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Regular Contributor
Posts: 408

Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

[ Edited ]

My wife & I went into the Fourways Crossing Telkom shop on Tuesday May 2nd at 3pm, to upgrade our ADSL line from 10Mbps to 20Mbps. We live about 1km from the MSAN box. After placing the order, we were told that it would take up to 48hours to upgrade the service.

On Wednesday May 3rd, at 9am we lost our Internet service completely. I called tech support on 10210 only to be told that the order was still being processed which could take up to 48hours. Previously, when we upgraded from 2Mbps to 10Mbps, the upgrade happened after 24 hours & it was invisible to us; meaning no downtime.

Wanting to follow the tech support's instructions, I then waited until Thursday arvie but unfortunately, our Internet service was still out of action. On Thursday arvie I then called 10210 to be told that the line should be running at 20Mbps and for me to unplug/replug the router. After doing this, our ADSL light was still flashing which means the router wasn't connecting to the Telkom mother-ship. The support person told me that we would need a visit from a technician to investigate why our router was not locking into Telkom's tractor beam. I asked when a tech would visit so that I can be home, but was told "they weren't sure". I have lived all over the world and have always been given an appointment date.

On Friday arvie there was a ring at our gate for the tech to tell us that he was not able to help us because due to a motor vehicle accident on Inchanga Road that morning, there was now no power feeding the MSAN box. I asked the technician when he could return but again was told that he didn't know.

As an interim measure, as my wife & I work from home, and we needed to start earning money to pay for our Telkom bill, I plugged our "Intergrated Data SIM" into the router and started using this facility. However I have now discovered that we do not have access to our allocated data bundle of 100GB but we now only have 2GB that we can use. This is due to a change in policy by Telkom.

Not knowing when a technician would visit our home we passed the time with our IDS SIM. Needless to say, this soon ran out and we resorted to having to use our MTN SIMs.

On Saturday morning at 11am I received a call from another technician asking if I would be home in an hour & a half, so that he could drop by to find out why weren't getting any Internet signal. 4 hours later the technican showed up. After thoroughly testing our in-house wiring which I did appreciate, the technician came to the conclusion that we had too much noise on our line in order for the faster 20Mbps to work. Therefore he would have to pass the problem on to the "cabling" department. He told me they would come to repair the line either the next day or Monday 8th.

Sunday rolled around and I received two more calls from technicans saying that they would need to visit my home to find out the problem.

On Monday 8th I received a call from a service dispatcher asking if my Internet service was still not working and saying that she would have to send a technician to my home. I told her that a technician had already paid me a visit and I didn't want another technician to visit me but to make sure that the "cabling" department was informed to fix our line. The dispatcher told me that it was a contractor that visited my home on Saturday and that she would need to send a Telkom Technican. I asked her why would Telkom send a contractor to my home if he was unqualified. The contractor had not send my trouble ticket to cabling and that it was now stalled in her system. She would have to send the ticket back to the sales department who would take it from there.

She then told me that she couldn't hear any noise on the line and that my Internet should be working. Interesting that a non-technical person can do troubleshooting over the phone like this. I then asked her to please credit some data to our IDS since it was not our fault that Telkom was taking so long to fix our problem. The dispatcher told me to call the sales department and they would add some data. As is typical with Telkom, their staff tell you things which are either not true or misinformed. After wasting another 15mins of my life on hold to Telkom sales, I was told that they couldn't give me any data and I would have to order more data via the usage tracking tool. This was an interesting concept since I had no Telkom Internet service at all!

On Tuesday arvie, my wife received a SMS that a technician would visit us the next day. My wife called the technial support department to be told she needed to call the sales department to find out what this SMS was about & she was told that it was in order to change the line. I was now excited as I thought that the cabling department was coming to correct the fault. Why one department can't handle things is beyond me.

On Tuesday I also received another call from the contractor technician who had visited my the previous Saturday. I asked him why he hadn't escalated my fault to the correct department. He assured me that he would take of everything the next day.

Wednesday rolls around and I get a call that a technican was here to fix our problem. I asked him if he was here to  fix the cable only to be told that no, he was here to check the house wiring. Later that day the contractor technician again calls me to say that he was working on the problem. Later on that arvie I discovered that the landline was now only giving me a fast busy tone. I thought that's good news because something is obviously happening.

Again no feedback from anyone to tell me what was going on or when they would fix the problem.

