First I would like to state unequivocally that Ecocash didn’t steal from me. I wouldn’t call it stealing although it kind of feels that way. I don’t know the legal name for it but it sucks and feels unfair. Imagine this.

Imagine your trusted person tells you they are going to the shops if you need something they can get it for you. For a fee of course. You really do no need something and it sounds good to you since it means one less thing off your list.

What do you call it then when that someone takes your money, after you ask them to buy you something, the money vanishes without explanation, they even tell you they bought the stuff you send them to buy only they don’t give it to you. They tell you they are investigating what happened to your money and a week later they still haven’t’ come back to you.

In fact, all conversations are initiated by you. If you don’t make a follow up the individual never bothers to appraise you of any progress that they have made. That person is pretty hard to get on the phone too, you spend ages without being able to get through. They take their sweet time to respond to social media messages.

If you were me what would you call that person? Thief? No. You gave that person the money. In fact, as you complain loudly about the person not giving you back your money in time to everyone who cares to listen you discover something.

The same thing has happened to a lot of people including your friends and family. They gave this random trusted church dude their money and some of them are yet to get refunded. Would you call this person a scammer? Not really for he has delivered sometimes and he doesn’t lie much.

The sad bit is that with inflation being what it is by the time your money comes back if it does, it’s worth less than the 2l bottle of cooking oil that you wanted to buy. In fact, you will be lucky if it can still buy a 750ml bottle.

Yeah, what would you call this?

It’s kind of what Econet did

So the other day I saw a bottle of cooking oil selling for a lower than usual price. With prices always rising, I decided to snap it up even if I didn’t really need cooking oil. I did a wallet to bank transfer, the money never got into my bank account.

It’s not in my Ecocash account either. It just up and vanished. Ecocash sent a cheerful message telling me that the money had been put in my account. Only it isn’t there.

I have sent messages to both institutions and both have promised to follow up. I have received messages of this being escalated, simply means red tape if you ask me. Meanwhile, inflation is chewing that money to bits.

It’s a familiar story too

Ecocash transactions fail all the time and usually its a pain getting your money back. The process is not streamlined, there isn’t an easy form you can fill. The process sure feels like it was designed to frustrate you. If you live in rural areas or the amount involved is not very large you will be tempted to just let it all go.

Where does this money go?

To be honest no one seems to know. Some think it goes to some sort of suspense account and it is held there until it is forfeit.

If that’s the case how does Econet make sure and identify the rightful owners of this money and returns it to them? How come Ecocash doesn’t know when these sort of errors happen? Why do they keep happening? Well, we have reached out and will write up an article if we get a response.