This post is about standing up against a corporate company!
This is an open letter to any representative of Telkom to respond, however I am sure you won’t because your system will not allow it nor would your staff.
I have a VIP status with Telkom in my personal capacity. I can assure you, it’s not because I love a telephone. It’s simply because Telkom don’t allow for discounted structures for Non -Profitable Organisations in South Africa. You don’t need to be too clever to understand that charges NPO’s the same rates as any business account, hence all accounts for Autism Western Cape has been in my personal name since 2000.
I can provide the proof that Autism Western Cape has paid the accounts via cheque since 2000, which means absolutely nothing to Telkom, when I tried to change the accounts into Autism Western Cape’s name. I was required to pay R 700 as a deposit, which are retained should Autism Western Cape default on the account which consists of 6 lines. This in not negotiable payable now, no transfer happening until it’s paid, with no option to add it to the account. Why, because the system said so!
Stealing money from a Charity!
After an hour of cramp-in-hand paperwork, all accounts were transferred into Autism Western Cape’s name who are now forced to pay business rates on our account, which led to my next obvious debate.
“What discount structures are in place with Telkom for Non Profitable Organisations?” simple answer “Nothing”! I could not accept this and requested politely to speak to a senior person in the Bayside branch or any person which I could speak to to change the “system”. After 6 phone calls I was handed a number 012 311-6026 with Mrs. Cathy Van Wyk’s number on to discuss the issue. I’t made sense to me to phone her whilst being at the desk of Thabang Magane (Consultant) to implement any resolved discussion, however Thabang indicated to me that I may not use her phone to contact Cathy because ” the call will go onto her name and customer are not allowed to use the telephones inside the branch.” Yes my heart skipped a couple of beats, trying to objectively explain to her what she was telling me “that Telkom don’t allow customer to phone another division in Telkom from a branch?” I had the option of using my mobile or phone from my office where Telkom will charge me my new acquire business rate.
Getting back to the office with sense of humor failure I called Mrs. Van Wyk who head up the Department for Final Notices, that’s the last Department your account will go to before you are handed over to the attorneys for collection of you outstanding moneys on your account. I wanted to give her final notice of our accounts, however she sincerely wanted to assist and gave me the number for Marcia 012 311-2186, who will be able to assist resolving this matter.
I confused Marcia with my query because Marcia works for the Telkom Foundation which provide grants to Non-Profitable Organisations and had nothing to do with costing structures on existing accounts. Another hour of Telkom self enrichment on my newly acquired Business account. Marcia suggested to speak her collgue Mr. Noksinathi Pashana on 012 311-2328, who I soon learned was a project manager at the Telkom Foundation and has nothing to do with my question, nor did he know who to ask. He committed to phone me back in 24 hours.
Ruben September CEO Telkom
I can’t accept that Telkom has no discounted structures in place for Non-Profit Organisation in South Africa. I want it in writing from the CEO of Telkom, Mr. Ruben September. I have managed to get hold of Sipihwe Mndebele on 012 311-7679 in the office of Mr. September.
And now we wait! What would be the reply I get?
Round 1 went to Telkom with a convincing display of corporate arrogance. If it wasn’t enough, Telkom applied dirty tactics with a morning greeting at the office of no ADSL. Mweb confirmed the problem lies with Telkom. I was greeted very friendly by Andre’ at on the Telkom Desk Top support line (0800375375). The investigation started, line fault logged however the account was suspended due to no payment received.
All accounts are paid at the same time why would one number connected to the ADSL not be paid?
10210 is a Free call, bargain, to clarify this matter. Precious Ndimande did her in dept investigation. I confirmed the following:
Telkom account payment due date 7 May 2010, which was paid on:
Yip paid in full, the 28th of April 2010. The debate of 22 minutes around the payment issue ended with Precious cutting me somehow ending the call. Redialing the 10210 number I hope that I will not get through to Precious, because of my potential sense of humor failure. Onele Soci answered the phone like you would 8:00 on a Monday morning. I am convinced that she’s not working on the same system because, she could immediately see that the account was fully paid up to date. She did suggest that I go back to technical support and ask tem to phone her back to confirm that the account was not suspended.
