our fight with hellcom


we all know what it is (if not then google). all international readers probably have it at home (or some other form of broadband) and would be aghast to know that, when at home, i’m still flailling aroung the internet with a 56k modem.

moonflake and i have ordered adsl, but we’ve had some problems…

you see, telcom (hereby known as “you fuckers,” “you fuckwits,” “those bastards,” “hellcom,” or “the spawn of satan’s ass-spillage.”) is the only company in this country that is allowed to lease adsl landlines (i’m not sure of the position of the SNO, but they’re not in cape town and their market penetration is currently so close to zero as to be negligible for this argument), and moonflake and i need a landline because the wirless answer doesn’t have the required latency (basically, response time) for games…

and our world of warcraft boxes are slowly being lost in the gathering dust.

this is also part of the reason why i don’t blog that often. for a partly decent access i need to stay up at varsity… working on badly configured ubuntu… painfully.

so moonflake ordered an adsl installation about 2 months ago and we were told 29 Sept would be the install date… someone would contact us closer to the time.

last month i had a week holiday, so i called those bastards to find out if they could come a week or two earlier. it turns out (or this is just their excuse to not do any work) that the exchange in our area is full and the new exchange would only be installed on the 30th of Sept, so we’d get a call after that.

Surely they could have predicted this? a quick sum will show the needed brainpower:

(number of free slots in exchange) – (number of people that have ordered adsl) = x

if x < 0 then problem… install a new echange now and tell people that they will get their install after the exchange is going in (instead of lying to them and fucking them around)

if x > 0 the do your goddamned jobs and install my goddamned adsl you fuckers.

but apparently this higher level maths is beyond them, so we wait until after 30 Sept and i called them back to find out what was going on… i spent 40 minutes on hold waiting for a non-recorded voice. by the end i would have been happy if a cat knocked the reciever off and farted into it. at least then the awful 15 seconds of hold music, interupted only by the annoying, repetative message that is completely devoid of any helpful information, would have ended.

without feline intervention i hung up in disgust. the next day it only took 20 minutes to get an answer. a hellcom employee tells me that my provisional port allocation date is the 30th of December. i ask if there is a possibility of it happening earlier: hegives the scripted response that translates to “no. we probably won’t even do it then, but i’ll say yes just to make you go away.”

person involved: i didn’t take his name, but from now on….

5 fucking months to get an adsl line? a line which we have to pay an arm and a leg for every month? you’re not doing us a favour you fuckwits, you’re preventing yourselves from making money.

i relay the message and moonflake emails them.

moonflake then tries her luck, phoning the spawn of satan’s ass-spillage at 08h00. 15 minutes before they answer at which point the story changes (are you surprised?). turns out that there is no provisional date set and she’ll put in an urgent notice and someone will phone us. wtf? then where did the other dude pull 30 Dec from??? his ass???

person involved: lorraine!

moonflake gets a response to her email saying it’s been forwarded to the adsl dept. ie: we’re just responding to tell you that your email will bounce around for infinity and never get dealt with.

no-one phones (what did you expect?)

moonflake phones back (another 08h00 deal) and wastes another 15 minutes of her life listening to disjointed hold music. this time she gets told that while the exchange is installed, it has no ports allocated to it and will only have ports allocated on the 20th of December so nothing can happen before then. again: wtf? 20th? what happened to 30th? and how did lorraine miss all the dates altogether? also we are informed that nothing can be done to speed the process up and he will pass this up to the technical dept. someone will phone us. when moonflake asked for the number to phone them, because we’ve had the “they’ll phone you” line before, she’s told that she can’t have a number to contact them. when asked about an email adress: same story. so basically: i’m going to say that i’m doing something so that you will go away. the technical dept doesn’t exist but when you phone back the likelyhood of me answer your call again is tiny and i can always blame the ficticious technical dept again.

person involved: mdudu (i think)

so lets just have a quick summary here:

  • it takes 5 months or more to get an adsl line from hellcom.
  • you can’t get an adsl line that’s gameworthy from anywhere else.
  • the helpdesks take an average of 20+ minutes to answer a call.
  • we’ve spent almost 2 hours listening to hold music.
  • there is an exchange installed that is doing nothing because hellcom won’t assign ports for 3 months.
  • we have to pay an exhorbatant amount for this <massive sarcasm>”service”</massive sarcasm> <spit/><spit/>.
  • as soon as a viable alternative comes along people will jump ship in a heartbeat (we certainly will)
  • hellcom can go fuck themselves!

