Flow cable service bungle puts elderly at risk

Flow cable service bungle puts elderly at risk

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter to the country manager of Flow Stephen Price:

I am using this medium to write to you as I am unable to obtain an e-mail address or telephone number from the corporate office. Additionally, the online chat as well as the WhatsApp number for customers are both unhelpful in resolving issues.

With the current COVID-19 measures requiring people over 65 years of age to remain at home, an elderly relative wrote a letter of authorisation to Flow May Pen to apply for cable. The letter was certified by a justice of the peace and the bearer was also in possession of the applicant's ID, as well as the completed application form. These were not accepted at the Flow office and the applicant was asked to visit the store in person.

The elderly applicant (over 87 years old) visited the office and submitted the documents in person, made a payment of $5,000, and Internet was installed on October 9, 2020. The installation of Internet only by the technician was rather strange, as the client was told by the May Pen office that both cable and Internet would be installed, as it was a package. This was stated to the technician, who insisted that the service order was to install Internet only and not cable. However, a commitment was given that the cable would be installed the following week.

I attempted to resolve the matter using the Flow WhatsApp number and the only advance made was the provision of the account number. The applicant asked two people to enquire about the delay in installing the cable and a relative also called the 100 number and was told to visit the May Pen store to resolve the issue. This is still without success.

Putting herself at risk of contracting COVID-19, and out of frustration, the elderly applicant went to the May Pen store again in early November, again completed the application for cable and Internet and was told that the cable would be installed eight days later.

The cable has not been installed to date and the applicant is now being told that payment of approximately $11,500 is outstanding for cable service of which she is yet to receive. On learning of this development, another relative also tried to resolve the matter and the customer service representative on the 100 number insisted that only Internet was applied for. The relative and the other individuals who tried to resolve the matter were asked the age of the applicant and found it necessary to explain that, although the person is elderly, their faculties are intact.

Flow is suggesting that the elderly applicant visit the office again to make an application for the cable service.

It is anticipated that this open letter will spur Flow to resolve this matter in a timely manner, without further expense or exposure to the client.

Heather Anckle


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