So there I was in Cape Town and my local mobile number from the MTN network decided not to work. Having been in this position before, I went into one of their kiosks and asked for it to be re-activated. Unlike on the previous occasion, I was given flannel about ‘systems changed two months ago’ and such like meaning the old number was dead. I vowed to give them one last chance and visited a third store, deliberately choosing the touristy area of the Waterfront as at least they’d be used to dodgy foreigners demands!
At no point did anyone show at least the slightest bit of interest in me as a customer, even when I pointed out I’d been a loyal customer for 3 years and given them thousands in revenues.
As I wandered into their pad, there were two young guys, dressed in normal casual clothes, chatting and a girl on a stool the other side. I explained to one of the guys my predicament. Half-way through talking to me, he pulled out his mobile from his pocket and checked a text or something and put it away again. Then, the girl, who all this time had been chatting away on what seemed like a call to a friend, started contributing to our transaction, whilst still on the blower with her pal. Then the guy took my sim card wanting to check it in his phone, rather than mine. Yet his phone was a trusty old Nokia last seen in the 90s and he couldn’t get it to fire up. So here was a fella, working in a mobile phone store, with a phone over 5 years old and not charged/working. All three events combined saw me walk out flabbergasted.
Goodbye MTN. Losers.
So off I popped next door. A Vodacom reseller called CelluCity, also recommended to me by my mate PJ, as his pal Sean owns them. As I walked in, a server just got back from a break by the looks of it, and was singing the Eminem line ‘guess who’s back’ to himself, then he high-fived the bloke I was headed towards to be served myself. They both wore corporate polo shirts and clearly enjoyed being at their desks. At the counter, my first question related to whether a superior network provider than MTN existed. The guy responded with ‘I only sell Vodacom, so let me tell you today, that Vodacom is absolutely the best’ and then he giggled, realsing what he’d said. And so did I.
My service experience continued to be nothing but positive. The guy serving me (Marc Davids according to the receipt) backed up his healthy attitude with several excellent and genuine needs-pinpointing questions. And off I went, having spent 500 bucks.
Hello Vodacom. All promising stuff.
You don’t need to be a slave to American early-evening 80s sitcoms to guess the moral of this little tale.