Unable to get through to municipality

2011-01-31 00:00

THE most common complaints over the past weeks were about failure to get through to the municipality by telephone and unhelpful clerks who have not been sufficiently trained to deal with problems. Rory writes that his electricity was disconnected on a weekday last week and he only discovered this in the afternoon. It turns out the disconnection was wrong: his account was fully paid up and the disconnection was supposed to happen at a neighbouring house.

He writes: “This is a list of the numbers I phoned from my cellphone trying to sort this issue out: 0800 332120, 033 392 5098, 033 392 5096, 033 392 2980, 033 392 5029, 033 392 5081 and 033 392 2364. I was told to try other departments and I phoned most of them three or four times. The fire brigade actually got hold of faults for us. Faults attended to our call, but were unable to do anything as they do not have the authority to reconnect. I was assured by the crew that someone would attend to my call that night. This did not happen that night or the following day.

“I began phoning again, first faults at 0800 332 120 who gave me a number (033 392 5149) that just rings, then credit control checked the records and said that our account was fine, then reconnections who said they would look into the matter. I asked people for reference numbers and was told they do not do this.

“[By that stage] it was almost 3 pm and I still had not had any confirmation that I had been reconnected. The only joy I had is ‘we will put you down as urgent’. The rest said ‘try this department, try this number, please hold, transferring you’ followed by loads of ringing but no answer and some engaged tones. One would swear that no one works in some of these departments as I have let the phone ring for ages.”

 

Msunduzi Municipality’s response: City Mayor Mike Tarr has acknowledged the frustrations of residents who struggle to get through to the municipality. A fully integrated customer-care call centre is being established and the first phase is expected to be ready by the end of February. Queries can be sent to the e-mail addresses listed below.

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