Telkom SA SOC — contract cancellation process - shockingly poor competency, missing payments, unwillingness to assist
In January 2017, I called a call-centre agent about my need to cancel my 3-off contracts with Telkom Mobile (2x phone contracts, 1x internet data contract). The reason for 3 simultaneous cancellations was that I was emigrating from South Africa in February, and obviously no longer required the contracts.
I well understood that there would be a cost incurred in doing this, and I asked the agent what the process is, and how the owed amount might be determined and paid soonest. That agent was helpful in explaining that I needed to complete a "cancellations form", and email-submit it to the cancellations department. I was also told that within 3 days after emailing the form, I would be contacted by a cancellations agent who would then provide me with the due amount to first be paid, and then the cancellation of the contracts would commence (taking up to 21 days).
Since my leaving SA was immenent, I asked if I might have the process fast-tracked in some way, and was told that I could request that once I was contacted by the cancellations agent, who would log a case number in the system, allowing the process to be handled with some exception.
After more than a week I had still not heard from any agent, so I called again and was told that my cancellation request was not able to be located in the system (although I had a delivery receipt for my email). I then resent the cancellation request to the agent while on line, who then confirmed receipt, and who then logged a case number because of my explained increasing urgency.
I waited again for more than the stated 3 days, and called in once more to equire what progress, if any, had been made. That agent told me that it was still "in progress", but that I needed to pay a settlement amount of R3612.00 to the Telkom ABSA account (details on form and provided) using my 19-digit reference number (account number?) that he provided to me over the phone. I then did an immediate EFT payment for the amount and given reference number, and submitted the proof of payment to the cancellations email address.
Allowing time for EFT reflection, after two days I called again to confirm if my payment showed and if my cancellation could finally proceed, since my leaving SA was only a few days away. At that time the agent determined that the 19-digit reference number that I had been provided (and used) was incorrect, so the payment wouldn't refelect against my account. I requested that the agent please assist in having this corrected ASAP, since it in fact was not my mistake - but the agent said that all that could be done is that I email again the cancellations department, detailing the error and asking that it be correctly allocated. This I did.
On 14/02/2017, I received an email from an agent bluntly saying "Advise why you cancelling your contracts and all three contracts are still in the commitment period to cancel it will cost you R6350.00".
I obviously replied to this email, firstly a little confused as to why I was again being asked my reason for cancellation, since it was clearly marked and written on my cancellation form (emailed twice). I explained in depth the process that I had already been through, as well as asked if my initial payment if R3612.00 was yet corrected and reflecting in my favour, and if not, could she please help me. I obviously want that amount credited, with regards to any further amounts thay may or may not be due. I submitted in my email to her, all previous attachments and proof of payment, in the hopes to assist her to help me. Email was as follows:
Good Day Maxine,
Thank you for your email - but perhaps I need to summarise my case for you, in the hopes that you will actually be able to assist me (and URGENTLY PLEASE).
1. I well understand that my 3 contracts are within the contract period, but my reason for cancellation is that I am emigrating / leaving South Africa - and obviously no longer require the contracts / services. This I marked in the appropriate block on your cancellation form, as well as wrote it clearly, as well as submitted the form no less than 3 times over the past 2 weeks - so I'm not sure as to why you might still need to ask me again in your email? Please find attached again, a copy of my cancellation request form.
2. NB: I have already made a payment against my cancellation. A previous agent provided me with a settlement fee (but different to yours??). Please see attached proof of payment for R3612.00 in case no. [protected]. However, please note that the 19 digit reference number previously provided to me by the agent for this payment was incorrect, so the proof of payment reference needs to be matched / changed on your side. Another agent was later helpful to provide me with the correct number:
The incorrect reference number is: [protected]
The correct reference number is: [protected]
3. Of my 3 contracts, I did previously request one be converted to pre-paid, and the other two be cancelled. Since I leave South Africa this Thurday (16/02/2017), it is now too late for the pre-paid request to be of any use, so please cancel that out-right as well. In other words, just cancel all 3 contracts.
Please will you confirm that my R3612.00 payment is credited to me, before providing any final settlement cost.
To this, I received a further blunt response, "Be advise that there is no credits on your account and also Please confirm if i must go ahead with the cancellation request and the penalty fees is R6350.00".
To this, I believe that the agent could really not have been bothered to check further what was already in front of her, nor did it appear that she had even looked at what I had explained and clearly detailed in asking for assistance.
On 15/02/2017, I then visited a local Telkom Mobile branch (in Pietermaritzburg) and explained my story and dilemma to a very helpful desk agent, who then tried her utmost to assist me from there. In my presence, she emailed the same "blunt" agent, again explaining the entire issue, as well as submitting proof of payment and correction details, and the case number. I was CC'd in the correspondence.
As at 23/02/2017, that same helpful assistant, nor I, had had any response whatsover with regards to this matter.
Now outside of SA, on 23/02/2017, I posted my issue on "hellopeter" in the hopes of having this finally resolved. I did receive a post response apolgising and providing a new reference number (AI2713570), now 2 weeks into March, I've still had no feedback whatsoever.
Simply put, I just want this settled now. I want my payment found and corrected, and I will settle what I owe still. After that, I want nothing further to do with Telkom.
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