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Fire disrupts Safaricom Kenya’s customer services


Kenya's largest mobile operator Safaricom yesterday disrupted customer care services for nearly six hours as it evacuated staff following a morning fire at a nearby building.

The 9AM fire broke out at Semco Industrial Park, along Mombasa Road in Nairobi, where Safaricom's Jambo Contact Centre is located.

Safaricom's employees at the Jambo centre handle customer queries on M-Pesa, data, offers online customer care services as well as complaints.

Owing to the disruption of services, calls to the telcos' customer care line 100 went unanswered, while other customers experienced delays in accessing customer care services. The customer care line 100 handles thousands of calls from the operators’ over 19 million subscribers every hour.

Safaricom said in an afternoon statement that its staff was providing customer care services at a limited capacity from an alternate site.

“Unfortunately we've had to evacuate our Call Centre because of a fire in the neighbouring building. Please bear with us. We appeal for patience during this time as our team works to restore normal services as soon as possible while guaranteeing the safety of working conditions for our staff,” said Safaricom chief executive Bob Collyomore.

More than 100 employees are believed to have reported for the morning shift at the Jambo Centre. The entire team, though, later resumed work at the Jambo centre at around 3 PM.

The Kenya Red Cross Society emergency operations centre responded to the fire and deployed its disaster response team, which led evacuation efforts. It took the intervention of the City Council of Nairobi fire fighters and several private fire fighting companies to contain the blaze.

The Kenya Red Cross reported that several people were treated on site for smoke poisoning .

The mobile operator however, conducted a head count after the evacuation, and confirmed that none of its staff had been injured in the fire.

The building at the Semco Industrial Park that caught fire caved in, leading to the destruction of goods worth millions of shillings belonging to Turea Hospitality Company .The cause of the fire was yet to be established by yesterday evening.


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