|Column: Thank you, Telkom|
Thursday, 26 April 2012 12:30
I work from home as often as I can; only going to the office for meetings, or when I have something to review in the studio. Working from home suits me, and as long as I meet deadlines (which sometimes actually happens!), no one really minds if they don’t see me.
Working like this has benefits. I could, for example, claim that it's a greener way of living, since I only drive when I have to, but that is not the main reason. I can adjust my schedule to make last-minute appointments and, the most important benefit for me personally, is that I get to pick up my daughter from crèche.
The downside to working from home is that I have to pay for my own utilities, which includes my Telkom ADSL line. No surfing the net on the dime of the publications I write for!
As we are all aware, Telkom is a company that has steadily been losing customers. One would think that they would be doing everything in their power to hold onto the customers they have by striving to keep them happy. When my phone or ADSL line drops, you would think that they would take swift action to get things working again. You would think that they would try to ensure that the services I'm paying for perform and deliver as the company claim it would; that they wouldn’t deem it necessary to charge me to repair an ongoing issue of noise on the phone line (which still hasn’t been resolved), or to investigate why the ADSL line regularly drops its connection.
Instead of fixing it, Telkom has given me a myriad of excuses about why my line isn’t as good as it should be. They have blamed it on everything from the rain (why, is this a new phenomenon?), to this classic: that it is regulatory body ICASA’s fault for not allowing the company to upgrade its network.
So, at the end of every month, I get to pay rental for a phone line that, when it does function, doesn’t work properly, and for an ADSL line that has never delivered the – I was going to say “speed”, but even when it was working it was slow.
I’ve also had to, on more than one occasion, get in my car and drive through to the office to hand deliver a review that I should have been able to send via e-mail. Bearing all this in mind, I would hereby like to thank Telkom for making my decision to move to another service provider an easy one. At least, I initially thought it would be an easy one. The problem I now have is who on earth do I change to?
Ever since Neotel was still known as the SNO, I’ve been waiting for them to get back to me and tell me about their service offerings. I still have old e-mails to prove it.
Of course, I could go the mobile operator route and opt for 3G, but this means replacing routers in order to keep my home network up, running and connected to the Internet.
The fact that mobile services are a viable alternative to fixed line offerings here in good old South Africa should be an embarrassment to everyone in the local telecoms industry. It is also a downright shame how so many in the industry have conspired to maintain a system in which the only ‘competition’ is to keep charging consumers as much as possible for delivering as little as possible.
Perhaps it is time for consumers to really thank Telkom and the rest of the companies for creating and maintaining such poor telecommunications services, in the only way they seem to understand.
Anyone up for a picket, a national strike, or some other form of well-mannered mass action? Then count me in too.
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