The South African telecoms company with the most negative ratings

The latest Hellopeter TrustIndex reveals that Telkom has the highest ratio of unhappy customers of all the large telecommunications players.

Hellopeter allows users to read reviews from customers who have rated a company’s service – from 1 to 5 stars – online.

These scores are used to calculate the Hellopeter TrustIndex: a way for customers to “determine how credible a business is”.

In addition to the company’s average review star rating, the time it takes to reply, the Bayesian average, and review depreciation over time are incorporated into this score.

Telkom’s poor rating

Telkom’s TrustIndex score of 1.7 is significantly lower than many of its peers, including Vodacom (3.0), Cell C (2.4), and MTN (2.3).

What is also telling is that Telkom, which has far fewer subscribers than Vodacom and MTN, received more complaints than its bigger competitors.

This is an indication that something is wrong with Telkom’s customer service.

Comments like “Telkom has no regard for its clients”, “Telkom worse service ever”, and “Handcuffed and held hostage by Telkom” dominate the company’s reviews.

Telkom explains

Telkom explained that unlike other telecommunications companies, it has a big fixed-line base, which brings with it inherent challenges as it can be impacted by cable theft, breakage, and weather conditions.

“We provided fixed-line copper services nationally, including in rural areas where other operators are not available,” Telkom said.

“We are continually looking for ways to improve our customer experience, as we realise that many customers rely on us for voice, uncapped Internet, or other services.”

Telkom added that it has made some changes to the way it responds to customer service issues.

“Telkom no longer responds to customers on HelloPeter, and has not done so since October 2018, as we found that many of the posts on that platform were repeat posts from other social media platforms or were already being managed,” it said.

“As a result, our conversion rate, from negative to neutral and from neutral to positive, will be lower.”

Before exiting HelloPeter, and for three months after its exit, Telkom posted a sticky on the site redirecting customers to other avenues for help.

“We felt we had sufficient avenues for customers to send in complaints, including Facebook, Twitter, email, Telkom Stores, our contact centre, portal, the Telkom app, and the Telkom Community,” it said.

“We have reintroduced service in our stores and are expanding and enhancing service capacity to be much more comprehensive. We do benchmark ourselves against our competitors with regard to social media sites and our performance is similar to those companies.”

Hellopeter TrustIndex

Hellopeter TrustIndex
Company Number of Reviews Average Rating
Vodacom 67,499 3.0
Cell C 23,717 2.4
MTN 49,252 2.3
Telkom 82,477 1.7

Now read: What to do if you still can’t cancel your Telkom account

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The South African telecoms company with the most negative ratings