A miracle happened the phone & ADSL just started working again!
Now we still need to get back to the original Telkom question. Mr. September would you like to respond to your customer service levels and why you are discriminating against NPO’s who are doing the best they can with very limited resources in making a difference in the the lives of soo many vulnerable people in South Africa
I insist on a reply!
I received a call from Nkosi 012 311-2328 from the Telkom Foundation, who wanted to give me feedback from our discussion on Monday. Nkosi send out various internal e-mail’s within the Telkom group to get clarity on discount structures for NPO’s, without any feedback. He will keep on followup because he also see the need for such discounted structures for NPO’s.
The Telkom Foundation understands how NPO’s work and what their needs are!
Telkom tech called to confirm physical address to fix the ADSL problem from Monday.
Telkom you are exciting me by the day, not in a good way. The purpose of disconnecting my Fundraisers direct number (021) 556-6628 and my accounts department number (021) 557-3548 would be?
Account inquiries on 10210 answered by Zacharia Khan confirmed lines suspended by Bayside branch of Telkom. Thabang Magane (Consultant) only transferred 2 of the 6 lines from Gerhard Pieterse to Autism Western Cape, which was all recorded on the same document.
Zacharia Khan send e-mail to Thabang Magane at 12:00 to contact me, to get these issues resolved.
So I have a school for Autistic learners, a adult residential care project, a fundraiser and my accounts department without any communication.
Zacharia Khan at the call centre tried to fix the problem however due “contract suspension” don’t have access, to the system 40 minutes later, informed me to go back to Telkom Bayside branch Thabang Magane (Consultant) to get the issue resolved.
I might commit a crime walking into Telkom Bayside, will go later when I have calmed down to a mild panic.
I did however get the following SMS from Nkosinathi Pashana (Telkom Foundation)
Gert please be informed that there is no discounted price for NPO’s. I have been told that all Telkom tariffed services are on a non-discriminatory basis and therefore irrespective of the nature of the business, these tariffs will be applied uniformly. For further clarity you are welcome to contact Taazmin Mohamed on 012 311-8417
send via 012 311-2328
So for now we have reverted all the accounts into my personal name, until we can resolve the matter. I subsequently discovered that all our communication was disconnected for the same reason: Non-Payment.
Week 3: June 2010
Started the day with a phone call this morning from one of my staff confirming that the line at Growth Through Knowledge School for learners with Autism was disconnected due to non-payment. I think I should add my weekly visit to Telkom Bayside on my weekly appointment schedule. The branch manager Faffa De Jager saw my “ALL OUR ACCOUNTS AREA PAID IN FULL BEFORE MONTH END” facial expression, and quickly made a his way out of the branch handing me over to a very competent Emiel.
Account was paid on the:
After 1 hour we agreed that all the accounts is still in my name, however I have a second profile with an account balance outstanding of R309.11, since Feb this year.
Now the statements confirmed that all number are on 1 statement, so where Telkom, very creatively added an additional profile onto my account, with the said amount outstanding. We couldn’t find any proof of payment so therefore I had to pay the account, before any of the other lines, including ADSL would be reinstated. Only after payment was made could we lodge a dispute which would take 2 weeks. Payment was made :
All lines active, and a dispute can be lodge. I asked why the R 700 of 2 weeks ago was not reflecting on my account? After 30 minutes we discovered that the R700 deposit was paid to a open and then closed account under the name of Autism Western Cape. So that amount is sitting somewhere in the Telkom system and it would take 2 weeks for it to be refunded.
Oh, and yet I need to get a response from Telkom regarding the price structure for NPO’s in South Africa.