Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beware of Telkom’s latest rip-off!


This is how it works:

A Telkom consultant phones an existing client with an offer that guarantees to reduce your monthly bill. The first round of questions are focused on establishing what your existing package is. If it’s a basic package without all the bells-and-whistles then you’ve already taken the bait.  If you happen to be a pensioner, who hasn’t previously received a pensioner’s discount, then you’ll be truly hooked.

At the end of the call you’re advised to report to your nearest Telkom Branch with your ID and your latest Telkom account, where you can claim your discount and also the addition of extra ‘value-added’ services. The caller will also convince you that the entire ‘new’ package will be a lot cheaper than what you’re paying now… “Yebo - YES!”

At the Telkom Branch Office a consultant will accept your papers and your explanation about the call you received concerning the so-called discount, and will then eagerly proceed to type away on a keyboard – endlessly, for about 20 minutes – at the speed of a snail.  After the long typing session is done you will be handed shoved a form to sign. This is the second part of the scam, because by then most people will be fedup of waiting, and will sign the form without thinking. You will not receive a copy of the form you signed, and neither will you receive any reference number whatsoever.  You will simply be told that the changes will reflect on your next account.

The BIG SuRPrisE!!!
When you eventually receive your next account you’ll notice that the amount due will be remarkably higher than the amount you usually pay. Depending on what package you were on, the amount can be more than double. At first you will not immediately notice that your account number has also changed – another small detail the Telkom consultant did not tell you. On the 2nd page you will notice a whole list of fees and new subscription services you never asked for – among others: Closer CallCatcher (whatever that is), Telkom Evening W/Ender Plan, etcetera. There will also be a miserable R39.47 discount.

Enquiring about the mess via Telkom’s online facility or via their 10210 telephone number will not help solve the problem. The procedure will only make you more frustrated.  In fact, a fundamental ingredient of this rip-off involves a range of tactics aimed at wearing you down, mentally and physically. When and IF you do manage to speak to a consultant they will direct you back to the Telkom Branch Office.

Back at the Branch Office you will be totally astounded to see how proficiently they lodge a ‘DISPUTE’ on your account, with promises that you will be contacted within 24 hours. The procedure will take place at a snail’s pace, of course, but you’ll be so dumbfounded by the fact that something positive is finally happening that you will not dare say anything to agitate the typist. You will also not realize that it’s all part of the scam – to buy time. Don’t expect any explanations or apologies from anyone for the initial stuff-up though!

The 24 hours will become days and weeks… (This Is Africa)

At some point in time you will discover one of two things: Either no dispute was ever lodged on your account, or the dispute was rejected. Telkom will not even bother contacting you, despite the fact that they have your Cell Number, your Telkom Number, and your e-mail address.  As the due date for payment of their ridiculous account draws nearer, you’re left with no option but to visit the dreaded Branch Office again… And that’s when the real sports begin!

Everyone you deal with will act very clever and you’ll be the one feeling like a dim-witted fool. The only three words you’ll understand will be at the end of a sentence: “YOU must pay!” You can argue all you want, but you’ll get nowhere – just blank stares. There will be no admission of guilt, no apology – “YOU (you previously advantaged white-skinned idiot) MUST PAY!”

Even if you confront the person who initially caused the mess, the person will bluntly deny ever seeing you in their entire life… “Eish, I don’t know you!” You can plead ever so gently or you can shout at the top of your voice: “WHERE IS THE BLOODY MANAGER OF THIS PLACE?” They will not budge an eyelid…

They’re not human, they’re all moronic robots – I tell you!


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12 April 2013 01:46 PM

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Telkom agrees to R449m fine for 'abusing its dominance'

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