Instagram Feed

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

Follow me on Twitter

To top
25 Aug

I am so tired of terrible customer service

I love South Africa, I really do. I love everything from the beautifully crisp beaches to the colourful culture. I get upset when I read defeatist posts about the horrible state of our country, and how we should all emigrate to Australia or New Zealand.

But one thing I agree with is that we have terrible customer service in South Africa. It’s gotten to the point where we are surprised when we get friendly, quick service.

Last year Vodacom deducted my mom’s debit order from my account. Her name is Sonja, so it might’ve been an honest mistake had it not been for the fact that we have different ID numbers. I phoned them immediately to get it sorted out, but instead of helping me, I was treated like a criminal. After being on hold for 20 minutes, I was told that the money that was deducted was a penalty. I was not satisfied with this, so I took to social media to sort it out. I also wrote a really bitchy open letter, which I felt bad about until last week Monday.

You see, on Monday I received an SMS from Vodacom to say that my account is in arrears because I haven’t paid my July account. I went from shock to befok within seconds, because:

  1. I don’t have a debit order with Vodacom, because I don’t trust them. I drive to my local Vodacom every month so that I can watch them while they’re swiping my card. Yes, that’s how paranoid they’ve made me.
  2. I paid my Vodacom account on 25 July at Vodacom in Paarl, and I have a bank statement and receipt to prove it.
  3. I get befok when I get SMSes from Vodacom – good, or bad.

I immediately phoned them to find out what the hell went wrong. I was told to send my receipt and bank statements to [email protected], which I did on Monday already.

By Friday they still hadn’t reversed it, so I phoned AGAIN. This time I spoke to a really rude consultant, who said that they hadn’t received my email. I then resent my email, and got in touch with their social media team too.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.42.45 AM

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.42.57 AM


Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 7.56.15 AM

You would think that after sending proof of payment to four different people they would’ve gotten it? WRONG. This morning I phoned to follow up, and I was told that not one of the four people I dealt with had received or forwarded my proof of payment to their accounts team.

So, just to summarise:

  1. My account is in arrears due to a mistake on Vodacom’s side, yet I am being treated like shit because of it.
  2. There’s a higher chance of getting an email response from Barack Obama than Vodacom.
  3. Everyone at Vodacom drinks human tears for breakfast.

I hate that Vodacom has forced me to take to social media to get my issue sorted out. (Not that it worked.) Why do brands in South Africa not have responsive call centres? Why do I always feel skeptical when sending a brand an email? I never expect a response, because 90% of the time I never get one.

It’s unacceptable that it has gotten to the point where the only way to get something sorted out is to tweet a brand, or to post on their Facebook wall. Haibo!


Vodacom isn’t the only company with terrible customer service. I think we can all agree that Game takes the cake when it comes to kak in store service. The moment you walk in there all the employees avoid eye contact with you like you’re a Basilik or something.


And apparently dealing with Telkom is pretty much like swallowing razors…

I don’t believe in attacking brands on social media, purely because I’m a social media manager myself, and I know how terrible it can be to be on the receiving end. I always attempt to be as civil as possible. Unfortunately, after sending emails into an abyss, and talking to a rude call centre consultant, it’s nearly impossible to keep your cool when on social media.

So the solution is obvious: brands need to strengthen their in store customer service, as well as their call centre service. But for some reason this seems to be the last priority for big brands. I guess it’s hard to see your angry customers past the stacks of cash in your life, but let’s never forget what happened to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI of France when they ignored their people.

I’m not sorry.
  • Keith Dinnematin


    August 25, 2015 at 12:20 pm Reply
  • Dela

    its not just brands ,..its just businesses in general,.. and its something peculiar to SA! Bad service,.i have had from Telkom,(still waiting on reversals,. And an in shop personal had to run and hide when I popped in last week,. Because he slammed the phone on me and said ,when I finally want to have my line disconnected and its not then I would know), walked into a business today to place an order of around 85K ,..and was treated like ,..well Miss did not have time, ignored my handshake and literally stood at the door for 70% of the time when in the showroom! I could go on and on! and don’t get me started on waiting for invoices, emails on orders! I really wonder how some of these Brands become brands and how many businesses especially in Cape Town are still open!

    August 25, 2015 at 2:32 pm Reply
  • Elrese

    Ek ken hierdie gevoel te goed! Ek moet se compared met die probleme wat ons het met Sizwe is hierdie soos ‘n baba lol. Ek probeer al van 1 April om ‘n personeel lid se 2 kontribusies wat hulle verkeerdelik van die maatskappy se rekening afgetrek het terug te kry. En toe stuur hulle laasweek ‘n epos met proof of refund,net vir my om te sien dis in die blerie persooneel lid se bankrekening gesit (alhoewel ek ‘n letterhead met ons besonderhede en als gestuur het). Glo my, ek’s nie iemand wat vloek nie haha – my ma het die vrees in my gesit – maar ek dink nie eens bef*k was hoe ek gevoel het nie! Mense moet wakker skrik en hulle kliente weer begin waardeer, dinge ruk handuit.

    August 27, 2015 at 7:11 am Reply
  • Sean

    Name ’em & shame ’em!

    August 27, 2015 at 9:32 am Reply
  • Chris

    Ohh you forgot multichoice. They are worse than Vodacom. But I know exactly what you mean.

    September 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm Reply
  • Laura

    I think the main problem in this country is the general attitude. Most shops you walk into, they couldn’t care less and act like they’re doing you a huge favour to stop chatting and actually help you. As a woman I’ve come to expect the inappropriate looks and comments from assistants..the only brand I can say I’ve never had a bad experience with and expect good service from is Woolworths! I recently read something about the reason the service here Is so terrible is because we put up with it..but what can we do when the people at the top couldn’t give a damn. Yes, this country is beautiful but I would immigrate tomorrow if I could.

    October 8, 2015 at 2:37 am Reply

Leave a reply