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October 2015 update
I gave up on Vodafone and switched to 3 a while ago. A look at the forums suggests that Vodafone seems to be as bad as ever. And still they remain brazen enough to just sit back while their frustrated customers vent their spleens... the fact that Vodafone doesn't make any sort of effort to try and stem this flow of bad customer relations in their own forums suggests they really don't care, and the effect a few grumpy punters letting off steam is negligible. A better system of complaints processing than the Ombudsman Services is plainly required - something that actually costs Vodafone money would be a good start? So maybe anyone complaining should be entitled to have their billing immediately suspended until the complaint is resolved? Meantime, here are the two most recent posts on the forum:
April 23rd 2015: Vodafone still in denial
From: CRinformation@help.vodafone.co.uk [mailto:CRinformation@help.vodafone.co.uk]
Sent: 23 April 2015 10:26
Thank you for your recent correspondence to Jeroen Hoencamp - CEO Vodafone UK. We have tried to call you to discuss your complaint, we’re really sorry that we didn’t manage to reach you. We have fully investigated and we now have a clear understanding of the events leading to your complaint.
As you have received a response from the Ombudsman it is down to yourself to respond to them, either accepting or rejecting their resolution. If accepted we be contacted by the Ombudsman and fully comply with their decision. We will not provide any further credits relating to this complaint unless advised to do so by the Ombudsman.
If you would like any clarification on the above please call into the Directors Office on 03333 044 766 to speak to a member of the team; the office is open 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday.
For and on Behalf of:
Well, the Ombudsman decision is that you mislead your customers; and given that you have taken no steps to change the inducement to SIM only users concerning the fact that your service is limited to working to with a range of “supported” handsets, then I put it to you that you are being wilful in this matter, and therefore the matter should be escalated and handled by Ofcom and the ASA - and simple contract law.
April 22nd 2015: Should I just give up?
I tried a final attempt to get a reaction. I emailed the note below and was called back on my 3 mobile number - unsuccessfully 4 times. The email contained two other landline numbers, neither of which was tried as far as I can see. I also got a couple of text messages:
Good afternoon Mr XXXXX, I?m currently investigating your complaint dated 21/04/2015, I will be calling you later today to discuss the concerns raised in your complaint. The number I?ll be calling from will display on your phone as 0808 000 0133. Best wishes, Marc, Vodafone Directors Office.
Good evening Mr XXXXX, we have tried to contact you regarding your complaint but have been unable to reach you. We will be sending you a email addressing the concerns raised in your complaint. Best wishes, Marc, Vodafone Directors Office.
I replied to a text message - but it appears to be a "send only" text number that accepts no replies, and the message failed.
Anyway, I was called back shortly after by someone from the Indian call centre - presumably "Marc" who was frankly, incomprehensible - but judge for yourselves. I had to hang up the call - it was going to be futile. What are you thinking Vodafone? Do you have a corporate death wish?
ALSO I am really not comfortable giving over extensive personal ID details including bank sort code FFS - especially since Tescobank had issued a £3k loan to someone who stole my ID with rather less information than I handed to some anonymous Indian - whose cousin might work at a bank call centre for all I know. (The Tesco fraud saga is here - in light of their recent news and widely apparent incompetence, I might be moved to resume that case).
Anyway, I realise "Marc" was only doing his job - albeit under the direction of some world class stupidity - but maybe Vodafone is going after Tesco's record for the biggest corporate loss in UK history?
This was my last missive to Vodafone:
Someone from Vodafone tried to call me yesterday. Once when I was driving at 2.26pm - then again I missed call at 4.03pm
I called +443333040191 in the effort to make contact, but your IVR system flatly fails to respond to numbers entered in response to questions - I have recorded the session as proof if you don’t believe me.
Frankly, dealing with Vodafone is an experience that would try the patience of anyone – let alone one who seems to have been consistently unfortunate over the past few years in dealings with the company.
I think we know where this is going – I need to migrate the last two accounts from Vodafone to a supplier that has my confidence and I would like an immediate and painless PAC code for the last two numbers - without any talk of charging to the end of the contract. I rather imagine you will be pleased to see the back of me too?
But I will still reserve the right to pursue the matter of the time you have already wasted per the note below. I see even after the Ombudsman’s comments, your website is STILL not qualifying the idea that a SIM only deal will work with any phone.
Sent: 18 April 2015 18:22
See attached. The ombudsman services operation agrees with me that you lied when claiming:
"Love your phone? Keep it"
"Whether you're switching to our network, visiting the UK with your mobile, or wanting to use your existing phone for a bit longer. a Vodafone SIM only plan gives you everything you need to connect to our products and services."
The Ombudspeople go on to add:-
I understand that despite these
assurance phrases, you have experienced a problem accessing Google
apps and in particular the Google Play store when accessing it using
your Vodafone SIM. The problem appears to be connected to the
Vodafone network because you say you have experienced no problems
when accessing it via wifi.
As you may already know, I have been through a major saga with Vodafone over this matter and have run up costs in the course of reporting and documenting this matter of at least £5000.
So what do you propose to do about the costs, now that the Ombudsman seems to agree with me that you told lies..?
