Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Dear Cell C

I have two of your "speed sticks," a white one and a black one. I have had them since December. I HATE them. HATE HATE HATE them. I hate them so much that next week I am going back to Helkom and their ADSL.

I put up a blog entry in December, a week after I got these pieces of crap, complaining about them. That blog entry has had more than 30 responses, and all of them hate this nasty little stick too. You've already seen the blog entry. You've already contacted me about it. Your "fix" was to make promises that were never fulfilled. I am not the only person who has had this experience with your customer dis-service organization, either...see the blog.

Do you realize you are engaging false advertising? This stick does NOT work as advertised...and neither does your customer service. When I call the 084140 number, the prompt asks for my Cell C telephone number---I do not have one and, considering the dismal performance of this horrid little stick, do you honestly think I would be stupid enough to get a cell phone that works on this miserable excuse for a network?? OK, eventually bright spark in your organization got an idea and added a prompt for people who are too smart to get one of your phones...but stupid enough to believe your false advertising and get one of your sticks. When I press the prompt designed for such people I am transferred to 30 seconds of dead air space, after which the line disconnects. Clever...you can maintain a fiction inside the organization that your stupid stick is as wonderful as you advertise it to be because you PREVENT COMPLAINING CUSTOMERS FROM REACHING THE SERVICE ORGANIZATION.

Last week I had a four hour drop out...the light on the stick said it was connected but no data flowed. I rebooted everything except my feet, but it just sat there, plugged into my laptop, winking from one colour to another in its slobbering stupidity. Because I had URGENT business to transact that REQUIRED an internet connection, my poor husband had to leave work, pick up the data from me on a thumb drive, then drive back to his office and send the necessary stuff from his work computer...using his employer's bandwidth because MINE WAS INACCESSIBLE.

Yesterday this piece of (expletive deleted) shut itself off twice...yup, just shut itself off...no light blinking on the stick or anything. Today I am experiencing data transfer so excruciatingly slow I actually went out to the kitchen and made myself a cup of tea and when I got back to the computer it STILL had not connected to the website I needed!! I have had to reboot the stick four times in the last five hours just to keep that excruciatingly slow trickle of data flowing.

You people should be ashamed...abjectly, red-faced, head-hanging ashamed...for not only putting a product this bad into the marketplace but for your baldfaced lies about it in your advertising and your cleverly constructed telephone labyrinth that keeps complaining customers at bay. You should be further ashamed of making token passes at customer service, like calling me up and promising the problem will be referred to technical support and someone from there will call me...I've been waiting for TWO MONTHS for that call...it hasn't happened yet!

What I do get is operators on your main line who, after hearing that I cannot use 084140 because I don't have a Cell C phone, put me through to it anyway. Or they transfer me to a supervisor who doesn't answer his/her phone. On the rare occasion I have managed to reach someone marginally technical, I have literally had to make a dozen or more phone calls and waste 90 minutes or MORE, just in the attempt to reach someone who MIGHT be able to help me.

I hate this thing. I truly, honestly, from the bottom of my heart, hate this thing. It doesn't do what what you say it does...not even once in a while. And your company's obtuseness when it comes to providing customer service just exacerbates the problem. But most of all, I hate that with your on-going advertising campaign of lies, you keep sucking in more and more of the unsuspecting, people who end up on my blog...sometimes within HOURS of purchase!...who are just as unhappy and disappointed with it as I am. http://sweetvioletsa.blogspot.com/2010/12/ineptitude-thy-name-is-cell-c.html

It would be very nice if someone from your organization who actually has the power to change things would contact me in response to this email. If all you can muster, however, is some little drone who can only send me scripted replies/links (like your telephone operators and the customer service people who have contacted me in the past) then please do not waste your time or mine. If you cannot hook me up with someone who actually has the authority to FIX things, then just send me a note with the procedure I need to follow to return these turkeys and get my money back.

