Econet Agent Asked My Colleague For Email Password Over The Phone, Not Cool!


So my colleague just got a call from a person who said they were calling from Econet. The conversation went like this:

Econet Person (EP): Hello, my name is X I am calling you from Econet.

My Colleague (MC): Hello, how can I help you?


EP: We have noticed you downloaded Vaya but you have not yet used it.

MC: Yes

EP: Have you registered for the service?

MC: I’m not sure

EP: You can register right now, if you do it right now you will; get $2 free airtime


EP: I can register for you here

MC: OK please do

EP: Give me your email address


EP: Please give me your password

MC: Password for my email?

EP: Yes, I need it for your registration.

MC: I am not comfortable sharing that

EP: I won’t go into your email or read your messages, I just want to register you

MC: No I can’t. I will register for myself.

EP: OK, please tell me what time you will register so I can call you to find out….


Now why would they want someone’s email password? To register for Vaya you do need to create a password for the app. It doesn’t have to be the same password for your email. In fact every person who knows a little about digital security will tell you never to use the same password twice. Here’s what the registration form looks like:

Agent not fully trained

We are assuming here that the person who called is not a full time employee of Econet, it can’t be. Generally Econet has well trained call centre employees. This was most definitely an agent.

First, the agent was not trained to know that the password needed for Vaya registration is not necessarily the customer’s email password. The agents should actually have it emphasised to them that they should encourage customers to use unique passwords.

More importantly, the agent should never ask for a person’s password even if it’s just the unique Vaya password for registration. The reason a password is a password is defeated by giving it to someone else. Worse giving it to a stranger on the phone.

EcoCash agents do this sometimes. When someone is struggling to do a transaction they ask for the person’s phone or sometimes just grab it then they enter the necessary short code and at the end ask for the person’s PIN. Yes they want to help, yes they want to be quickly done with the transaction and move on but asking for someone’s PIN is not acceptable.

The aggressive push

We already wrote about the problems associated with the way Econet/Cassava are pushing the download of YoMix, Vaya, Maisha and Kwese iFlix. This incident is just more evidence to this problem. The agent model is not working out as planned here. Econet has to be very careful.







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