This post will be a bit of a rant. So if you are not in the mood for negativity, then click “back” and go away.
People overuse the word “amazing” but it amazes me, it truly does amaze me, that while all companies at this time tout how they are protecting their staff, are still managing to sell you new products, without making sure you are happy with things they previously sold you, or making arrangements for any after-sales care.
Now, customer service has never been a big thing here in South Africa. Companies generally tend to get away with whatever they like doing because the South African public is too polite to complain about bad service.
During the last two months, I have been fortunate enough to work from home. One thing one needs when working from home, is reliable phone and internet. I have been a Vodacom customer for many years now. The Ex works there, so it was natural to have a phone contract with them. Last year when they offered me a data contract with a little notebook-thingy, it was a nice-to-have, at a price I could afford. Thank the stars I took it then, because it has now become a necessity! (A fact which I was able to point out rather smugly to the Boyfriend recently as he was heavily opposed to the deal!)
Skip to the present. I needed a new phone line. It is ever so easy to do everything online these days. You choose your “deal” and they phone you back and it’s all settled on the phone. God forbid anything should go wrong though, because apparently Vodacom employees can’t email from home.
It is just about impossible to get hold of an actual talking person and they can never help you, even when you call the wrong department just so you can speak to someone, ANYONE so they put you straight back through “Customer Care”. Vodacom Customer Care, 082 135, is absolutely, 100% USELESS! You have the option of checking your balances and if that is not the problem you had, then sorry for you. With everything being online at the moment, it would be my guess that most people can actually find out their balances without having to call Customer-We-Don’t-Care. And then I’m not even talking about their stupid little chat-bot Tobi, who is even more useless! All he can do is tell you to contact your service provider! FFS Tobi, what did you think I was trying to do here?
So, here I am sitting with a brand new contract, with a phone I can’t ensure, because someone made a mistake somewhere and didn’t do it properly. This means I have to wait for a shop to open so I can go in and see an actual human being, by which time they will tell me that the 7 days since delivery has lapsed and I can’t insure the damn thing with them anymore…I am frustrated. I am frustrated to the point where I want to jump up and down like Rumpelstiltskin and tears are running down my cheeks, but I am not actually crying. I am pissed off! And the worst thing is, I can’t call anyone. You can’t call Vodacom customer care, because they seem to be set up to deal only with selling things and not problem-solving and after-sales care….
Next up: Takealot. I love buying online. I love the fact that I can order and it gets delivered at my door. Even more than that, I love buying ebooks! It’s amazing that you click on a link and you have a new book! It’s AMAZING (yes, I did that on purpose), albeit slightly dangerous for someone who already owns more books than they are ever likely to read in this lifetime…
But, I digress. This time, it was not books I was after. As wondeful as smart phones are, they seem to be forever running out of space. Meaning that we need extra storage space in the form of a Micro-SD card. Now, for some reason I am still unable to fathom, one could buy this seemingly non-essential item online (only in Level 4 mind!). So I ordered it. And then, to fill up the order and because we needed it, I bought dog food. Then my dog died. So I no longer needed the dog food. The children were here and we were all extremely emotional so I thought it would be better if the dog food just never arrived. So I returned it before it actually arrived. Note to self: don’t do that again!
Monday morning at 9am, the bell rings. Takealot is here to pick up the parcel I returned. No, I say, it hasn’t actually ARRIVED yet, please come back later. You would think they could check their OWN system for details such as these? But no. Apparently not.
So I wait…and wait …and wait…because I received and SMS saying that my parcel would arrive before 5pm. 5pm comes and goes and no parcel. So I decide to check their system. They have never failed me before. But how now? It says my parcel was delivered. And I signed for it. It says so. Right there. On their thingy. It says I signed for it? I know I didn’t. I am perturbed.
So I send a query. Where is my parcel please? I really need it. I wait. Because although Takealot employees can send emails from home, it takes them 72 hours to answer them. Fair enough. But nothing happens. After the expired 72 hours I send another email. Nothing continues to happen…so I send another, rather more demanding message.
This time I get a reply, and it seems this person is actually willing to help me! Whoohoo! I tell him what happened and we agree that he will refund the dog food and resend the SD cards. But instead, the driver who was supposed to deliver the package (the one who must have faked my signature!) calls to tell me that he can’t deliver one half of an order, he has to take it all back. Fine, I say, take it back, credit the money and I will redo the whole order from scratch.
So I wait. No refund. I email again. Oh no, they are just waiting for the warehouse to confirm that the SD-cards are signed back in. It is now a week since I was supposed to have received it. I don’t really care. I never got it. I never signed for it, and the fact that someone says I did, is in my mind, fraud!
I won’t bore you with all the details but this experience was one of the most frustrating I can remember in a long time. Two weeks and nearly 30 emails later (talking to SIX different people!), I am finally refunded. Swak, Takelot, really swak!