Friday, January 14, 2011

TELKOM - like, whatever...

When TELKOM permits it I will actually post again. They are our phone company and DSL reaches us through their lines. Sometimes.

We have been without consistent Internet since Monday evening and  no one at that company can/will tell us when a technician will be out to fix it, now that we have exhausted our options with MWeb, our Internet provider. With stories to file for AOL, amongst others, I have been chewing my nails to the quick. Well, nearly. It's more like a real pain in the real neck.

How widespread is this? SAfricans? For someone considering a move here and possibly dependent on an online life, and sources of income beyond South African borders, Can one live here and send things on time, every time, or is this corner at No. 9 in some kind of Bermuda Triangle of TELKOM?

From Wikipedia:  "Being unable to establish international VPN connections on the standard package has a detrimental effect on international freelancers who must pay for the much more expensive 'unshaped' service."

The phone number in the phone book for TELKOM, 10212 - to report faults, does not function. You just get beeeep, beeeep, beeep. Then, while you are on hold, having latched onto another number,  you are told about the penalty fee you will pay if they are called out unnecessarily. Then they tell you that if they are not your service provider they cannot help you and you must hang up. This is after you have been on the phone with your service provider for half an hour running the usual checks. Then they repeat the non functioning phone number to call. Then they tell you to log your complaint online. As if I could. Then they put you in a queue for ten minutes and at four minutes they disconnect you. Then you start over again.

And that is the short version.


  1. Marie - Telkom is enough to make one lose the will to live. Unless you know A Person at Telkom who will help you, it is as you have described... like, whatever. I think there is a website called Hellkom out there somewhere, where the hapless complain ... Geluk and sterkte.

  2. Sounds a lot like the Telkom I used to know. Mobile data access perhaps? You should be able to get 3G with relatively little fuss when using your mobile phone.

    Good luck.

  3. Wretched Telkom - the more I hear about their ineptitudes and dismissive inefficiency the more I am determined to continue on a wireless connection via Vodacom, even though we are on the edge of the coverage and sometimes get "dropped" - and it can work out more expensive.
    I assume that the rotten service via Telkom is the reason Maureen changed to g.mail...

    The joys of SA life - oh dear! But there ARE compensations: sea, summer sun, winter rain, mountains and fynbos, the Karoo ... and so on.

  4. Oh boy. My sympathies :)
    I just hear Telkom's on hold music and my blood pressure goes up! However, I have found that they DO actually call you back if you select that option.
    I've never heard of anyone actually being charged a call out fee before (perhaps that's because they are always at fault, haha?)
    There is something called the ADSL help-desk (call 0800 375 375 as opposed to 10212). These guys have proved to be not unhelpful on occasion when I've had problems in the past (but perhaps they only help those if us who have Telkom as service provider, I can't remember?).
    Do ask for the fault to be 'escalated' so that it gets priority.
    No question their call centre/ customer service is a disaster but over the years I must say I have had only a few problems. At home my only issues have been password log-in ones (service provider related) and some down-time when the whole area was off-line. At work we've had problems but have usually managed to get technicians out the same day. They do seem to give speedier service to business and from what I've seen I think things are better in the city centre than in the 'burbs.
    I wish you luck!

  5. Marie,
    What what? "considering a move here" Dis wonderlike nuus. Kom Storbie saam? Gaan hy 'n Kaapse Kat word?

  6. Yet another reason to come back to the U.S.A.

  7. You should always have a backup plan, namely a 3G connection via your cellphone.

    Telkom's bad service has allowed the cellphone companies to fill the gap.

    I went on holiday to Bronkhorstspruit & was able to do all the news postings to our website via Vodacam 3G, effortlessly (and easy online banking meant I never ran out of airtime).

    Whilst the old parastatal dinosaurs are plodding along most private SA companies are ahead of the curve.


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