On Oct. 28 Oct, my house telephone died. My wife tested the telephone
set using a neighbor’s telephone line. It worked, meaning that the
problem was in the telephone line. She then called Telkom (0251) 147 (in Bahasa Indonesia) using her cell phone to
report it. The receptionist (a woman) said a technician would come to
repair within 48 hours.
She asked for other numbers where my wife could be contacted, so my wife provided her cell phone number. Nobody from Telkom came or contacted her that day.
The next day she called again. After checking the record, the
receptionist (a man) reminded her that the waiting time was 48 hours, so
she had to wait. Okay, we waited. Nobody showed up on Saturday. This
time I made the call in English. Again the receptionist (a woman with
fluent English) promised to send a technician “as soon as possible”
within 48 hours.
Up to now there has been no technician nor has anyone contacted us.
Almost every 48 hours my wife calls and every time a different
receptionist answers. They all are polite, never interrupt when we are
talking and give honest answers. They explain that we use the flat rate
payment system, meaning that we pay a certain set amount for local calls
every month. Now our telephone has been dead for two weeks, meaning we
could not make any calls but we still have to pay.
The receptionist apologized, but that was the policy for the flat rate
package. She said that if after 48 hours the telephone still does not
work, Telkom would compensate us by not charging the subscription fee.
Thanks a lot, but the bills show that the flat rate system does not
impose a subscription fee, meaning that Telkom offered us empty
compensation. When my wife asked how many times she had called (to check
whether her calls were recorded or not) the receptionist answered with
the correct number. Anybody in Telkom could have seen that an efficient
central office system does not solve our problem.
We really cannot understand why Telkom is so determined not to repair
our house telephone. We always pay the bills in full before the due
date. Are there many desperate lonely people in Indonesia who call 147
every 48 hours pretending that their telephone is dead simply because
they just want to talk to the receptionist — and Telkom thinks we are
one of them? Even if it were so, they still have to come to investigate
the situation. Or is this Telkom’s easy way to make money: offer a flat
rate to customers, and when they complain just ignore them but make a
report that all is repaired, then sit comfortably waiting for the next
payment from the customers.
It has been many of 48-hour periods since our first report. I wonder if
there will be anybody in Telkom who is wise enough to send a technician
to where the dead telephone lays: our house, not the central office.
Dirk Jan Kleijn
Bogor, West Jakarta