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I walked into TelOne

TelOne Runhare HouseYesterday, I walked into TelOne to ask about the landline application I submitted some 3 months ago. 30 September 2011 to be exact. I need the landline for ADSL broadband internet. TelOne as you know is the state owned sole fixed line operator (and provider of ADSL services) in Zimbabwe. The operator decided on a monopoly of ADSL broadband internet and won’t let ISPs in on the ‘bulk’ ADSL. Their ADSL internet is reliable, quite the option too if, like me, you’re looking for some low cost internet.

So I walked up to the reception (at the main post office in Harare) and was told to go check with the people inside. In there I met a lady at a desk who told me to go further down the hall. Just “further down” nothing about which particular desk to go to.

I go further down, and out of couple of desks I eventually see one that has a small queue and seated behind the desk a lady talking to a customer. She’s pointing to and waving what appears to be an application form to the customer. The waving is the kind people do to emphasize a point the other party is choosing not to get. I figure this must be the right desk, so I join the queue.

My turn comes and I walk up to her desk. “I’d like to check when my landline will be installed” I say, showing her a scribbled paper with the reference number I got 3 months ago. She doesn’t look at it. She looks at me.

“Come next week Wednesday!” she instructs.

I look at her, somewhat confused at what that means. I’m figuring she’s going to say more so I just look at her and wait for the rest. She doesn’t say any more.

“Why? Why next week?” I finally ask, still blank.

“Didn’t I just say to come next week? Come next week Wednesday!” she retorts impatiently.

“Why should I come next week? You don’t want to check today? you have a backlog? someone’s on holiday? you don’t do service applications today? Why? I want to know why I should come next week!” I too am getting impatient.

Then she responds in that so-what-you-gon-do tone “you won’t leave until I show you a pile of papers. Is that it?”

Again I don’t know what she means here. “No. You don’t need to do that, just tell me why I should come next week!”

“We don’t have capacity! Is that what you want to hear?”

“Ok.”  I resign and decide to go.

As I walk out I’m thinking maybe I should get her name and take this up with her superiors. Then I think I’ve loads of stuff to do, and the last thing I need is more stress working the bureaucratic food chain here.

Next week maybe. I’ll go again next week Wednesday.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

19 thoughts on “I walked into TelOne

  1. Sounds like TelOne alright. I have a line that massed up a heavy debt when they decided their own exchange rate. Asked if we could pay in instalments and then get reconnected. “No, and you get a reconnection fee”. This from a company that is losing clients daily as mobile phones has taken over…

  2. so its your first time to be treated like that? dont be surprised they are always like that!!!!!!!! Maybe by Wednesday they will have upgraded their system to accommodate you, unfortunately maybe they are upgrading Southerton and you want the line in Kuwadzana!!!!

  3. Generally speaking the customer service in Zimbabwe generally is appallingly poor to say the least, but it is particularly bad with the service industries like Telecoms, Banking and anywhere where the “customer service agent” feels the customer is there to beg for their mercy until they get the service they rightfully deserve and sometimes already paid for !! 

  4. It reminds me of comments I used to get when I was working with some Chinese guys. They would always say as slow as the Jimbabwe government, people in Jimbabwe are very lazy the work they do in a month’s time I can do it in two days all they need is to get paid and go and drink but they want to work less they would say, etc.

  5. I have been using the Tel.One ADSL service for about four months and have found the download performance excellent. I have battled with their SMTP server which seems to have been underpowered and I could often not send mail as much as 50% of the time.  That has now improved. The biggest problem I have faced is that whereas I have been paying my Tel.One accounts for three land lines by cabsonline for years, they now repeatedly fail to credit my payments.  On one occasion I was actually cut off on the ADSL and my account currently shows a balance which ignores my last three payments. Numerous phone calls have failed to rectify the problem. The biggest joke in this country is the expression “valued customers” (c.f. Zimra, Companies office) – boy have they got a strange way of showing how they value my custom!!

  6.  thus telone for you! was there even mahobho wanted to use his button stick on me for not being in line when all l wanted was to ask!

