Service Delivery in South Africa

A while back, I had the privilege of needing some technical support regarding drivers I needed for an iBurst ( modem for the Windows 7 operating system. The iBurst website, although stating that it had the drivers, and providing a link, actually downloaded the older drivers for XP when you clicked on the Windows 7 link. Never mind, I though, it’s just a slight oversight on iBurst’s part – I’ll use the contact page on their website for help, and I should get a reply within a day or two.

Ha! Boy, I could not have been more wrong….

I received a reply from iBurst exactly 25 days later – 17 working days! I would not think that it could be possible for a company to supply this kind of service to it’s existing customers, and still remain in business. In the pre-internet era, I am sure that had I send a letter to a company requesting information, or technical support, that even using snail mail, it would not have taken 17 working days to receive a reply.

More recently, I used the Neotel website ( contact page, to enquire about differences on the packages that were not quite clearly explained on their website. Again, I was expecting a response within a reasonable timeframe. Again, I was proven wrong! Neotel took 11 days – 7 working days to reply to a simply request on their products. On top of the delay in replying, Neotel didn’t even bother to give my enquiry their full attention – I asked for clarification on 4 things:

  • What is the speed differences between the Neoconnect Lite and Neoconnect Prime Packages
  • Whether unlimited bandwidth was for both local and international traffic
  • Is there a monthly cap, even though the service is punted as unlimited
  • Is the traffic shaped or unshaped

How many of those do you think Neotel answered? If you said one (1), you’d be right – the first one. All other questions went unanswered. Neotel then have the audacity to tell me to call the call centre, or email them again if I have any further questions.

HELLO!!! You didn’t answer all my questions in the first place… What makes you think I would want to deal with, and give my business to a company that takes 7 working days to reply to a simple enquiry?

Lately, there has been a number of Service Delivery protests directed at Government and Municipal departments – should we be surprised at this, considering that private companies are providing a similar level of service?

How companies can deliver BAD service, and still remain in business in this country, is mind boggling at times. We, the South African consumers have a bad habit of accepting bad service, moaning about it, but doing nothing to change the situation. This applies to almost all business sectors, regardless of whether there is plenty of competition, or just a few players. Every once in a while, we have the choice, and the power as consumers to change how companies interact with us, and how they provide a level of service that we are happy with. Right now, the telecommunications sector is one such area that we have the right to expect vast improvements in service, price, and products on offer. As competition increases in this sector, I cannot see how companies like iBurst, and Neotel will remain in business, if they continue to show the poor service levels they have shown until now.

If you are shopping around for a new ISP, and you receive shoddy service, move on, and go look elsewhere – there are plenty of ISPs at the moment that you can choose from. If you have an existing ISP, I advise you to shop around every few months, and see what is on offer out there – prices are changing from month to month. Don’t tie yourself into a long 24 month contract, because the chances are that in 3 – 4 months time, you will be paying way too much for your bandwidth. To illustrate this point, up to last week, the cheapest uncapped account that seems to suit my personal needs was the uncapped offering provided by a company called Axxess ( What happened last week? Mweb ( went and threw a spanner in the works of all the other ISPs, by providing uncapped ADSL at what must be close to half the price anyone else is doing it for right now. That is the kind of change we should be expecting, and indeed demanding from ISP companies in South Africa right now.

Our company – DracoTec is mainly an IT services company. We strive to deliver an unparalleled experience to the customer when it comes to service.

If you are one of our existing customers, and in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the service you are receiving, please don’t keep quiet. We cannot improve our service if we do not know where we are failing. Contact us, so that we can rectify the problem immediately. The same can be said with letting us know if you are happy with what we are doing – give us a “shout”, and let us know.

If you are not one of our customers, contact us today, try us out, and see what we can do for you.


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