Thursday comes around and I get an excited call from the contractor technician to tell me that the problem with the line has been fixed and to look at my router. I glance under the bench to see the ADSL light STILL FLASHING. I tell him this fact to which he exclaims that it is strange and can he bring his modem to my home to test the line. I thought that's a good idea as then it will rule out my modem from being the problem. 

15 mins later the contractor technician shows up with his modem and discovers that his modem too, with a guest account, would not sync with the Telkom system. He again goes outside to the Telkom box outside our complex only to discover that the noise was STILL present. The technican told me that the line was faulty between two manholes and it would need replacing. I was confused about what actually the cabling person had done to our line all this time! Finally the contractor technician throws his arms up in the air & says that we should roll back our modem to 10Mbps and that we wouldn't be able to upgrade our speed afterall! I asked him if he could help us with this but was told unfortunately NO, we would need to go back up to the Fourways office.

My wife then has to spend her precious lunch time at the Fourways office trying to undo the previous upgrade order. Because the upgrade was unsuccessful, my wife was told that the system showed we were still at 10Mbps. The sales person said that my wife would have to talk to the technial department again who would need to get a technician to come to our home to find out what was going on! My wife then had to wait around while the sales department called the technical department to confirm that we wanted to roll back to 10Mbps. Finally she was again told that it would take up to 48 hours to roll us back.

Finally on Friday morning, we were still without Internet. Because of the impending weekend I called the tech support person who told me that their system still showed my modem was synced to their system. Unfortunately they could not view the billing system to see where our roll back was at in terms of how long it would take. I didn't know if our Internet was not working because the billing system hadn't rolled us back yet or that there was now a new problem with our lines! After telling her about the issue with our cabling, she said she would put through an emergency request to repair our lines. I was hoping that the issue was that the billing computer needed to activate our 10Mbps speed again before the weekend. Sure enough, on our return home that arvie I was relieved to see that the ADSL light on our modem was solid and not flashing!

All I can say is that I think Telkom is a disparate SOE and I was subjected to a comedy of errors one by one. Technicians not talking to each other, having to deal with two disparate systems that don't talk to each other. What a painful joke to have to endure. My experience is absolutely pathetic.




Occasional Contributor
Posts: 140

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL



Unca Paul


Can I use this as a script for my new movie I'm writing with Leon Schuster?

Posts: 3

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

yeshad a similar experience


wassent from sales to billing to technical to sales billing and back to technical


no one seeems to know what going on

Regular Contributor
Posts: 408

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

[ Edited ]

Hmm something very strange is afoot.


I went on to the Telkom website to look at FTTH options.


I inputted my telephone number and only VDSL was shown as an option.


I'm now wondering if this is why I couldn't get the ADSL 20Mbps. However the Fourways crossing shop said that 20Mbps was available so I am confused.


Secondly, a friend told me that the noise one hears over the landline is the ADSL signal. So I wonder if the tech that came to my home got confused by this noise thinking it was what was causing the aforementioned problems.


I wish that I could talk to someone with knowlege but Telkom seems to have let all these people go and now have cowboys working for them...2017-05-29_14-41-15.jpg

Regular Contributor
Posts: 408

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

OMG I think I've stumbled on the answer!

I found a website that says that even though ADSL2+ can go up to 24Mbps, Telkom chooses to max it out at 10Mbps. Above that you need to go to VDSL which is a different kettle of fish and requires another modem.


Can you believe that Telkom employ these dimwits that don't know what the hell they're talking about. 


Never in my days have I encountered such incompetences as demostrated about this useless ANC SOE...

Regular Contributor
Posts: 498

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

ouch @hongkongpom, seems like a lot of PT. From what I gather, Telkom has ADSL at 20Mbps that runs on both ADSL2+ or VDSL. By default you will get 20mb on ADSL (with 1mbps uplink). If your DSLAM is enabled for VDSL, then they can activate it as such, but VDSL does require a different modem that supports it versus ADSL 20mbps still working on your existing router. (VDSL has 2mbps uplink). I myself queried the coverage map recently becuase my line showed as 4Mbps VDSL. I think they check what the highest technology is, and combine that with the highest speed you can achieve. I know I definitely have 4mbps ADSL. 20mbps is really pushing the boundries of xDSL and as such you need really clear, good quaility copper and a short copper loop length.


On the plus side, they are running fibre in my street as we speak.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 408

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

My suspicions verfied!2017-06-07_14-59-28.jpg

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 140

Re: Comedy of errors upgrading to 20Mbps ADSL

Its Just been announced

100Mbs ADSL for those where copper still is and fibre is not




Unca Paul

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