How Airtel Robbed Me Of My Identity

So, I recently committed the cardinal sin of attempting to port my line from Etisalat (Nigeria) to Airtel (Nigeria).

This was like two weeks ago, and I have been regretting that move since.

Why? Read on…..

The reason for this port is because I finally got disgusted enough with Etisalat (Nigeria)’s inability to receive one time. password (OTP) for online transactions from applications like QuickTeller, Zoto, NowNow, etc..

For some reason, I have never been able to receive any OTP on my Etisalat (Nigeria) line. Conversely, MTN (Nigeria) and Airtel (Nigeria) receive without issues. (I wouldn’t know about GLO (Nigeria)).

Porting. This is supposed to be a simple, straight forward thing.

But alas!

Here is my complaint to an Airtel (Nigeria) Customer Complaints Officer on WhatsApp.

@AirtelNigeria I have a problem.

I tried to port from Etisalat (Nigeria) to Airtel (Nigeria) . I have sent the requisite ‘PORT’ to 3232. Filled a Port Request Form. The old SIM has been relinquished by the Etisalat.

Problem is, I am not getting a signal on the the new Airtel (Nigeria) SIM. It is not registering onto the network (it gives a ‘sim registration error’).

I have complained at the Airtel (Nigeria) office where I tried to port, but the situation remains the same.

This particular number is critical to me, and I can’t afford to lose it.


I also sent an email to Airtel (Nigeria) to this effect…

This is the response I got….

Thank you for contacting AIRTEL customer care.

In response to your mail, please be informed that investigation on your Airtel mobile number XXXXXXXXXXX shows line is currently okay on all application.

Kindly restart device and try again.

However, if the issue persists, we advise you visit the nearest Airtel shop via this link to carry out a sim swap.

Well, the Airtel (Nigeria) SiM is still giving an error message, and is unusable

I paid ₦ 300 for this PORT (new Airtel (Nigeria) SiM). This number is critical. to me, otherwise I would have abandoned this headache already.

So, I headed to the Airtel (Nigeria) Experience Center for the third time. The queue I saw there discouraged me. I was as long as IBB’s transition programme .

There was a guy causing a commotion there .He had exactly the same complaint as I had – a fresh Airtel (Nigeria) SiM refusing to. latch on to the network. He had been given enough runaround, and had blown a fuse!

He insisted they won’t attend to anybody else until his line works. All entreaties fell in deaf ears. Smoke was billowing out of his ears and nostrils.

A little bird then told me that Airtel is having problems with their network, and that a SiM swap sometimes takes two weeks to effect. But, with ₦2K, an Airtel (Nigeria) Official would get it working same day, guaranteed.

Say what? For wetin? Mbah!

Where I come from, it is said that:

If you don’t know where you are going, you should at least be able to retrace your steps to where you’re coming from.

So, I thought to myself. let me go back to Etisalat (Nigeria) to conserve my number (which I have been using for over ten years, and is known to my enemies, friends, colleagues, etc..)

For where..?

An Etisalat (Nigeria) CRO personnel sympathetically told me you can’t port more than once every forty five days (45).

Implication.. my main line is now hanged somewhere in the electronic morass of Airtel (Nigeria). I cannot be contacted via conventional calls because my number is in a state of incommunicado. My only sin is, attempting to effect a port !

Wetin man go do?

I started contacting my contacts via email, sms, whatsapp and facebook, that the number they knew me with had been swallowed by Airtel (Nigeria) . I then gave them another number, an MTN (Nigeria) line…

Then other hurdles would be, effecting a number change with my banks and numerous other places this my number were used to register (with) things.

This is the Dilemma Of Being A Nigerian Phone User.

Apart from some of these networks Robbing You Blind, they are also appallingly inefficient.

I tire o!

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