Bad service

Blue letter

Bill Robson, Noordhoek

Vodacom at Longbeach Mall has just lost a customer, and gained an enemy.

Last week, following the collapse of my Telkom ADSL line, owing, apparently, to cable theft, I decided to install a wireless router for wi-fi.

Unfortunately, Afrihost, my internet service provider, supplied the router with an MTN SIM card, but MTN’s coverage in Noordhoek is weak, resulting in an erratic service.

I was advised to ask Vodacom to sell me a SIM card, since their signal strength is better in Noordhoek.

So I took the router to them, cycling despite the south easter, since I am always conscious of my carbon footprint, and cycling also keeps me healthy.

The salesman glibly informed me that nothing could be done without my ID and a municipal account, but further assured me that there would be no problem changing to the Vodacom network.

I returned at length, tired but determined, and I waited my turn.

And then another Vodacom salesman attended to me. To my astonishment and disbelief, this man then contradicted his colleague and informed me that it would not be possible to install a Vodacom SIM card into the router! (I later learned that Afrihost are exclusively contracted to MTN, and that the router was blocked against other network providers.)

However, this arrogant Vodacom salesman could not be bothered to explain why and abruptly deserted me to serve another customer, despite my asking him to please explain the problem.

I even phoned an expert friend and asked the salesman to discuss it with him, handing him my cellphone.

He handed it straight back, having terminated the call.

Twice this happened, until I realised what he was doing!

By this time my exasperation was becoming intense, and, to add insult to injury, the other customer, a young female (superficially prettier than me) interfered without being asked and proceeded to rudely and loudly castigate ME for “shouting rudely at the salesman”, delivering a long lecture which demonstrated her presumptuous conceit to everyone waiting their turn to be served.

I may have raised my voice, but I was not nearly as rude as this selfrighteous female.

After waiting quietly and patiently to perhaps be served again, I left – ignored, saddened and humiliated.

Ah! But one thing the arrogant salesman did not know was that my cellphone contained a Vodacom SIM card.

So I went straight to the Cell C office, where I was treated with politeness and respect, and obtained a Cell C SIM card, which will replace the Vodacom one as soon as the airtime on that expires. It makes no difference to me since I do not store data – I have a brain for that purpose.

The problem is that the young think that we older people are stupid just because of our age and ignorance of “computercrat buzzwords”.

When I was their age, it just so happens that I obtained, from Southampton University, UK, an honours degree in electronic engineering, so I am not quite so stupid as the salesman and his female client supposed. I wonder how they will be treated when they also grow old?

  • Vodacom 4U in Longbeach Mall acknowledged receipt of the query sent by the Echo but despite several calls to the store, no response had been received at the time of going to print.