This is WAY
beyond a joke by now,
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
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
So this seems to be the
I'm Jeroen Hoencamp,
the Vodafone UK CEO.
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
And this is what my management has resulted in...
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
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
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
I dare you.
>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!
"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
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
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
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
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
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
The Guardian wades in
Please Vodafone release me, let me go
More Guardian comment in
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