HANGING ON AS A DROPOUT (The perils of ‘service’ centres!)

Yelling on telephoneHigh on the list of my pet hates of the modern world is the telephone ‘Service Centre’.  Many of the recorded voices open up with that blatant lie, ‘Your call is important to us.’  What a joke!

Today, I discovered another lie.

I found my internet was off, and when phoning Telkom, as the Service Provider, I was told there was a problem with my account, and that I was being transferred to the Billing Department.

Then I was treated to the usual message:

 ‘All our Service Consultants are currently busy.

Your call will be attended to as soon as a consultant becomes available.’

Beware!  It transpires that if you hang on indefinitely, you either get dropped or go into free fall.

To illustrate:  this was at 10h30.  For two-and-a-half hours I was subjected to ghastly music and occasional canned messages, which at least indicated I hadn’t been cut off.  A consultant failed to become available in all that time, though.  At 13h00 I gave up and redialled, again going through the same painful process.  This time, however, I had a consultant on the line within ten minutes.  I know, now, not to keep holding on for too long.  The automatic queuing system obviously doesn’t work very well.  Rather redial after not more than a quarter of an hour.

Anyway, they traced my payment.  It had gone to another account in my name which I had never opened.  They said the line would be restored as soon as the transfer was recorded.  A couple of hours later, I was still internet-less.  I went back on the phone, clutching some fistfuls of my hair …

When I finally got a consultant again, she declared, ‘You have to wait for the payment to be registered in the other account.’

‘No I don’t,’ I insisted.  ‘You can restore my line NOW!  Send a message telling the service people to do that.’

After some more yelling with ever-increasing decibels, I received reluctant confirmation that she had just sent such message as demanded.  The consultant then explained most definitely, however,  that it wouldn’t help because they would have to wait a few hours for the transfer to come through.  She was still in the process of this explanation when my internet light blinked on.  I was able to let out the big breath which I had taken in preparation for giving another blast of note.

I really, really don’t need such amusements in my life.


About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
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32 Responses to HANGING ON AS A DROPOUT (The perils of ‘service’ centres!)

  1. optie says:

    What gets my goat is when you are asked to key in your ID or account no. and an artificial voice tells you it’s not on the system. In the unlikely event that your no. is accepted by the time you actually get to speak to a consultant you have to repeat the no. again because it appears that the system does not retain that information. Can never understand why a company would put their customers through such a useless and futile exercise.


    • colonialist says:

      Another part of the whole ‘improved’ systems which are supposed to save costs. However, if anyone bothered to factor in the time wssted by their own personnel in going through similar systems elsewhere, I am sure it would be found that from a macro view the whole thing is utterly inefficient.


  2. Expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed. ;(


  3. bluebee says:

    I’m getting pains in my chest just reading this. Mind you, imagine working in one of those godforsaken places…


  4. Sonel says:

    I know the feeling Col. Luckily after many years with Telkom they know me by now and they know that I am not patient or polite. Glad your problem was sorted out. 😀


  5. Gobetween says:

    Mweb is my ISP, the technical department has always assisted me and you don’t spend 5 hours on hold.


  6. adeeyoyo says:

    I am so sorry to hear this, Col. I haven’t had occasion to phone Telkom for a year or so, but they have always been really ‘on the ball’ for me – not at all as they used to be.


  7. Grannymar says:

    I now pull the false trading card: Charging me for a service they do not provide. So far it has worked. Also when calling the IT service dept, I automatically arrive in Bangalore, where I have a good friend, a lawyer. A little mention certainly smooths the way.


  8. The Asian says:

    I hate call centres… Our IT is the worst. They advertise the services that our firm provides when you’re on hold. We’re employees of the firm, why do we need to hear adverts about the company we work for!?


    • colonialist says:

      Call centres are one of these brilliant modern inventions which increasea the productivity of that sector of the company, but in the macro sense decreases the productivity of the total who are holding on for service from call centres. As with so many of the ideas from the whizzkid era, one wins small and loses big.


  9. cupitonians says:

    Ugh, that is so frustrating. It’s pretty much the same here but a little yelling always gets the work done.


  10. bulldog says:

    newsferret said what I wanted to… getting one that you can understand is not easy…


  11. newsferret says:

    At least you could understand what the consultant was saying!


  12. nrhatch says:

    Huzzah! Glad your “service” center gave you back your internet . . . after an appropriate level of hair pulling and splitting hairs.


  13. misswhiplash says:

    My problem was similar but I did not wait three hours. I phoned Vivacom about unusual activity on my wifi. My first question is ‘do you speak english’ the answer was wait..so I waited and aaited and waited..in the end I dialed agsin but I had forgotten which number I had selected , you know.press 1 for this and 2 for this etc..so I pressed a different number and after making my first request I was asked for my mobile number and somone would ring me. I was surprised when in less than a few minutes the phone rang. I explaned problem and then hey presto! A few small ticks and my computer safety was complete,,,, but I still found that awful tinny music very annoying xxxxx


  14. suzicate says:

    Oh, I despise those automated “help lines”…the worst is when they make you push a button and then keep making you select more options and you end up right back at the very first one and start over!


    • colonialist says:

      Or when a consultant takes you through the whole identification thing only to pass you on to another consultant who takes you through the whole identification thing only to pass you on to another …


  15. disperser says:

    . . . no internet . . . why, that’s un-American!

    . . . oh, wait . . .


    • colonialist says:

      It is distressing how many un-American things we have to suffer in Africa. Of course, we still enjoy some of the finer features of the culture, like hamburgers and hula hoops.


      • Not just Africa – in supposedly civilized Western Europe and yet I’ve just seen on the news that in Estonia primary school children are learning how to programme computers and other electronic devices. The teacher said: “they all have smartphones and must learn how to programme them properly” I don’t have one. And I too have horrendous Callcentre problems, partly due to increasing deafness and the inability of operators to speak clearly in English or French.


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