It was announced yesterday that call to South Africa's new Presidential Hotline 17737, instituted by President Zuma, would be free from all operators. This is clearly an enormous mistake as everybody (and there are more than one million citizens per operator) with time on their hands can now just call the Hotline and tie up the lines for people like me. This morning, after having navigated through the friendly multilingual (English, Afrikaans, generic Nguni, generic Sotho, Venda, Tsonga) menus, I was told that my call was being forwarded to an "English" operator. After a few more minutes, a message was played saying that they are extremely busy and I should try again later. Line disconnected. Why not just play this message right at the beginning?
In spite of assurances from Cell C that the number is reachable from their network and free, my Virgin Mobile phone gives me the famous Cell C husky voice, informing callers that the number is "not available" when I dial 17737 from my cellphone. The cause of my original complaint? The Post Office's "Expedited Mail Service" does not answer their call centre number more than 10% of the time and in those cases, the system is reported to be down. I am trying to track a US Express Mail International item that is reported (by the USPO) to have arrived in SA three weeks ago. Never again!
Free calls to Zuma from all operators http://mybroadband.co.za/news/General/9614.html