What it’s like to buy a Telkom SIM card at PEP

Telkom has experienced system failure in recent weeks which resulted in Telkom stores being unable to RICA and sell prepaid SIM cards to customers.

When MyBroadband visited a Telkom store last month to purchase a prepaid SIM card, the store employees directed us to PEP to purchase a SIM card due to the system failure.

We went to a PEP store – better known for its low-price clothing than SIM card sales – in Centurion to see how long it would take and what it was like to purchase and RICA a Telkom SIM card.

We also inquired as to why we were able to purchase there despite the system failure at the Telkom shop.

Our experience

When first entering the PEP store, we noticed that the SIM cards were kept together at a cellphone stand near the entrance. The SIM cards were secured to a stand so that no one could just pick up a SIM and leave with it.

We then waited in the line to get to a teller – the same line that all PEP customers wait in, as there was no one dedicated to helping customers at the stand.

There weren’t many people at the store, so we only waited two minutes for a teller to open up. If the store is busy, however, the queue will take longer to navigate.

When it was our turn, we told the teller that we wanted to purchase a Telkom SIM. She asked whether we had identification and proof of residence – which is required to purchase a SIM card.

After we presented the required documentation, she walked over to the stand and collected one of the Telkom SIM cards.

She put the required information into their system, and within a few minutes, we were able to leave the store with SIM card in hand.

The SIM card cost 99c, and the total time it took to purchase and RICA it was 6 minutes – which included the two minutes spent in line waiting for the available teller.

The teller was very helpful, quick in getting the SIM card processed, and was willing to answer any questions we had.

Activation delay

After purchasing the SIM, the teller stated that its activation would take longer than if we purchased it at a Telkom shop, and could take between 12-24 hours.

We asked the teller why we were able to purchase a Telkom SIM at a PEP even when the systems were offline at a Telkom shop, and were told that it was likely because of the delay between PEP and Telkom’s systems.

The PEP store did not have the necessary tools to insert the SIM into our phone, so we returned to the office. We then inserted the SIM into a phone and downloaded and installed the network settings.

We received an SMS containing the SIM’s phone number and a notification that we were awarded with 5 free SMSs.

We then tested the SIM by sending an SMS and it went through immediately, meaning the SIM was activated on the network and working. We therefore did not experience the delay that we were warned about.

Packaging and SIM Card

Now read: Massive increase in SIM-swop fraud in South Africa

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What it’s like to buy a Telkom SIM card at PEP