Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Comedy of errors

Actually, its more like a tragedy.

Here I sit typing this post in an internet cafe. Why? Because my broadband has been down for 4 days. 4 days people, with no end in sight.

We have one major internet co in South Africa- Telkom- and it has pretty much got a total monopoly. I first tried phoning the "faults line" on Friday. Tried 5 times but every time there was no answer after about 20 minutes (I exaggerate not) so I hung up. On Saturday I eventually get thru and after spending at least half an hour troubleshooting my modem with the guy he says he'll have to transfer me to another dept. I wait for about 6 minutes for the other guy to pick up, but then suddenly an engaged signal takes over the line, and it is plainly evident that the call has ended.

Eventually I get another "customer assistant" on Sunday and spend another half hour going thru the exact same trouble shooting as the night before. She then says "No, it would have to go somewhere else" but this time she gives me a ref number saying they'd phone me in 2 hours. Needless to say - no phone call.

Monday I get yet thru to yet another customer assistant and he asks whats wrong with my router, clearly gearing up to go thru the half hour trouble shooting session AGAIN.

Me: "But I've got a reference numer, please can I give you that."

Him: "I first need to know what your router is saying"

Me, raising voice slightly: "You're not listening to me, I've been thru this 3 times now. They eventually gave me a reference number."

Him: "I first need to know what your router is saying"

Me, raising voice slightly more: "I'm getting fed up here. I'm not paying for a premium account for nothing. My entire business runs on the internet..."


Yes, the fcker hung up on me. Now I could have tried to lodge a complaint, but that would have probably taken another 6 days, so the fcker was safe, knowing only too well that he was surrounded by too large a firewall of imbecilic inefficiency to ever get fingered.

I was about to phone the fault line again but then South Africa's other great Monopoly, the electricity co Eskom, decided to plunge us into 4 hours of power failure. Once the power was back on, the Telkom faults number spent the rest of the day "out-of-order". Not sure if there is a "faults line" to report the faults-line to...

So this morning I dial again, wait for 22 minutes 15 seconds and get yet another Customer Assistant. This one, thank the gods, accepts my reference number. After about 5 minutes (his computer keeps hanging he says) he tells me that the case has been closed!!!!! After thoroughly convincing him that my problem has not, in fact, been solved, he says he will email it to a senior technician marked "Urgent".

4 hours later, I get a missed call on my cell, followed by a message from the "Senior Technician".

"Hello, mr BPG, this is [senior technician]. I believe you have a problem with your broadband. Give me a call and we'll see what we can do for you. You can call me on 10215"

10215 - Yeah, the same fckn "faults line". Back to square zero.

Welcome to South Africa peoploids.

Thank the gods I meditate on a daily basis because otherwise I'd be facing a manslaughter charge round about now...


  1. Oh yes, the joys of dealing with monopol Telecom companies. We had one here too for a long time and only recently the competition came in. I hope they break it down and sell it piece by piece.

  2. WOW-I consider myself a calm, mellow person when dealing with other most of the time.......but if anything would set off a good bi-polar rage that would.

  3. This sounds like something which could benefit from a more personal approach.

    Is their office located very far away from you?

  4. This is for you....


  5. Hey Boet try dealing with the banks !

    Due to new legislation, everyone is viewed as a potential Al-Qaeda terrorist.

    Currently looking at funding a new venture and surviving. This may very well be trashed by all this bureaucracy.

    Hell, it's really getting to me !

    Help universe.


  6. If you think that is bad... I spent at least 20 hours on the phone over a 3 month period trying to resolve an intermittent line dropping fault. Never fully solved it just lessened it!! Try getting your broadband provider to talk to your phone line provider. UK telecoms using Indian call centres!


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