Following numerous complains about an increase in Telkom international call rates, John Maytham spoke to Jacqui O'Sullivan, Head of Communications at Telkom.
The complainants claim that Telkom did not notify them of the increase in cost of calls, and they were shocked to see inflated amounts in their monthly statements .
O'Sullivan confirmed that there has been a huge increase in cost of calls in some areas. However, she says this was communicated to Telkom customers by inserting notifications on the billing statements and instituting a voice recording when callers dialed an international number.
The increase is due to the fact that Telkom has for years undercharged for international calling facilities to some areas, says O'Sullivan.
We have twelve different rates in one continent like Australia— Jacqui O'Sullivan, Head of Communications at Telkom
When they looked into the matter, it was discovered that Telkom has been paying for interconnect fees. This is the fee Telkom pays to transfer calls from South Africa to another network, which then puts the call through to the intended destination.
So we were charging 72c a minute but we were charged an equivalent of R20 for connect fee. So we thought we have to get some sort of balance ...— Jacqui O'Sullivan, Head of Communications at Telkom
The increase does not effect all international calls. It depends to which network the South African calls connect. The rates will remain the same at 70 - 80c in some areas.
International callers should go on to Telkom.co.za before making a call to find out the correct rates..