February 2020 update
Vodafone named UK's worst mobile
phone network for eighth consecutive year

The largest providers are the worst for customer service, Which? finds

I've largely given up bothering to update the list the range of atrocities perpetrated by Vodafone - since the Ombudsman is pointless, Ofcom are useless. As long as they have more customers than they know what to do with, Vodafone has no incentive to get its act together.

But now we have a government that wants to make an effort to sort out broadband and telecoms, maybe someone with actually deal with them?

 

 

 

Vodafone failed on customer complaints, says Ofcom

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Telecoms provider Vodafone is facing the prospect of a large fine, after the regulator found that it failed to deal with customer complaints properly.

June 6th, 2016: Ofcom said it believed that Vodafone had broken the rules on handling complaints over a two-year period up to November 2015. It accused Vodafone of failing to have the proper procedures in place. Vodafone - which can be fined up to 10% of its turnover - said it would study the report in detail before responding.

"At bloody last", said a spokesman for VodaVictims.

 


See Vodasagas1: The story from June 2014 and the Cubot One, up to date (April 23rd): tales of the sort of poor customer service that says something is rotten at the core of the business. And also suggests that the Ombudsman services is not terribly helpful....

 

 

 

 

Quick link to leaving vodafone page  
Latest Ofcom Coverage map  
Contact us with your stories of frustration, bad service and woe: vodafone@isadisgrace.com  

This is WAY beyond a joke by now,  Vodafone.

Here's the big fat bottom line: if your service worked, and your management were competent, you would not have accumulated such a large number of dissatisfied customers, such a poor global reputation and me on your case.

Top tip for you Vodafone - if a customer is so utterly fed up with your attitude, then the best advice is to talk to them and fix the problem. People do not wantonly waste their time with your company, they only do it because they believe they have no alternative - or face getting a black mark on their credit reference if they simply do what any sensible customer is entitled to do - stop paying for a service they are not getting.

Most of us realise that the frontline staff (with exceptions) are generally doing their best within a system that is so poorly managed that the inevitable meltdown is happening. So this seems to be the guilty party:

I'm Jeroen Hoencamp, the Vodafone UK CEO.
 

Email jeroen.hoencamp@vodafone.com
Telephone 01635 33251


I'm committed to ensuring we provide the best service possible and am therefore passionate about listening to our customers. If you'd like to give me any feedback about a great experience, or to report an issue to me, please use the form below.

And this is what my management has resulted in...

Dear Jeroen

Please take a look at http://vodafone.isadisgrace.com and then let's discuss your company's fast collapsing social media disaster.

Your "people" will tell you I am a serial nuisance - only because Vodafone is a serial offender.

I can't believe you are aware of customer reactions in your various "social media" interfaces - social it is not.... there is a full on sh*tstorm under way, and it is not slowing down. You simply cannot ban everyone who hates dealing with Vodafone from all your sites!

Now, if I am one of those fated awkward users that manages to trip over all the obscure and unlikely events that mean I am finding every one-off exception in your otherwise competent service, then please give me a (freefone) phone number and direct email address to reach competent people directly..?  But I think we both know I am not the only one who has been driven to extreme distraction by the run-around of woeful Vodafone support process.

 
Vodafone: social media Armageddon awaits you...

Yes, I am a very dissatisfied customer of Vodafone over several years. The have lied to me many times; they have overcharged me by £100s, they have wasted many hours of my time. They have banned me 8 times from their forums for giving the correct advice to other users: change network!

Vodafone must be the classic example of what can go HORRIBLY wrong when a large company thinks it can manipulate social media to serve its marketing purpose and forgets rule #1 - "the customer is always right". 

If you can't make sure your customers are 100% happy, then give them the means to contact support without frustrating them to death with process and queues. But whatever you do, do not ignore them - and worst of all, do not aggressively put them down in your "forums" - even if you pretend those putting down are not directly employed by Vodafone but are somehow "independent community champions". 

Vodafone, you are heading for a world of pain: and it is ALL entirely self inflicted. And unless you stop now, confess, and tell your users you are sorry and that all those involved in what amounts to a conspiracy to lie to, mislead and ignore your customers - are  being let go, or re-educated that the customer is always right - it will cost your shareholders £BILLIONS to sort out. It is not enough for you to rely on the widely expressed belief that all phone companies are simply different types of sh*t. They are not as sh*t as you are. 

So I have a challenge for your competitors. You all watch the slating Vodafone receives on twitter, Facebook and its own forums? So why not challenge Vodafone to a duel:  allow your users to transfer their contracts to Vodafone without penalty, if Vodafone agrees to do the same in reverse. IE a Three customer can move contract to Vodafone (if they pay the balance on their phone if they have one as part of a contract), if Vodafone agree to let their users move to Three without penalty, on the same basis.

I dare you.

 

You have >90k employees worldwide - you have 411 million customers  - yet you cannot provide anything approaching a proper 24x7x365 support service.

