On Making Mistakes…

Everyone makes mistakes. It’s an innate skill, as The Human League told us, back in ’86:

I’m only human
Of flesh and blood I’m made
Born to make mistakes


Multinational cellphone behemoth Vodacom made a mistake with their billing run last month, resulting in some (or more) customers being billed twice for the same month. Oops. They told me about it via SMS last Friday:


Not a great start to the year. But now here’s the thing. It’s not the mistake making that is the issue – because everyone makes mistakes, we’ve covered that – it’s how you go about sorting out that mistake.

I have to say that Vodacom sorted out their mistake very quickly, by saying sorry, keeping me informed, crediting me with the missing amount that was debited twice and then telling me when they’d done it. Which was yesterday, right on time:


They’ll lose marks heavily if they do it again, because one important part of reacting to a mistake and sorting it out is learning from it so you don’t make the same mistake again.

But, given that these things can – and do – and did – happen, I was hugely impressed with their response.
Well done.


Towards the end of last year, Vodacom upgraded the internet service in Suiderstrand from EDGE to HSDPA. That was great, although quite why they didn’t go all the way and make put an LTE connection in, I don’t know. But perhaps that’s because I’m not a mobile telecommunications expert. Maybe there’s more to it than just plugging in one ‘magic box’ instead of another. Who knows?
(Obviously, mobile telecommunications experts know, but I’m not one of them.)
(I may have already mentioned this.)

The whole HSDPA thing is great. It allows Skyping, blogging and Flickring without the constant frustration of waiting. For.


To happen.

But sadly, today, it’s gone away again. And we’re back to EDGE. Once more, I don’t really understand how this can happen. Surely you either have a connection or you don’t?
The strength of the signal remains solid – it’s the speed that isn’t there. S’odd.

Still, recognising the need of my readers, I did manage to upload some pictures to flickr. <~ That’s the link, right there.

17015976046Of course, it hasn’t cost any more to upload all those photos, since we’re charged by MB and not by time for our internet these days. It did take nearly two hours though. And that’s easily enough time to get through a nice bottle of red wine, I have discovered.

Vodacom tablet repair no update update

It’s been a while since I updated you on how my tablet repair is getting on. And that’s because it had been a while since Vodacom updated me on how my tablet repair was getting on.

Just to jog your memory, it was dropped in (not literally) at their Anal Walk store on the 9th of April and I last heard from them on the 14th April, when I was told that it had arrived at the Advanced Repair Centre and then was being assessed at the Advanced Repair Centre.
I was ready to go into this post, all guns blazing, but weirdly, almost as soon as I began typing the V word in the title, my cellphone notified me that an SMS had arrived.

Guess who?

Job Number XXXXXXX is currently in the repair process.

This is good, because we are 8 working days into the 10-15 working days I was quoted for the return of my device. The only worrying bit about this is the fact that it doesn’t say where this repair process is taking place. Previously, they have been very careful to tell me that everything is happening at the Advanced Repair Centre. Their apparent reluctance to inform me of the location of this “repair process” is very worrying. I imagine my beloved tablet in some dark, grubby, back street repair centre in downtown Hillbrow, not an Advanced Repair Centre like it deserves.

Yes, obviously I’m concerned.

There and being assessed

Yes, it’s another Vodacom Tablet Repair Update. By SMS.

1315: Job Number XXXXXXX has been received at the Advanced Repair Centre

This is good news. Being Pseudo-Capetonian, I’m always concerned over the safety of loved ones and loved things when they head up onto the hijacker-filled, e-Tolled highways of Gauteng. Thankfully, my broken tablet has made it all the way to the ARC, where presumably it will be joined by another broken tablet, and two of every other sort of defunct device, and be safe from the 40 days of rain which has been widely forecasted by Russell Crowe.

But wait, there’s more:

1345: Job Number XXXXXXX is currently in the assessment process at the Advanced Repair Centre

Game on. They’re having a look at it. This bit shouldn’t take too long, because I have already told them what’s up with it.

In fact, probably my biggest concern here is what my broken tablet was doing for the 30 minutes between SMSs. I can only presume that the ARC is so big that it actually takes 30 minutes to get from the Reception to the Assessment bit. One would think that – for reasons of efficiency – these two hives of activity would obviously be next to one another.

Equally concerning is the lack of any further promise to keep me informed by SMS.
Is this where it all ends, where the trail runs dry, where the toilet door slams?

I anxiously await the next installment, where my broken tablet hopefully heads to the Repair section – or even the Advanced Repair section – of the Advanced Repair Centre.

It’s enthralling, isn’t it?

Vodacom Tablet Repair Update

I’m already missing my tablet. The words of Professor Phillip Collins spring immediately to mind:

We had a life, we had a love,
But you don’t know what you’ve got ’til you lose it.

Life and love aside, my “lost” tablet has indeed led to the sudden epiphany that I didn’t know what I had, (’til I lost it).

It is imperative (for my productivity (and possibly my sanity)) that I get my tablet back as soon as possible. So, having said that I would keep you updated on the progress of the tablet repair, please find here the first delivery on that promise.

I handed my tablet in for repair at Vodacom yesterday.
They said that they were going to send it away for repair and that they’d keep me informed by SMS.
I got an SMS as I left the shop, telling me that I’d handed in my tablet for repair and that they’d keep me informed by SMS.
I got a phone call this morning telling me that they were going to send it away for repair and that they would keep me informed. By SMS.
I got an SMS this morning telling me that they were going to send it away for repair. It also noted that they would keep me informed.
The medium through which this information would be relayed would be SMS.

Apparently, it’s going for a “higher level repair” at the “Advanced Repair Centre”. I guess that this is the tablet equivalent of major surgery and then ICU. We must just hope that it pulls through and doesn’t develop complications or a superbug or something.

I can’t fault Vodacom’s efforts to keep me informed, though. Previous repairs with the yellow company have left me frustratedly chasing shadows. Vodacom have started well. Now, can they keep it up?

I’ll keep you informed. By SMS.