IN YOUR CORNER
Cancellations don't get much welcome at Telkom
It’s a game of broken telephone and red tape torture
#SHELFIEWant to cancel your Telkom service? Expect a game of “broken telephone”. I get that companies aren’t inclined to invest in resources to ensure that customers who choose to cancel some or all of their services can do so as quickly and easily as possible, but they really, really should. Telkom especially.
In recent months my inbox has been flooded with e-mails from people who’ve experienced red tape torture of the worst kind when trying to cancel their Telkom accounts. And while Telkom insists that its new online cancellation facility – replacing the “fill in form, scan, then e-mail back to us” method – is fully functional, consumers are equally adamant that it isn’t.
“It’s a joke, Wendy. I have been trying to do it online for seven days at home and at my local Telkom shop and it doesn’t work,” said Dale Grobler.For Alex Parkinson of Pietermaritzburg, KZN’s Telkom account cancellation problem was more bizarre than usual in that he never had a Telkom service in the first place. And yet he was “blacklisted” for non-payment, which made him a desperate man because his home loan application was being denied because of it.
When Parkinson and his family moved to Pietermaritzburg last June, he visited a Telkom shop in a nearby mall, and applied for an ADSL line installation. He was told he’d be contacted within 10 days, but by August there’d been no call and no Internet installation. Back to the Telkom shop he went, and presented his reference number.
“I was advised very nicely that I was not registered on the system and there was no account, but that they could assist me in applying again,” he said. Again, nothing happened, so Parkinson was amazed to discover recently that he had an outstanding account with Telkom.
Naturally, he raised a dispute at the Telkom shop, and got another reference number.
He was later told the account had been closed, charges reversed, and the case handed to the delisting department to provide him with a letter for the credit bureaus to remove the “blacklisting”. But that never happened.
“I have made 15 phone calls to 10210, spoken to three team leaders, got two case numbers and wasted five hours of my valuable time,” he said. “I have begged and pleaded with everyone I have spoken to simply give me the letter I need and I will give it to the credit bureaus myself.”Still nothing. “Sadly, I have lost my temper, lost my sense of humour; I cannot sleep at night, and no one at Telkom gives a damn,” he said.
Luckily Telkom’s media liaison division is not dysfunctional, and within a day of my e-mail I had a response, and a result: “Telkom apologises for the inconvenience and has resolved this matter with Mr Parkinson, with his account being credited. We have requested his record to be cleared with the relevant credit bureaus.”
As for why he was put through so much misery: “Our investigation found that although an order was placed against this account and a technician was assigned to install the service, the eventual cancellation was not effected. We apologise for the confusion and frustration created by this situation and have re-looked our processes to prevent it happening again.”
A day after that, an ecstatic Parkinson wrote to tell me that a bank had approved his home loan.
FOR THE RECORD, THIS IS TELKOM’S ADVICE ON HOW TO CANCEL AN ACCOUNT ONLINE
Log onto the self service portal at www.telkom.co.za.
Go to Manage My Accounts.
Enter account number, starting with the number 3.
Use arrows to get to “Cancel your Services”.
Click on Go.
Click on “Select Account” and then choose the account you want to cancel.
Update requested details.
Select number you want to cancel.
Update requested details.
Upload requested documents, up to 5MB.
Case number will be sent to you.