Smile Communications, a subsidiary of Smile Telecoms Holdings from South Africa apparently seized to exist in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The corporate headquarters was unreachable by phone and by online chat. Furthermore two operating offices in the central business district closed without notice. Thousands of Tanzanians have been left with no internet, and many who had credit with the South African operating company have been left with no recourse.
The internet service provider (ISP) was contacted by Exchange staff, including their offices in Mauritius who were of no assistance, indicating that all information is available online. Sadly, thousands of customers have lost their current credit with this ISP, indicating that millions of shillings have been stolen from local Tanzanians.
Its been known for some time that Smile Communications was running in losses, however the severity was unknown to many. Only time will tell if the company will truly bounce back in Tanzania. If this matter continues, operations in neighboring countries may be jeopardized; the ISP may also lose their license in Nigeria, Uganda and Mauritius if such shady practices occur.
The company’s motto goes by “Everything is possible when done with integrity, humanity, humility and innovation”, surprisingly, the lack of integrity in which they scammed thousands of Tanzanians stands as a contradictory statement to the manner in which they operate.
“I depended on Smile all the time, they were reliable, but now I just feel they stole my money”, said Mathew Mwanyika, a local Tanzanian with an account with Smile.
Only time will tell if Smile will either restore services or refund the thousands of clients its taken money from.