Telephone Bureaus Association of Blantyre has warned that they may stay away from selling airtime if telephone operators in Malawi do not consider their plea to adjust commissions upwards.
The association has for a long time been fighting for adjustment of their commissions to no avail.
This has forced some bureau operators and airtime vendors to raise prices of recharge vouchers by between K5 and K10.
The association’s secretary Stanley Singini said in an interview on Thursday that with tough economic times, it is becoming difficult for them to make ends meet as they have to share the little commission they make with their employees.
“At times, our employees get as low as K4 000 as commissions which is very little. It is unfair for these people to be in the sun the whole day, all month long only to get peanuts. These people, too, have also responsibilities at their homes which require money and, as such, they need to be paid handsomely.
“The profit we make from airtime sales is very little and we want telephone operators to do something about it because the cost of living has gone up.
“They have been adjusting tariffs over the years, but our commissions remained intact. Although we take care of their products, they do not seem to take our plea into consideration,” said Singini.
He warned that if their concerns are not addressed they may stop selling airtime for a time or two.
“We do not want to go that far. That can only be done as a last resort. They should consider us because we need each other. Any small increment they can effect will do,” he said.
Efforts to talk to the Association of Telephone Operators Limited (Atol) proved futile.
Atol is an umbrella body comprising all four licensed and operational telecommunications operators in the country, namely Access Communications Limited (ACL), Airtel, Malawi Telecommunications Limited and TNM.