The 7-month battle to cancel a Telkom ADSL line

A MyBroadband reader spent seven months trying to get his Telkom landline cancelled – with no success.

The reader previously held an ADSL account with MWEB, running on his Telkom landline, both of which he attempted to cancel near the end of 2017.

After receiving verification from MWEB that his ADSL line and services would be cancelled, the reader proceeded to send a cancellation request to Telkom – which acknowledged the cancellation.

However, a few days later, Telkom said there was a problem cancelling his landline due to his ISP not cancelling his ADSL line.

The customer continued to be billed for the landline by Telkom over the following months, while trying to cancel the service.

Cancellation problems

The reader told MyBroadband he experienced various difficulties throughout the seven-month ordeal.

A timeline of the major actions taken by the customer before he approached MyBroadband are listed below.

  • 13 October 2017 – User cancelled his MWEB ADSL line and received an email verifying his cancellation. MWEB stated in the email his services would expire on 3 November 2017.
  • 1 January 2018 – User sent a cancellation request to Telkom to cancel his landline rental, Telkom acknowledged receipt of the request.
  • 4 January 2018 – Telkom said it was unable to process the user’s request as his ISP had not cancelled his line.
  • 20 January 2018 – Upon trying to cancel his line through Telkom again, the company said it would attend to his request within 21 days.
  • 8 February 2018 – User went to a Telkom store and completed the service cancellation form with the help of staff.
  • 15 March 2018 – User returned to the shop and resent the cancellation form, receiving a document acknowledging his request.

The reader reached out to MyBroadband at the end of May 2018 for help, as Telkom continued to bill him throughout this period.

As he had received an email from MWEB verifying his cancellation of ADSL services, he was certain the problem lay at Telkom’s end.

Telkom responds

A Telkom spokesperson apologised for the delay the consumer had experienced, but said the fault lay with his ISP – which had not processed his ADSL cancellation.

“Upon investigation, it was found that the customer’s line had not been cancelled by the appointed ISP, which caused the delay in processing the cancellation,” said Telkom.

“The cancellation has since been processed and backdated to 5 February 2018, and the customer has been notified.”

Slipped through the cracks

MyBroadband then approached MWEB for clarification on the matter, and the ISP confirmed the reader’s cancellation had indeed been missed.

“Sadly, this is a case of customers falling through gaps due to the complexity of the holding pool process and the lack of clarity from in-store staff related to ADSL versus landlines,” said an MWEB spokesperson.

MWEB confirmed the reader had cancelled his ADSL account, including his ADSL line, via the company’s online channels.

“As per the ADSL line holding pool process, MWEB has to release the ADSL line into the holding pool before any ADSL line cancellation can take place,” said MWEB.

“This is not an immediate process.”

“Despite our internal processes in place, this cancellation was missed and the line was not released back into the holding pool.”

MWEB said the reader took all the correct steps in the complex cancellation process, and the company has taken steps to ensure this failure is not repeated.

The ISP said it only became aware of the problem due to a Facebook post by the customer, and added that clarification from Telkom staff would have assisted greatly in resolving the issue quickly.

“The situation would have been helped enormously had the Telkom staff been clear that his ADSL line was not released and that before he could cancel his landline, his ADSL line had to be released,” said MWEB.

“Had they been clear and directed him to check with his ISP, we could have followed up immediately. At this stage, MWEB did not know there was a problem.”

“As soon as the problem was picked up via the Facebook post, MWEB checked up and immediately processed the ADSL line cancellation and did not charge him for the additional months of the ADSL line,” it said.

Now read: South African fibre and ADSL ISP speeds and rankings

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The 7-month battle to cancel a Telkom ADSL line