Sooner or later this happens to all of us. You are in a hurry and want to send airtime using Ecocash, OneMoney or your bank account to your phone or your loved one’s phone. You do not realise it until it is too late but there is a typo and you entered the wrong number. But you have already hit the send or confirm button, your precious airtime is on its way to some stranger’s phone number. What do you do? Can you recover your airtime? The sad answer is sadly probably not. There is no good way to recover airtime sent to the wrong number. The three leading networks Econet, Telecel and NetOne make is so hard.

These days “juice” cards or scratch cards are rare when it comes to buying airtime. The majority of us recharge using some form of an electric method for example using Ecocash, OneMoney, your bank, Hot Recharge or our very own airtime service. Most of the time this works fine. But thanks to the increased usage of electronic methods of recharging the mistake of sending airtime to the wrong number is happening more and more.

How to recover airtime send to the wrong number on Econet?

Your chances of recovering airtime send to the wrong Econet number vary depending on a couple of factors. First you should know that it is impossible to recover airtime sent to the wrong network. So if you wanted to send your airtime to Econet and end up sending it to a NetOne number you will have to get in touch with NetOne and even then they can only transfer that airtime to another NetOne number. Econet has no control over what happens to your airtime if you send it to a NetOne number and vice-versa.

Secondly, the method you use to recover your airtime is very much unlike the system used for the wrong Ecocash when you send money to the wrong person. You are at the mercy of the recipient in most cases and if the recipient is a decent person you can easily and quickly recover your lost airtime. If they are not then you can kiss your airtime goodbye probably forever. To recover Econet airtime send to the wrong number:

  1. You need to get in touch with the recipient i.e person who received the airtime
  2. The recipient can use 111 self-care to transfer airtime to the intended number and below are the instructions to follow if their number is not registered:
  3. Dial *111#
  4. Select option 1 (User Registration/Account)
  5. Select option 1 (Accept terms and conditions)
  6. Enter New 4 Digit PIN
  7. Confirm PIN
  8. Enter memorable word
  9. Confirm memorable word

How to recover lost airtime sent to NetOne or Telecel

You need to get in touch with each network’s support and hope that they promptly get back to you before the wrong receiver uses up your airtime. Overall the process is not smooth at all. In fact we have never been able to recover our airtime this way.