South Park Self

broken telephone

Telkom was designed by Kafka. It's the only explanation that makes any sense at all, if "sense" in any sense can be said to apply to Telkom. I have chronicled before the unlikely sequence of events which has led to my acquiring ADSL in the teeth of the odds. I suspect, however, that I am still suffering the lingering, ghostlike traces of the particular screw-up which led Telkom to register my order twice, and then fail to do anything about either for several weeks because of apocryphal lack of ADSL ports. I've had two Telkom technicians arrive abruptly out of the blue in the last week, both swearing up and down that they're here because of a fault logged for this address by my landlord, who lived here six months ago, on a phone number which isn't any of the three I've had since I moved in. Their system, I suspect, not content with the extreme numbers of real faults Telkom systems throw out, is hallucinating completely new ones just for fun.

At any rate, this morning's technician was somewhat bizarrely well timed, as I had just woken up, made tea, fed the cat, sat down at my computer and discovered, after some swearing, that I was utterly without either internet or a phone line. Just a dull buzzing sound, as of distant demonic bees. I was faffing around trying to remember which fault reporting line works from a cellphone when there was a knock at the door and there was a technician, apparently summoned out of the aether by Telkom's telepathic awareness of my need. If my need was to have a completely different line repaired for someone else, that is, which it really wasn't. He obligingly fuffled around a bit, prodded the local junction box, and informed me that it was probably a fault in the underground cable and couldn't be sorted out without a proper fault log. He did, however, provide me the SMS number for logging faults, which I immediately phoned.

Ten minutes later I had received five text messages all saying "A fault for this phone number has already been logged", and two saying "A fault has already been logged from this cellphone number." None of the seven iterations of this are, needless to say, true. I then received the actual acknowledgement which allowed me to report "No service", and a nice text message assured me it would be sorted out within two days. I expect this to have as much relationship to actual reality as any of the above interactions, i.e. none at all.

In the meantime, though, please note that my landline is an ex-parrot for the time being, you'll have to use my cell. I do have internet, by virtue of the fact that I never got around to returning the 3G dongle to Claire, on whose head be many blessings because re-activating the 3G is saving my sanity. Not money, but definitely sanity. Email may be the safest bet given cell reception in this area.

I should never have introduced my techno-jinx to Telkom. The results are horrible to contemplate. I am also darkly suspecting that at least some of the recent shenanigans are a sadistic Telkom response to the fact that I cancelled my data package with them last week, and will move back to Imaginet, sobbing in gratitude, at the end of the month. I'm being punished for my lack of customer loyalty. While laughing rather hysterically at the idea that Telkom could actually expect loyalty from its hapless customers given the horrors it inflicts on them, I will survive the next few days solely because of the awareness that if my service goes down again, I phone the Imaginet helplines rather than the Telkom ones, and am immediately (rather than after a 35-minute wait) put through to a lovely geek whose job it is to sort it out. At least one of them professes to rather enjoy shouting at Telkom. That's customer service.
Telcom sounds wonderful! We have suppliers, of all sorts of things, like that. Once they get your custom they're just not interested in you.

Good thing about the telepathic techie!