  7. Pfwah! You don’t need to tell us about the awful quality of service out there, we’re living in the same Zimbabwe. I understand about your valuable time, peace of mind, blah blah, but you have a site that empowers you to at least try something a little different with this post – how about this:
    Everyone on this site has IT in common, consumer or professional. How about using this site’s influence to get everyone with this common thread into the culture of not letting these angry b****es get away with unacceptable service. If ICT consumers skipped arguing with useless angry-customer-service-b**** and reported bad service to the most relevant higher-up EACH AND EVERY TIME (probably instantly resulting in clogged inboxes from the volume) do you think it’s possible that we might change ICT company policy to “the best possible service with a smile or you’re fired”? Techzim is the sort of place you could get this started, maybe as a 2012 resolution/campaign: An ICT consumer community that doesn’t take BS lying down. Just a thought
    Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukkah

    – “Break the legs and there will be no more kicking”

  8. You got messed around while trying to give them money. I have been trying to get paid for 4 weeks by Telone. I am a service provider to who has been told to come back next week until the signatories went on holiday last week. Nice.

  9. Was told no ADSL on CDMA but you get dial up if you want. So i download the forms from the web and goes with them, the dude at the Old Post Office building down the very empty room says, there is no capacity and hands me back my form. I squirm and he says give me back the form and let me see what i can do. Me not one accustomed to bootlicking decided against greasing this dude’s hands and told myself, i would rather stick to my Iwayafrica account. TelOne sucks!!

  10. I went to their stand @ICT Africa 2011 Harare, I asked them about the ADSL, no one gave me the right answer, they seemed to be confused. Its high tym some of these so called ICT giants should wake up. Do you think the same thing is happening @Verizon Wireless, MTN, or Telkom

  11. I think thats unfortunate, the experience you had at TelOne. I have dealt with TelOne a lot of times this year at different levels from ADSL, Billing to Switching and i would easily say their customer service has greatly improved. For once they their clients well, I think its just a scenario here where one bad apple in the basket tarnishes the whole bunch.

  12. Nothing worth having comes easy, we live in a generation of instant gratification and I must have things my way or no way… I waited for months after applying for a fibre connection which surprisingly they have and is the ultimate way to connect, before they launched ADSL and had to wait a week before getting connected after it was launched and you wont find an ISP with great support services like Telone they actually check up on their product to ensure that it’s working, I think 10c for a megabyte is a joke compared to the 0.02 if you exceed your data cap believe it or not the idea of the internet is efficient connectivity that compares to drawing water from a tap i.e. affordable and a basic human right ALL OTHER ISP’s DONT PROVIDE THIS AND I’M SO GLAD OF THE TELONE MONOPOLY I HOPE IT STAY’S THAT WAY FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT 5 YEARS

  13. @tjengwa:disqus, the Verizon and MTNs you talk about all have service failures. Just last week, verizon started charging customers, i think about $2 to pay for their accounts online, and these are post paid accounts not prepaid like you have in Zimbabwe. The entire US was in uproar. How can you charge for online payments whene there is no paperwork involved. Verizon was saying paying by cheque paper would be free? What could be more stupid than that? Imagibne if all hosting companies started saying we charge US$2 for card payments and free for cheques. A bank draft in Zimbabwe alone goes for US$30.
    You also talk of MTN.
    Live in south africa and see for yourself. There are people who complain of incorrect billing etc. remember when MTN did the “blackberry-style-outage” a few years ago when calls were dropped like no man’s business. There are also issues with premium SMS services that will continue to bill you like no man’s business and several scams that are ruin on the network unlike you would find on Econet etc.
    Econet itself also hdss dozens of problems. There is no engineer or intelligent enough person who knows all its services outside Harare, especially at Bulawayo. I enquired about premium SMS and the damn Econet employees know nothing. THEY KNOW JACK! Vodacom, over 1000km away in SA responded faster to me than Econet which was just a few km away.
    When people say all professionals left Zimbabwe, generally speaking, it is best to believe it and accept it as the truth and nothing but the whole truth. If you go to SA or anywhere, they will tell you Zimbos work hard and are friendly, unlike the experience above.Those who gave excellent services got jobs in SA because of that and they are doing a fine job there. When they left, they created jobs for incompetents who would never have got the jobs or remained in them with their bad attitude to service.

  14. dont give up. The adsl service they offer is the best value for money in town – we applied and got the link within one week – it took 10mins to install. get through the challenge (we live in challenging circumstances so we know what to do)

  15. Just hang in there. Yeah one bad apple spoils the whole lot. The speeds are good, the cost is worth it so yah just hang in there.

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