Telkom “customer service” – a pragmatic approach

Ok, today I experienced that familiar “my internet connection just went down and now I have to penetrate the inner sanctum of incompetence to get it working again” feeling.

For the benefit of the no doubt thousands of others experiencing Telkom issues this and any other week of the year, here’s the approach that

  • Got the immediate attention of Telkom employees able to solve my issue
  • Allowed me to go from no line to line in a mere one-and-a-half hours

A bit of background:

I just moved house. The new place had ADSL, but the outbound tenant had requested a line cancellation prior to me taking the house.

To pre-empt the line being cut off, I went with said tenant to the Telkom shop to initiate a transfer of the line into my name. This seemed to have gone smoothly, with my connection and landline working fine upon arrival, but I remained sceptical, and in fact the outgoing tenant moved into their new place in Newlands, only to find that Telkom cut them off two days after their own line transfer went through.

So anyhow, last night I was online and then I wasn’t – the link light on my router went off. My first port of call was to phone my ISP (Cybersmart – a pretty reliable and clued up bunch), who promptly informed me there was no issue with them and it looked like a problem at the exchange.

This is when the feeling I mentioned in paragraph one came rushing to the fore in a tsunami of hopelessness and nausea. If Telkom cuts off an ADSL line because of a cancellation order, generally the process is to log a new line order which can take weeks, months even in my woeful experience.

Given that my business depends upon my being online, this was obviously not an acceptable outcome.

Now the first mistake nearly everybody makes when they have an issue with Telkom, is to pick up the phone. This may seem logical, given that they are a telecommunications company, but I must tell you that rule number one in my book of achieving results in this situation is Do Not Ever, Under Any Circumstances, Phone Telkom.

I went to bed and tried to sleep, bobbing on the nausea waves and trying to think of friends’ offices I could bunk at for an unknown period. Then, this morning I went directly to my nearest Telkom shop at Blue Route Mall. I was the first customer.

Upon arrival, I greeted the enquiries clerk cordially, asking as to her general health. Then I related the details and context of my basic ADSL malfunction. I then proceeded to tell her that as Telkom had effectively brought my business to a standstill, I was free to sit at her desk all day, losing a considerable hourly fee, until my line was confirmed as working again.

Of course this caught her off guard somewhat and brought on a series of protests about the Telkom shop’s scope of efficacy, ability to address faults etc. A scenario I had come prepared for. I suggested she familiarise herself with my presence at her desk and that we might share a few cups of coffee together later in the day.

Before long the gravity of my words rippled through the shop, and more senior clerks were buzzing around her desk, busily telephoning my local exchange and other places where people’s livelihoods go to be put on hold.

Suffice to say that 1.5 hours later I was back home and back online. I’m still reeling from the efficiency of it all now. One technique I didn’t think about, but that occurred to me in the shop, was to take a laptop with you and remote desktop into your machine at home. That way you get concrete confirmation that your shit is a-ok before you have to leave the enquiries desk.

Here is Telkom’s map showing all Telkom stores in South Africa.

Here is some handy equipment should you opt for this sit-in style of conflict resolution that worked for me.

61 Responses to “Telkom “customer service” – a pragmatic approach”

  1. More than a month ago I mailed all the required documents to Telkom to takeover ownership of my son’s landline, up till now I have not received any feedback. Urgent……..

  2. My. Landline was cutoff due to street upgrading in 2013/2014 , i still need the landline

  3. Please can someone sort out my internet. Nearly two weeks later and no action. Fault report no 44CWZ100515

  4. I need to cancell my bussiness telephone as from 31 August 2015. I have tried all day long to get hold of a consultant with no avail. What do i have to do now.

  5. The people taking over the bussiness need to keep the present number. How do we go about it

  6. I just want to find out when will my line be installed my order no is 127962779A

  7. I apply for a line I just want to find out when will it be installed I need the telephone number for a advert Orderno 127962779A. Thanks

  8. My landline 0163631539 has been out of order for most of
    this month Check Fault no`s 39CTZ080915,113CTZ150915,
    652CTZ290915 and 381CTZ161015. …every time I receive an
    SMS stating that the fault has been rectified. How can Telkom not know that my phone is still not working?
    Check with your technician Joseph. He knows exactly what the problem is. Please we are elderly and very dependant on
    our landline. I cannot phone 10210 on my cell phone. It is
    costing me a fortune. Can I claim the cost from Telkom?

  9. I also moved house and was extactic as telkom would come and install the line at the ne premmises. I immediatly got Smses regarding. Even one just before the technician arrived he found no probkem but drove awsy came back said everything looks well but there is a slight underground problem and can be sorted in 12 to 48 hours. I hve not recieved another sms and meantime one sit at home to affraid to move your ass. My line gets transfered from edenvale to woodmere. What worrues me the guy next to me is battleling over n month with telkom inquiry. I dont like being without ADSL and my line I have heart problems and my wife suffer with dimentia. CANT BE WITHOUT A PHONE LINE.

  10. Good day,

    We have reported a fault on 27/11/2015 on number 10210 and received ref. no. 127CTZ271115. Various attempt to follow up on this fault reported, has not resolved this issue. It also seems that all info on the internet has nowhere that one can be able to contact the technical people. There are comments listed, but nowhere to list your problem and receive an honest answer.
    Can someone please assist us. It is already nearing a month that we have been without a landline. To hold for 15 minutes at a time from a cell phone is costly.
    Ben Grib

  11. for one month 0119041401 sends a message that the service has been suspended.accounts/faults/ contractsection don’t see anything wrong.the bill is up to date.we can dial not-billingnrs. but nothing else .incoming is fine.telkom keeps sending faultsman who test the line and cant find anything wrong.client is loosing business.PLEASE HELP.

    WALTER 0825642151

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