Sincerely (and I MEAN that)

Sweet Violet

cc: http://sweetvioletsa.blogspot.com/2010/12/ineptitude-thy-name-is-cell-c.html


  1. mmmm, I thought a speed stick was a type of deoderant?! Perhaps they should consider changing from cell phones to cosmetics, so they can cover up their spots a bit easier... S from CT

  2. 42+ hours since the email was sent, so far no reply.

    And yesterday the stick was so slow I eventually shut the computer down...there was no point since it could do nothing but show sites that were already cached. It could not access new sites and could not update the cached sites, including email and FB. In order to get something to update, I had to shut down the stick, then re-boot it. For a few seconds...less than 10...immediately after reboot, the stick would run fast and download all the stuff I had been trying to download, like mail and such, then it would switch from WCDMA (apparently the fastest) to HSPA+Cell C which, it seems, is even slower than EDGE. In that few seconds of WCDMA, I'd get my downloads, after that, the stick was connected to the network, but data could not flow.

    Call tech support? Why? So I could be shuttled from pillar to post and asked for the Cell C phone number I do not have? To waste 90 minutes of air time (or Telkom charges) only to get no help at all, as in my last few (unsuccessful) attempts to get assistance from their "customer service" organization?

    Thanks to Cell C, my computer is little more than a very, very expensive door stop. I don't know how many times I will have to reboot that damned stick to get this comment to appear, but you can bet I will copy and paste it to a Word doc so it doesn't disappear into the ether while Cell C dithers, as so many emails and other messages have done in the past 3 months.

    I HATE this stick and now, because of their false advertising, crappy product and non-existent customer service, I HATE Cell C, too!

  3. Four days since the email was sent, still no reply.

    GREAT customer service, eh?

  4. @ Violet

    Would love to help sorting this out. Please send me your coordinates.

    Thank you

    Lars P. Reichelt
    CELL C

  5. Lars, I would LOVE to discuss this problem with you...LOVE LOVE LOVE to!!

    Unfortunately, you didn't leave me a way to get my details to you and your phone system is absolutely impenetrable.

    Let me know how to contact you and I'll give you my "coordinates" ASAP.

  6. And now Cell C also screws up BlackBerry service? I decided to ditch Cell C for MTN. Oh, and of course when I ended my Cell C contract, they took FOUR MONTHS to end the contract. They took my money for FOUR MONTHS after I ended the contact. I let them know two months in advance to end it. But did they? I say everybody should just throw their Cell C products in the ocean and have a more peaceful life.

  7. OMW you have said exactly how I feel about this pathetic company. I have finally had enough and will be moving to Vodacom.

  8. Cell c has the worst customer service ive ever experienced, i swoped to them from vodacom because their cheaper but their network is always unreliable and their customer service is non existent, as long as cell c gets their customers money they couldnt care less about them

  9. On behalf of the whole of South Africa, I apologise that you had the misfortune of encountering Cell C. I hang my head in shame because it sprang its evil tentacles from my country. Cell C is a joke, and we are, unfortunately, the punchline.

    Cell C represents all that is wrong with predatory capitalism. Its mere existence is a savage indictment on a sick society. I have experienced nothing but anguish and woe from moment I had the misfortune of stepping into its thicket of lies, advertising hype and false claims.

    Never again will I be so naive as to believe the blatant falsehoods propogated by its marketing department, or the mealy-mouthed nonchalance of its complaints department. Cell C worries about only one thing: maximisation of shareholder dividends in the short term, profit, profit and profit. That means exploiting customers and failing to deliver even a fraction of the promised service on its creaking mobile broadband network.

    What Cell C has apparently failed to realise is that not all of its duped customers are without teeth. Some of them are lawyers, and smell a class-action lawsuit for mass breach of contract. I'm getting excited just thinking about it. Just imagine all the frustrated speedstick users that would sign up in an instant - WHOOSH!

    Anyone keen on signing up, email me at slim_fandango@hotmail.com. I'm a lawyer. If we get enough names together, this could really be worth doing.

  10. Never again cell c for me too.noah go to hell you idiot.these speed sticks are a waste


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