basically i’d like to say: fuck you telcom. i want my goddamn adsl now! 5 months is a fucking joke! telcom is the most unhelpful, ignorant, money-grubbing, arrogant, assfuck of a company i have ever come across. the only thing worse than them is the south african government (who just happen to own 42% of the monopoly know as telcom). fuckers!
for every month we have to wait for installation we should get 2 months free of charge. then we’d see some work being done.


9 Responses to our fight with hellcom

  1. kyknoord says:

    I can’t be 100% sure, but I’m sensing hostility…

  2. totalwaste says:

    and i think the searches that are going to hit your blog after this post are going to be extremely interesting.

    is it the same hold music from their telephone directory service?

  3. totalwaste says:

    oh. and you said “market penetration”. heh, heh.

  4. zenstar says:

    would you call wanting to strangle the life out of the bastards who deprive my of gaming and information utopia hostile?
    i’d call it justice!

    as for searches:
    willow pictures burglecutt
    and (of course):

    (hellcome deserves to have their “market” penetrated!)

  5. Mr Angry says:

    You’re in the awful situation where the “service providers” simply don’t care. Run by a cushy. protected monopoly, they have no incentive to improve. From what i read from you and moonflake it’s too much to hope that the SA govt will wake up to themselves. Maybe you have more hope of a foreign telco making the appropriate bribe, getting the monopoly broken then swooping in and making a killing.

  6. Evo.llusion says:

    I give you Telkom’s (or all of the above mentioned derivatives) Cape Town ADSL technical installation dept. telephone number. Enjoy, i got service 12 hours after i got my grubby little mits on these numbers. Alvin seemed to be the big kahuna. If they ask you where you got the number tell them a Telkom Helpline, it seems to upset them =)))

    Nazeem (Technical Dept.)
    Alvin Pedro (Technical Dept.)
    (021) 414 7916

  7. zenstar says:

    mr a: the government managed to stall a 2nd network operator position for so long that companies gave up trying to come in. finally they allowed a 2nd network operator in, but they’re only in another part of the country, have only just started, and have to use hellcom lines to begin… plus once they see how much money hellcom is making they’ll begin the rapage too.

    evo: thx :) hopefully between those numbers and the number of the supervisor that moonflake got something will happen… hope to see you on wow soon!

  8. moonflake says:

    update: firstly, no one at any point said Dec 20th, everyone so far who’s given us a date said Dec 30.

    and secondly, it now turns out that there’s nothing that even the supervisor can do other than to try and get the ports allocated faster. The issue is on the telkom side, not the technical side, so unfortunately the technician’s number isn’t going to help yet… although that may change once telkom gets their act together and i’m stuck waiting for the technicians to find their asses.

    Jesus christ, i hate this country.

  9. Marschant says:

    OK bru, how’s this… five months is fuck all! I’ve been waiting for two and a half years for a goddamn LANDLINE! I swear this is no joke, I don’t live in the Karoo and yes the year is 2007. I live in friggin’ Kalk Bay for fuck sake.

    I also got the whole “our exchagne is full” bullshit, however developers have been putting up around 40 new units in the area, so are these rich blokes gonna fork out R3 Mil for an apartment only to have Telkom tune them you can’t get a number or am I strangely bumped to the back of the line?

    So I get a call last week saying they’re going to install my ADSL line tomorrow, I applied for it a year and a half ago. So I’m seriously hoping that come tomorrow and I have no landline number (I got the line) they can still install ADSL and within a week I’ll be able to drop my goddamn MTN GPRS (R2/MB) access in the toilet. No I can’t get wireless/3G/EDGE since I live in a shadow.

    So yeah I agree – fuck Telkom – I’m proudly a South African Victim.

    [Ten Minutes and a chat with Nazeem later] Well it seems things will work out tomorrow, I finally have a landline number – now I just gotta convince my landlord not to sell the house… screwed if you do and screwed if you don’t.

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