What are the odds of getting an MTN SIM card in South Africa and MTN Nigeria lines wouldn’t be able to get through to me?

When MTN Nigeria Calls Wouldn’t Get Through To MTN South Africa

Posted by


What are the odds of getting an MTN SIM card in South Africa and MTN Nigeria lines wouldn’t be able to get through to me?

This was my pitiable state in SA last week and I am yet to understand it! When leaving Nigeria for SA, I roamed my MTNN line, but the charges were outrageous! A minute’s call and N750 would disappear. I got smart and thought that I was better off buying an MTNSA line there, so I got one and the problem started!

To start with, at the MTN outlet that I visited in SA, I requested for a SIM card, but was told that they were out of stock (MTN Outlet o!)…. “Okay”, I stuttered out, and left the place. Outside, I asked around and was finally directed to a store where MTN SIM cards were hung on their cash out tills (that’s another story for another day). There I grabbed one and paid for it, then hurried back to the MTN outlet for activation, so my already miserable stay could become easier.

That was where the second challenge manifested. This brings me to ask: how are people on holidays in countries that aren’t theirs and without a permanent residence register their SIM cards? You know that present proof of residence is required, and in SA also a form of identity (I weak o).

Well, the shop attendant registered my SIM in his name and address (rolls eyes) [“Cough! Cough!!” – Editor]. Olodo that I was, I took my phone back to my hotel room and when the calls from MTN Nigeria weren’t coming in, I dialed 141 and what I heard was a pre-recorded message in other tongues. I mean real tongues! I did not understand a word. For over 30 minutes, I waited for an English Language option or at least for someone to pick up or say hello…. for where?

By the next day, I was livid and stormed into the MTN store. Did I mention how unfriendly these folks were? Customer service is more than poor. I got the impression that they were angry and envious from some inferiority complex. The officer I met managed to look at me without unleashing a heat beam, Superman-style, took the phone, dialed a number and blurted, “Madam, you put your phone in Zulu Language. That’s the default setting!” Remind me to thank the shop attendant who registered it for me. Zulu! Like!!

Me: “Sir, please change it to English cos I don’t understand that sh*t!”

He got it changed, then spoke with a customer service agent over the phone before returning it to me and pronouncing that all international settings on the phone were okay. But the result? I still didn’t get a single call from MTN Nigeria the whole week that I was in south Africa. I could only receive calls from Zain (abi na Airtel) and Glo lines in Nigeria. I could call MTN Nigeria numbers, but not once were they ever able to get through to me.

What are the odds I ask again???


  1. That’s weird, its same MTN now, or do they have inter connection issues too?

    Customer care un most African countries is bad but I expect SA to be better.

  2. Perhaps no MTN line called you from Nigeria, since you got calls from other Nigerian networks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *