If you’re having problems with Telkom’s new landline phones, then come sit by me.
If you’re having problems with Telkom’s new landline phones, then come sit by me. We may need to get a bigger room…So: my childhood phone number is imprinted on my DNA.
It hasn’t changed for 46 years, but now I’m trying to phone home and am feeling as thwarted as ET.
“Your balance is insufficient,” says a man. What balance? I redial. “The number you have dialled does not exist. Please redial carefully, or consult directory enquiries,” says a lady. I redial.
“We’re sorry, but we could not connect your call. Please try again later.” I redial. “This is the answering service for… Please leave a message after the tone.” I redial. “Your balance is insufficient.” And so forth.
Yet not one of these calls rings in my mother’s house, on the new sim-card “fixed-line” phone that Telkom delivered by courier weeks and weeks ago.
I’d say it was unsolicited, but my dad recently died and it’s possible he agreed to it, then forgot. Dementia will do that.
Anyway, the instructions were duly followed, the phone was plugged in, and briefly it worked – except when it didn’t.
No matter: they needed to change it to my mum’s name anyway, but she’s a hard-of-hearing pensioner so it was left to my sister to call the helpline. She waited over an hour, then was cut off, unanswered.
She went online more than once, and was dropped mid-chat. So she went to Telkom directly, but was informed she needed a letter to act on my mum’s behalf.
She returned with the letter and was told nope, my mother’s fingerprints were needed, so back they both went.
Briefly the phone seemed to work, but mostly if you were dialling in from another Telkom simcard phone.
Then my mum discovered she couldn’t make international calls so backwards and forwards to Telkom my poor mum and sister went again.
They visited seven times, that’s not counting the WhatsApp and telephone conversations with baffled staff whose default response is something like “switch it off, wait 48/72/748 hours, then switch
it on again.”
Now she can make calls. She can even receive calls – but from just two numbers. However, like a miracle, she has received her bill.
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