You know that Captain America meme? This one. Okay, and now for the purposes of providing some context for this week’s dramageddon, this one too. And you’re thinking, “But Tarryn, it’s Telkom. What did you expect?”

I mean, Telkom and gross bureaucratic incompetence are more or less synonymous by now. It’s true because it’s on Urban Dictionary. But then there’s me, telling people that I’d cancelled my obsolete fixed line account in January when I swapped from ADSL to fibre, got confirmation from Telkom, my line was subsequently disconnected, no problem, submit the form online like me, totally easy-o-rama, dunno what’s up with yours, sucks to be you, omg, but I’m sorted, lol?

(NARRATOR: She isn’t.)

I dunno. I’m, like, the exception, I guess?

(NARRATOR: She’s not.)

What’s the worst that could happen, anyway?

(NARRATOR: Lmao.)

So, this week, I got an SMS. Who even uses SMSes in 2018? These guys.

It’s obviously spam, because of the inconsistent orthography, the questionable pay-me-cash claims, and the link to a “nude bt chat”. What even is that? I’m not into booby tardigrades anymore, it was a phase, mom. Like everybody else who’s moved on from an awkward adolescence squandered in the murkier recesses of Tumblr sci-porn biofic, I resisted its quantum-powered seductions. Not today, Tiddy O’Grady. That’s not even her name. Um.

But about an hour or so later, I got an email. Same thing, but this time with more legal junk including something ostensibly very important about “services delivered at your special instance and request and as per the terms and conditions incorporated in the application for such telecommunication services” and Latin phrases and shit. Still somewhat dubious, because this is exactly the kind of stupid scam I keep warning my in-laws about, I logged into my Telkom account to establish that it was, actually, definitely, for reals, a stupid scam so I could get back to not browsing for hot single coeloms in my area work, because it had to be a stupid scam but on the sub-atomic possibility that it wasn’t, I’m discerning like that. Not like that, though.

FUUUUUCK.

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

Except.

That’s not even my account number. I’ve blurred it out because it’s the internet and, remember, I’m discerning like that, but it’s totally not my account number, pinky-promise. It’s a – gasp – different account number, directed my M. Night Shyamalan. And it gets worse. If I click the “View and Pay your Home and Business Bill” option, I get this, the sequel also directed my M. Night Shyamalan.

What.

That is my account number. But there are no other account numbers attached to my available invoices or user profile. Somehow, I have two accounts, but one. But two. But one.

But what, the budget Netflix Original, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan.

Next, I did what any functional adult with a home loan, bank and cell phone accounts, and a lapsed but potentially compromised subscription to Buccopharyngeal Sluts Digest would do – I had some gin and existential anguish for lunch. Then I checked my credit score with a local financial firm.

It’s not quite the same amount, because Telkom and gross bureaucratic incompetence, but it’s close enough to spell C-O-N-S-E-Q-U-E-N-C-E-S with a capital default, and unless it’s resolved, it’s a very real problem for a lot of dreary reasons that only matter if you’re over 30 but it’s the principle of the thing and also, I’m over 30. What if I want to renew my subscription? Not that I want to. I’m over that. I told you. It’s a hypothetical contingency, look it up, and now I have “sexy tardigrade” in my Google search history and I’m on a(nother) list. So much for defining terms.

So now what? Since I’m on Google, I decide to also look up “Telkom cancellation problem”. Uh-oh. Misery loves company, perhaps, but I’m super introverted and I have a prescription to keep the misery at a manageable level, and besides, this is Telkom’s responsibility to fix. Not mine, and not any other customer’s. That a megacorp established in 1991 operating in almost 40 countries can’t provide something as basic as a functional service cancellation procedure is astounding – but when the prevailing advice from most people is to simply pay up…

Huh, maybe not so much.

In the meantime, though, I’m disputing this through multiple channels. Stay tuned for the inevitable update in about three or four months or ten years, when despite the account being re-re-re-cancelled, I still owe Telkom money.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in the text above belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to NAG Online, or some other group, organisation, committee, or individual(s), and the stuff about tardigrade erotica is totally made up. Probably.

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