Kampala- Prices of airtime scratch cards have increased by 10 per cent, drawing angry reactions from customers who had no prior information.

This now means a scratch card of Shs1,000 is sold at Shs1,100, the one of Shs2,000 costs Shs2,200 and the one worth Shs10,000 goes for Shs11,000.

Vendors said telecom companies in communication to them attributed the increase to new taxes that took effect on July 1.

Mr Muzamil Kanunabi, a boda boda rider at Clock Tower Post Office stage in Kampala, said he was surprised to receive a balance of Shs400 when he paid Shs1,000 for phone credit worth Shs500.

“This is cheating,” he said, “I was annoyed, but the lady (vendor) told me the telecom people had communicated to them that the prices have increased.”

Journalist Kiyingi Musisi, who was charged Shs2,200 for Shs2,000 airtime scratch card, wondered why telecom firms had not informed the public and printed new cards with prices corresponding to the phone credit.
Telecom operators, however, deny increasing airtime scratch card prices.

Ms Sumin Namaganda, the Airtel spokesperson, said they never increased the prices of scratch cards, adding that airtime vendors are acting illegally.

Mr Val Oketcho, the MTN Uganda spokesperson, was unavailable to comment.

An employee of the company, who only identified himself as Hillary, in a response to our inquiries on social media, stated: “It is not MTN’s position to increase cards prices and we apologise for the inconvenience caused by the agents who have decided to overcharge customers.”

The telecoms asked subscribers to buy airtime and bundles using Mobile Money.

fdraku@ug.nationmedia.com