Having had the misfortune of dealing with the old Registrar of Companies in Proes Street in Pretoria many times as a business owner, I thought I have reached the bottom of the barrel in lack of service and useless employees. Then I miraculously met an elderly lady in the building that opened doors for me and I eventually got things done in the maze of musty offices and endless corridors.
When I started a business again many years later, I decided to skip the agony of dealing with the new cretins now working at CIPRO, that in essence just a chip off the old block but somehow managed to drift down to a new level of incompetence, by outsourcing the shebang to an accounting firm. This went just as slow as if I had tried to do it myself but spared me the agony of dealing with the special kind of zombies occupying the department. My business was registered, name changed, certified documents delivered and I felt relieved that the crisis of me blowing up the building with every last idiot inside, was averted.
Then our one director decided to resign! This seemed like a small enough change to warrant me doing this little task myself and save a bundle in the process. Well, how wrong can one person be? Firstly, the name was now CIPC and the new website should have warned me of the impending doom that lay ahead. Registering the company on the site was akin of walking through a maze blindfolded while being prodded with a cow prod with every wrong turn. I must just add that the maze was designed to lead you astray and prodding was fast and frequent. Having eventually managed to register, received my username and password and had access to the depths of the site, the agony reached, what I thought was fever pitch, when I struggled through the thoughtless crap they presented as a website.
After eventually managing to reach the page where the change was to be made, the page was locked as soon as I entered the relevant information to make the change. With little or no information available, I phoned the call centre, was left hanging for 45 minutes to find out what the next move should be and was informed of a myriad of documents that needed to be original, certified and wait for it, posted via snail mail to Sunnyside, Pretoria where their offices are. They would then process the information and it would take 15 working days to complete. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day but 15 days for deleting a surname and ID from an electronic document would probably have lifted the tired eyebrow of the Italian in charge of the Rome Project!
After trying to access a shortcut by hand delivering the documents to their Cape Town office, on the advice of the call centre zombie, no less, I was told that no documents are even taken in at the office, let alone processed. I relented and snail mailed the documents by registered post and today, 13 days down the line without word, I tried to phone the call centre to inquire about the process. After hanging on for 45 minutes, being cut-off by the representative the minute she answered, trying again and giving up the quest after another 45 minutes listening to a female rambling the same rubbish in my suffering ear, I decided to vent my frustration in this, more productive way!
Take heed SA, starting a business is filled with dark, damp potholes and none is worse than the entity called the Company and Intellectual Property Commission! Stay clear to avoid certain madness!!
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