. I honestly think this provider is serious about customer service. I am sure most of you have seen that they actually do get back to their customers. Keep it up Airtel, it’s not easy to run a network your size without armchair critics.


  11. Noone is complaining about Zamtel (Zambian). That shows that we are good at what we do. No so called experts in Zamtel. Keep it up guys

  12. the airtel sale services that are not available. I bought doungle kenneth Kaunda airport that had promotional bundles and never saw them. I visited their centres: cross roads and airport nothing was done. I just lamented for having lost my money on it.
    The accumulative points that are given to subscribers. I remember i had over 1000 points they promised to give me airtime and never worked! not even a message got me to say they have given me so much.

  13. IMWE fi Airtel na fi MTN why do u call us unnecessarily on useless issues kanshi??? We dont call u why should u call us?? Pliz stop thoz useless promotional calls. We are not interested in your fake music download, shaa!!

  14. Perhaps the author of this article should provide the URL for the Complaints Commission – so I can add my voice as well.
    I’d like to imagine there are more than just 68 complaints against AirTel.

  15. all complaining of airtel, you have a choice why stick to something that does not make you happy? switch to mtn or zamteel if that will make you happy? i dnt even knw how an mtn/zamteel customer care agent sounds cz they never pick up.

  16. The sad truth is that all our mobile providers have the same problems: expiring bandwidth, nonexistent customer service. It is also a sad truth that AirTel tops this list — but this does not mean that other providers have no issues.

    I will share my experiences about all providers once I get a moment.

  17. as far as am concerned,airtel is the best in zambia,i have more than 7 aitel #z 1 mtn and 1 cell b zambitious.

  18. this network is the one i ve come to ignor when it comes to airtime. though i ve not completly dumped it. mtn nizee

  19. I dont know about you………but am done with Airtel’s so called 3G internet service.
    This company needs to investigated by the powers that be. ZICTA, mwilalyafe akabwali – check what this company is doing.

  20. Simple logik here; in a 100 subskriberz, Airtel haz 60, MTN 30 and Zamtel 10, where do you expekt more issuez? I have 0955, 0966 and 0977 , all active, with no reazon to complain about any of them since they are each have their own pozitivez and negativez. Just bring on the 4th or even 6th mobile service provider, we are game!

  21. Mimshack Banda and Kapompelo.. you guys work for Airtel or are dependents of their employees. You cant possibly say Airtel is the best! IT IS PATHETIC! I have been on this pathetic network since Zamcell, trust me i am tired of complaining. Talk of their customer care who restructure your problem, you tell them this and they say that or there is no problem with our network maybe your phone or the person you are calling … “where are you calling from? please visit our nearest Airtel outlet..” common this is 2013.. e-commerce?

  22. Ok, so I’ve subscribed to an ‘Unlimited Package’, or at least I think I have until I get a message saying I have exceeded my limit. Doh ! (1) that is called mis-advertising. So I get this message, telling me I should subscribe to a new package otherwise my connection will be slowed down. So I try this, I dial the *575#, just to get the message “Subscription not successful. Please use up your current volume before activating another plan” – (2) How freakin useless is that. Your own poor advice is impossible to follow. Do you not beta test your services ? Just because this is Africa where do you get off providing poor quality service for mega-costs ? All this on top of the fact that you advertise as being 3G and 99% of the time the service is restricted to HSDPA. You need to buck up…

  23. Airtel is just a good telecommunication company with good marketing strategies. However, the services the company offer are not widely known by the clients. The services or products should be in line with the organization marketing strategies in order to suit with our needs as customers. Now most of the services do not much with our needs.

    What is the role of marketing in airtel?

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