I have decided to dish out an award this week: the "Big Pile o' Poo to match your crappy service" award. We have two finalists for the award today, let me describe their qualifications
The usual suspect
What would a bad service award be without Telkom. They earn their place in the race for the dubious BPOP badge for managing to break my ADSL every single time a technician comes out to our area and tinkers/bangs on whatever is in those exchange boxes. A callout fee is levied if you lodge a complaint and it turns out there's no fault though, so we wait a day or two to see if they accidentally fix the problem (yeah, it happens). The cherry on the cake though is actually trying to reach their support, my last (unsuccessful) attempt had me waiting for 40 minutes on the line. While their single, irritating call waiting music loops, they taunt you with the suggestion to report the fault on their website. Let's see, what could be wrong with the idea of reporting a DSL fault on a website.. hmmm.
Upon actually going to the website (at work of course, my home DSL is still down) it turns out that it's possible to report telephone faults, and TelkomInternet (ISP) faults, but screw you if you want to report a faulty DSL line.. call the helpline, suck it up and grow old in the queue.
Bank on stupidity
The second contender, First National Bank, stumbles it's way into the finals by having some of the most convoluted processes I have ever come across. Their staff are great, they really want to help, it's just a pity that whatever moron designs their processes seems to delight in torturing both them and their customers by overcomplicating everything.
Reactivating my administrative account on their internet banking service after losing the password (doh!) was the first hitch. It is physically impossible, thanks to their overcomplicated ideas, to even walk into a branch with all my ID documents AND the original documents issued with the account and sort this out in one sitting. You have to have a reactivation form which they can't print (WTF!?), but you're not allowed to insert a USB stick into any of their machines to allow you to access the site so you can't print the form out at all in the branch. Once you have this form, you have to get it to the bank-but they still can't do the activation, all they do is sign it and forward it to Internet Banking, who then do the activation (eventually). Completely, unnecessarily overcomplicated.
The next problem is that you then have to request the ability to make payments separately-as if anyone wants internet banking without that facility. This involves yet another form and the same idiotic process as above.
All of this is aggravated by the fact that none of the support staff could tell me any of this upfront. I had to discover it all by trial and error.
So out of these two who get's the poo? I suppose FNB have to get some credit for eventually getting the job done, no matter how roundabout the route. Telkom, on the other hand, still haven't fixed my line. I am now switching to WebAfrica for my line access portion as well in the desperate hope that they can light some fires for me.
Congratulations Telkom, you get some poo! Come visit me at home and I'll take great delight in feeding it to you.. I just need to harvest it from the cats' litter box.