You spend fortunes on advertising and marketing, yet you overlook the long term inescapable truth that personal recommendation is the best and most enduring form of sales tactic. As for high profile sponsorship, you pay money to buy the souls of allegedly honest people and businesses - who are then obliged to say nice things about you. Your sponsors must be feeling the pressure to distance themselves from Vodafone.  You may have saved Lewis Hamilton and McLaren the angst of deciding, but social media sponsorship means those involved will be obliged to watch very carefully how their brands are inevitably taken down with Vodafone's unremittingly poor image as widely reported on "social media".

One scandal - such as the use of sock puppets pretending not to be anything formally connected with Vodafone - patrolling the eForums and defending Vodafone - and even threatening users with plainly dysfunctional services that their credit records will be damaged if they do not pay Vodafone on time every month - could spell total social media and marketing disaster...

In fact, the entire idea that user forums should replace a responsible in-house support service is turning round and biting you in the fundament at every step. Exactly how many people have you now been forced to ban from the forums for losing their cool and being honest about their feelings for your failing business?  You know you fall short at every level of customer service and responsibility. You put a huge amount of effort into marketing and social media. But you spend so much on ads, sponsorship and promotions that most media owners are probably nervous to recount the stories of Vodafone incompetence.

Your user forums contain numerous postings from "contributors" who are so obviously in the direct or indirect employ of your company or its "agents" to defend it an aggressive way, that a direct employee dare not. So it's little wonder that when they are tackled on this issue, the questioning forum user gets banned!

You say "Vodafone is the only British network operator." You know your customers hate dealing with foreign call centres - so your foreign staff are (farcically) obliged to give out English names like David, Alistair and Kate. Your board is mostly foreign, and famously you do not pay British tax on your global earnings - so being British does not seem mean anything other than another PR opportunity.

Meantime, the costs of this saga at £150 per hour (a normal lawyer charge rate) are adding up all the time (currently over £7450!) and will be recovered by legal process in due course, so you will be saving yourselves money.

As usual, they're all out...

Below are stories of utter exasperation. For a long time I have suspected Vodafone's online presence is managed mostly for PR and marketing promotion rather than customer satisfaction - and here are further examples of this hopelessness. (Can you imagine how much time I waste trying to sort this out?)

The basic problem is that no company should ever be allowed to become as big as Vodafone - unless they can pass ongoing assessments and tests of their consumer service. Vodafone is a part of a grisly cartel of de-facto monopolies and needs to be broken up and operated in-country as separate businesses with local staff and responsibilities. Vodafone's frontline telephone support is very charming and tries hard, but behind the scenes, Vodafone appears to be managed by cynical folks who understand that most complainants can be kicked into the long grass until they give up in despair. 

The first that happens when you call 191 is that you are asked for your PIN, so they plainly know who you are and what number you are calling from. Yet the first thing any human does is ask for your details and PIN again! Are they completely incapable of operating a joined-up service? 

Only by causing these rascals financial pain will anything ever improve; so here's a thought for all dissatisfied Vodafone users who feel locked into a 24 month con-tract. You can almost always find some fault or inconsistency with Vodafone's service or website such that you can claim that the service is unfit for purpose and that you are cancelling - but ALWAYS also demand your money back to establish that you are not simply using the complaint as an expedient to escape the remains of a deal you did in haste, when briefly bedazzled by a new shiny thing. And also insist the amount of time you spend trying to resolve issues with Vodafone's chronically understaffed support scheme is paid to you at a reasonable £120 per hour of your wasted time, it soon adds up.  

Anyway, let the hassle begin... (it all began in 2009 ...)  but this page is the really meaty stuff that seems to have proved what I have long suspected, that the many visible crashes and failures in the online service are indicative of rot at the core, and an unreliable billing system.

And when you need it, here is the simple-to-access Vodafone complaints form although even that now gets passed into the usual automated process, and you will end up going round in the usual circles of incompetence.


Misleading advertising : Vodafone ad banned over misleading emergency services claims

Which? Tech daily says Vodafone voted worst phone network

Vodafone (and the other cartel members) explain why phones that cost £40 to make are sold for ~£400  to BBC Watchdog; and then explains why its coverage is lacking to Watchdog.


VodaFAIL News: December 2nd: UK cops: Give us ONE journo's phone records. Vodafone: Take the WHOLE damn database!

The Guardian wades in November 2014: Please Vodafone release me, let me go

More Guardian comment in November: Victory against Vodafone for schoolteacher billed £15,000


Vodasagas1: The story from June 2014 and the Cubot One, up to date: tales of the sort of poor customer service that says something is rotten at the core of the business.

Vodasagas2: The story of June to September 13th 2013

Vodasagas3: My efforts to communicate the issues with the UK CEO December 2014

Vodasagas4: How the  Vodafone website steals your privacy

Vodasagas5: The bums' rush, once more...