Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
22
#1
On Friday the 29th of March, one of Openserve's technicians came out to install our fixed Telkom land-line, the gentlemen was very helpful and explained where my line would be connected, how far away in cable length it would be from the exchange, he even provided some information on the fastest line speed available for my particular area. He explained quite thoroughly that we would be able to get a 20Mbps VDSL account because the exchange supported that and we live less than 500 meters away from it (in cable length).

So on Sunday the 31st of March, I placed an order through Telkom's website for just the Telkom Elite xDSL, which is the 20Mbps line only. Everything was smooth, the order process seemed seamless, until one of Telkom's employees got their hands on it. On Monday the following day I received a phone call from someone at the sales department explaining that our area is not covered for 20Mbps, after much back and forth explaining to them everything the Openserve technician said, I eventually gave up and just asked him to place the order for the 4Mbps line, knowing that I would be able to upgrade it at a later stage.

That afternoon I had a horrible feeling in my stomach, as if I couldn't trust what the employee ordered so I then phoned back requesting to know the status of my order. It turns out that the sales department placed an order for a full package deal, which was the ADSL line and data included. Knowing this, I cancelled the order immediately and placed one just for the 4Mbps line.

After the next 3 days I phoned back requesting to know the status of my order, unfortunately no one had anything on their systems as the order hadn't been placed yet. They then followed up saying that there were no ports in my area, after accepting defeat, I just gave into the idea that I would just have to wait for a port to become available.

On the 4th of April I then contacted Openserve who had no recollection of my order, in fact they explained to me that once an order is placed, it would display immediately on their side so they could then source out technicians to arrange an installation or activation date. Well it turns out they knew nothing about it. I then phoned Telkom again to find out that the order wasn't even made and that the order whom the previous person was talking about when they said there wasn't any ports available, was with regards to the bundle deal which was supposed to be cancelled.

So after finding this out, I then made sure that all orders were cancelled in my name and asked them how I can make sure that my next order wouldn't be a screw up, they then advised me to go to a Telkom shop so they could log the information on the system while I'm there. So on the 4th of April I did, unfortunately this was just another mistake. I was unfortunate enough to be talking to another person who seemed to have no clue what they were doing.

I first started off by explaining that I would like to order a 20Mbps line, he explained to me that my area isn't covered for that. I explained to him that his systems were outdated and that if he looked up any of my neighbors addresses who live along the same street, he will see that 20Mbps is supported in my area. Once he finally got on the same page, he then tried to explain to me that they had to migrate the line. Oh boy.... I told him that I am NOT moving and all I want to do is activate the ADSL portion on my already installed brand new fixed land-line. Nope, we have to migrate the line he said. Eventually after much arguing, he eventually seemed to understand what I was telling him to do but this time, he was quite adamant that Telkom does not sell the ADSL portion of the line separately and that if we would like an ADSL line, we would have to purchase one of their bundled deals. This couldn't be further from the truth so once I explicitly showed him that Telkom does in fact activate ADSL lines separately, he eventually got the picture and only then gave us the forms to fill in.

Once I handed the forms back in, I made 100% sure that he would get the order right, as filled in on the forms and explained on numerous occasions. Today, on the 5th of April, I got an email back saying that he placed an order for the Do Elite bundle, which is the capped data and ADSL line together. Good grief....

Through all of this I could only think one thing, everything was going great until Telkom's employees had to put their fingers all over my order. Honestly, how does a company like this get anything done when their staff constantly mess up like this. At this point I'm at a loss, there's not a single person at Telkom that knows what they are doing and I have spoken to well over 2 dozen people. This entire experience has been terrible and I do not look forward to the day I cancel all Telkom related products.

I now have to phone Telkom again to correct my order, I pray that this will be the last bloody time.
 
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Nirv

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
573
#2
Very similar situation to mine. In my case they canceled my very simple order before installation, tech did the install, I only find out about the random cancelation of a perfectly fine order when I try to activate the line. Drove 2hrs to closest Telkom shop, they explain the above, I ask to get a new install requested and check and double check that the original is gone and can't possibly exist, they insist its gone.

Lo and behold I get two invoices for two different lines end of the first month. The original number doesn't exist in my house and adsl details do not work but apparently I must pay R800 for a whole second line I don't and can't use. Multiple phone calls later and cancelations and backdating of invoices requested and I still get an SMS saying the one line has been "suspended due to Collections". Luckily no debit order and ice confirmed they've got records of cancelations etc on the system, just their people aren't pulling finger and actually terminating it. Waiting patiently and calling weekly still.
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
22
#4
Very similar situation to mine. In my case they canceled my very simple order before installation, tech did the install, I only find out about the random cancelation of a perfectly fine order when I try to activate the line. Drove 2hrs to closest Telkom shop, they explain the above, I ask to get a new install requested and check and double check that the original is gone and can't possibly exist, they insist its gone.

Lo and behold I get two invoices for two different lines end of the first month. The original number doesn't exist in my house and adsl details do not work but apparently I must pay R800 for a whole second line I don't and can't use. Multiple phone calls later and cancelations and backdating of invoices requested and I still get an SMS saying the one line has been "suspended due to Collections". Luckily no debit order and ice confirmed they've got records of cancelations etc on the system, just their people aren't pulling finger and actually terminating it. Waiting patiently and calling weekly still.
Why am I not shocked that something like this is common? They need to seriously overhaul their system, in fact maybe just let the customer do everything online because at this point, the customers know far more than those who are actually trying to sell the product.

I wish you the best of luck getting your line sorted out once and for all. I hope they don't give me the same issue where all my orders are still going to reflect on my account.

