Service or Not

A simple question – if you provide a 24/7 service that is potentially life-critical, shouldn’t you also provide 24/7 backup services.  The obvious answer is yes.  However Vodacom don’t seem to think so.

A bit of background.  The sister-in-law has a Nokia 6303 phone that until Wednesday work splendidly on a pre-paid basis with Vodacom.  During Thursday she noticed intermittent and increasing numbers of network connection failures, until on Thursday evening it failed completely.

I did the sensible thing, checked the settings, all ok, reloaded the Nokia software, cleaned the SIM – no joy.  I took it to a Nokia Care store in Umhlanga on Friday – it worked perfectly without even taking off the back.  Took it home – it failed again.

The network monitoring software on my E90 (also Vodacom) shows an error on the network.

To my 30+ years in IT, this suggests that something has happened at the cell-tower that services our home, principally because nothing had happened to the phone on Thursday other than being carried around in her handbag as usual.

I logged a call with Vodacom on Friday morning, was given a reference number and told “We will be in contact”.  Following up today, “Our technicians do not work at weekends”.

In practice this means that she will be without a phone for a minimum of 5 days. Fortunately, we have a land-line which can be used in the case of emergencies, but imagine if we did not or if she needs to use her cell and the local cell-tower does not respond.

Surely if Vodacom provide a 24/7 service then they should provide 24/7 technical backup, or do they just not care about their customers.

I’ll leave you to come up with the answer.

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