In recent months, MyBroadband has received a flood of complaints from Telkom customers who have been unable to cancel their accounts.
In many cases, these customers’ accounts were only successfully cancelled after MyBroadband followed up with Telkom on their cases.
Unfortunately for customers, Telkom has stated that all of its cancellations are processed through the same system, meaning that everyone from ADSL to mobile customers can be affected by this issue.
Customers report that the inefficiency of Telkom’s systems mean that it takes months for the company to stop invoicing them and for them to be compensated for paying their bill following cancellation.
In some cases, this situation can be made worse by Telkom’s automated blacklisting of non-paying customers with the credit bureaus.
MyBroadband recently reported on a customer who was unable to apply for an FNB credit card due to Telkom’s inefficient cancellation process and their subsequent blacklisting.
Additional customers who experienced the same problems have since contacted MyBroadband to share their stories.
One such customer is a senior executive at a local telecoms company, proving that these issues affect users regardless of their technical knowledge.
The Telkom customer decided to cancel his Telkom fibre bundle, which includes a phone line, ISP account, and fibre line, on 28 June 2018.
To accomplish this, he visited a major Telkom store in Cape Town, but was told that Telkom does not deal with any billing matters in-store.
Staff suggested he log into his online account and cancel his products using the self-service platform, which he did.
The customer received emails with reference numbers confirming the filing of his cancellation request.
This all went smoothly, however, he noticed that he was still being invoiced every month despite the cancellation request being confirmed.
Fighting the system
At this point, the customer began to deal with Telkom’s customer service department in earnest, accruing multiple reference numbers.
The customer did not find success through any customer support channels, though, and continued to receive an invoice each month.
He sent emails to almost 10 different Telkom and regulator email addresses, including ICASA, with an email sent on each of the dates below:
- 27 August
- 14 September
- 12 October
- 14 October
- 16 October
- 21 October
- 31 October
The customer also made numerous attempts to cancel again using the online platform, using explanations from previous MyBroadband articles on this problem.
Frustration continued to mount over the lack of assistance from Telkom, but the customer’s problems were far from over.
The customer had also stopped paying the Telkom invoices that arrived every month, which he said was an action advised by Telkom’s call centre staff.
In October, the customer approached FNB to consolidate his property, only to be foiled again by Telkom’s cancellation systems.
FNB told him that they could not proceed with his home loan switch due to the fact that Telkom had blacklisted him for owing an amount over R1,000 with the TransUnion (formerly ITC) credit bureau.
The bank said they encountered this problem with Telkom often, and that he could get a letter from Telkom or TransUnion stating that the listing was a mistake.
The customer was also negotiating a better rate on his primary residence with FNB, but that has now been dropped due to his credit rating.
In desperation, this customer reached out to MyBroadband for help resolving this issue while continuing with the various banking processes they had undertaken.
To date, Telkom’s inability to process this customer’s cancellation has halted his home loan consolidation and possibly jeopardised his ability to receive a better rate on his existing loan.
MyBroadband reached out to Telkom regarding the customer’s issue, but it did not provide feedback.