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Is Telkom forcing customers to move to wireless packages?

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Telkom clients have accused the telecommunications company of allegedly forcing its customers to switch to wireless communication. Speaking to the VOC Breakfast Beat, Bertus van der Vyver, the Managing Executive for Customs of Value Management at Telkom, said the change was more of a migration than a forceful act – moving customers from the traditional DSL to LTE, wireless and fibre connections.

One of the main concerns was the fact that the elderly use traditional landlines and that migrating to wireless connections might prove difficult for them. Van der Vyver replied that Telkom has recognised this and has developed a device, which looks like a traditional telephone with large visible buttons. To cater to all preferences there are devices perfect for those who want to use a cell phone or something with a SIM card. Through all the changes, customers will get to keep their existing numbers.

He said Telkom is working area by area to introduce its customers to its wireless phase, with all prepaid customers having been serviced. Van der Vyver added that moving to a wireless service will provide a more reliable service, with added benefits for the same price.

“The infrastructure is aging and for a lot of the customers, the internet, broadband and the phone service is really important for many people – that is their link to the world,” he said.

Van der Vyver says that one of the main reasons why they urge their customers to make the move is because some communities are struggling to communicate given the high levels of theft and vandalism affecting the infrastructure.

“We’re doing it for the customers, to give them much more reliable service.”

Without the need of signing contracts, a new device free of charge and value-for-money service, Telkom has migrated thousands of their customers to a wireless service. To ensure that customers can jump on this idea, a list of areas where wireless migration services are offered will be released at the end of September.

“We’re moving ahead and our customers are walking the journey with us,” he concluded.


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