Unbelievable how after this many years of them being the only ADSL provider in the whole of South Africa, that they are still messing up on simple orders.
 
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deweyzeph

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Messages
6,826
#5
If you order a new line the best thing to do is to JUST order a normal plain vanilla voice line from Telkom. Do not mention ANYTHING about ADSL. Once the line is installed and working, order your ADSL line from an ISP like Afrihost, Axxess, WebAfrica, etc and let them handle the order. I know some people don't like doing that, but honestly it's not worth the ball ache to do it through Telkom directly.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
16
#6
On Friday the 29th of March, one of Openserve's technicians came out to install our fixed Telkom land-line, the gentlemen was very helpful and explained where my line would be connected, how far away in cable length it would be from the exchange, he even provided some information on the fastest line speed available for my particular area. He explained quite thoroughly that we would be able to get a 20Mbps VDSL account because the exchange supported that and we live less than 500 meters away from it (in cable length).



Through all of this I could only think one thing, everything was going great until Telkom's employees had to put their fingers all over my order. Honestly, how does a company like this get anything done when their staff constantly mess up like this. At this point I'm at a loss, there's not a single person at Telkom that knows what they are doing and I have spoken to well over 2 dozen people. This entire experience has been terrible and I do not look forward to the day I cancel all Telkom related products.

I now have to phone Telkom again to correct my order, I pray that this will be the last bloody time.


I went through the very same ordeal with Telkom recently when I relocated to my new house which is situated in the very same street. It took 2 months for Telkom to relocate the line! I had to make countless calls in this regard and eventually had to sign up for a new mobile data connection to get things going on my side. I had it finally relocated only to loose the VDSL service this Thursday. When i contacted their customer service I was asked to approach the Telkom outlet to get a free SIM card with data to compensate for the failure with the line. However when I approached the store they categorically informed me that I do not have a VDSL line or ADSL line according to their system!! After 30 mts of investigation they concluded that it is reflecting on their old system.I was further told that since my ISP is Afrihost they will not offer me the SIM. Although I argued that it is not do with a failure of the ISP but the line itself they wouldn't accommodate my point.

The Telkom is the blackhole that you can experience in this real world.It is run by shockingly inefficient people and a matching infrastructure, a perfect recipe for disaster for the poor customer,
 

ranger

Expert Member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
2,033
#7
Through all of this I could only think one thing, everything was going great until Telkom's employees had to put their fingers all over my order.
The only people you interacted with here were potentially supporting Openserve.

Alll customer-facing Telkom employees were outsourced starting around 2013, and many who were outsourced then were worked out of their jobs by the company who took them over within a year.

Maybe you should refer to them as "Telkom sales agents".
 

Geoff.D

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
10,119
#8
The root cause of all of this is because only an Openserve employee understands the technology. Very few customers ever get to understand the technology. ISPA does not understand it either. They never have and probably never will.
Talking about a telephone line and an ADSL line reflects this ignorance.
In fact, there are 5 separate components to consider.

A "Telephone Line" consists of three elements. The Port on the Exchange, the physical Line and the instrument in your home. when this all started, there was only one purpose to a "line" and that was to connect a port on the exchange to the instrument in your home, nothing else. Hence why these three elements were tightly coupled together and seen as one "entity". Then the phone was removed out of the equation. What remained was the port on the exchange and the "line".

So, based on this, when you go an order a fixed line telephone service, you get a port on the exchange and a line which is labelled on your bill as a "Line Rental". That is the seed of all the problems. Because the "line" and the port are still seen as one entity even today.

If only Telkom/Openserve will take the plunge and separate these elements once and for all from each other reflecting the Port, the line, as separate entities!

More than 25 years ago us technical engineers in Telkom pleaded with management to sort this out then because we all could see where it was going! We said create a new service called an ASP, which would consist ONLY of the "port" on the ADSL equipment. Separate the port on the PSTN for the "line" and have a rental charge for each.
Nice and neat. Because now there would be three separate rental lines on the bill.


This was mooted all those years ago and never implemented!

Now we come to an ADSL service. That consists of a "port" on the ADSL equipment, a "line" which is the same "line" as used by the telephone service and a router.

See the similarities?

Now along comes a customer. He gets a fixed line service. He already has the physical "line" in place and it is associated with a telephone port. Then he asks for an ADSL line". See the immediate confusion for someone who thinks he is selling Rice Krispies?

Now the customer has been told he should be able to get 20Mbps. The line is there, it has been tested and found capable - Openserve said so after all. BUT what was NOT explained is that the availability is NOT only dependent on the line and its capability but dependent on the availability of port on the ADSL equipment.

Now he goes and asks for an ADSL LINE and then gets told that he can't have a 20Mbps "line" because there are no ports available, only a 4 Mbps "line" and he quite correctly gets upset.

OP IF you knew from the outset that you did not want to use Telkom as your ISP, why on earth did you go and ask for an ADSL line? What did you expect the reaction would be? It takes a very well trained front office sales person to know that there is such a thing, and you can bet that it is NOT the first option displayed on the screen when you talk to a "Sales Agent" trained as if he is selling you a box of Rice Krispies?

You should have gone to the ISP of your choice and said I want an ADSL service direct and left them to sort out the technical details to associate that with your existing Telkom "line". At least the ISP has a direct interface with Openserve. The ISP may have told you the exact same thing - No 20 Mbps ports available you can only get 4 Mbps. A week later and you again raise the issue and you get a 20 Mbps port. Not because the first time around the person did not know what he was doing but because a port IS now available due to a cancellation.

Good luck in getting this sorted out.
 
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