A Very Grumpy Customer
April 12th 2015: The Ombudsman Fiasco continues
It's quite hard to express my contempt for the absurd Ombudsman process. It seems transparently obvious that it is designed to give the semblance of a complaints procedure whilst in reality being a sandbagging process that is operated on behalf of arrogant companies who cannot be arsed to mange their own (overloaded) complaints procedures. Ombudsman Services' brief appears to be to filibuster the complaints process by using websites that barely work, snail mail communication, and staff who do not seem willing to read all the available evidence, and unwilling to respond to criticism of mistakes they make.
This typically arrogant line sums up the imperious process very well: "There is no appeal against the final decision and this letter now ends the process of investigating your complaint."
Anyway, and notwithstanding, I got a further communication on March 19th...
No comment is made about my criticisms of their previous inept process, but this time, the nub of the issue - Vodafone lies on its website and forums - is at last recognised and addressed:-
Ombudsman Services: Communications
Case reference: 01039069-01
19 March 2015
On 29 January 2015 we informed you that as you had not responded to our letter of 15 January 2015, you had reached the end of our investigation process and there was no further appeal.
However, I can see that, prior to 29 January 2015, you had informed us that you were experiencing problems accessing the letter we had sent to you . I am sorry we did not take this into consideration before finalising your complaint. In the circumstances, I have decided to review your complaint.
As I understand it, you entered into a SIM-only contract with Vodafone on the understanding that Vodafone's service could be used with any handset. Despite this promise, you experienced problems using Google Apps-when using the Vodafone network.
You have quoted several sections from Vodafone's website which you argue gave you the impression that you could use any handset in conjunction with one of its SIMs in order to access its network. For example:
"Love your phone? Keep it"
"Whether you're switching to our network, visiting the UK with your mobile, or wanting to use your existing phone for a bit longer. a Vodafone SIM only plan gives you everything you need to connect to our products and services."
I understand that despite these assurance
phrases, you have experienced a problem accessing Google apps and in
particular the Google Play store when accessing it using your
Vodafone SIM. The problem appears to be connected to the Vodafone
network because you say you have experienced no problems when
accessing it via wifi.
Having said that, I do not consider the issue raised to be one of significant concern. It is my understanding that Vodafone would support the vast majority of handsets available in the UK today. It is also my understanding that the handset you have been using - the Cubot 1 - is a Chinese handset which is not available to buy from retailers in the UK and customers who wish to use the handset have to import it. It is therefore unlikely that many customers will experience the same issues you have had.
As there is a compatability [SIC] issue and as I
can accept that you may have been led to believe that you could use
the SIM-only plan with the Cubot handset - it seems reasonable for
Vodafone to allow you to terminate the contract without penalty. I
do not, however, consider that an award is
There is no appeal against the final decision and this letter now ends the process of investigating your complaint. You now have to decide whether you accept the final decision. Please let us know whether you would like to accept this decision within 14 days of my letter in full and final settlement of your complaint. If you decide to accept it I will inform Vodafone of your acceptance .
If you do not accept the final decision, or fail to respond , it will not be binding on Vodafone. You will still be free to follow other routes to try to sort out the problems in a way that suits you better, but you will lose the right to any remedy I have set out.
"Having said that, I do not consider the issue raised to be one of significant concern. It is my understanding that Vodafone would support the vast majority of handsets available in the UK today. It is also my understanding that the handset you have been using - the Cubot 1 - is a Chinese handset which is not available to buy from retailers in the UK and customers who wish to use the handset have to import it. It is therefore unlikely that many customers will experience the same issues you have had."
I suspect the phrase "It is my understanding" means that "Vodafone have told me".
Use of the phrase "a Chinese handset which is not available to buy from retailers in the UK" seems to be an effort to be pejorative, but name a smart phone that is not made in China.
However, the Cubot1 is a handset bought from Amazon UK, Sold by: WMicroUK
Such is the glacial "complaints process" that I cancelled with Vodafone last July and moved to Three. Nine months before I was graciously advised:
"My decision requires Vodafone to write to you to confirm that it will allow you to cancel your SIM only plan without penalty."
So let me summarise what you are saying - I was right all along to state that Vodafone was being perverse and lying when it made false claims about its ability to support "the phone I already had" without qualification - and then chased me off their support forum for trying to tell others the truth?
Now Ombudspeople, the use of snail mail rather than email is wasteful and spins out the process unnecessarily.
As for... "There is no appeal against the final decision"
Maybe not, but this site sets out the story and it is up to the world to decide if you are competent organisation operating in a reasonable way, and offering a credible service. So I think the battle needs to move on to expose the Ombudsman Service for the shambles is has so plainly spread out before me.
And finally... when I went to check the present Vodafone website just now, I found as usual...
Just how an organisation of this crass ineptitude remains in business is a mystery. Do you pay bribes to regulators and politicians to turn a blind eye to your treatment of the marketplace?
February 2015: The Ombudsman Fiasco continues
I got a formal mail response which I have scanned herere. Note that the foot of the page says:
"Create PDF files without this message by purchasing novaPDF printer http://novapdf.com"
How very frugal of Ombudsman Services! Anyway - this is what it says -->
"Your complaint about Vodafone
Ombudsman Services Communications
Case reference: XXXXXXXXX
29 Janaury [sic] 2015
We provided you and Vodafone with the findings of our investigation on 15 January 2015. We invited both parties to accept our proposal or provide representations within 14 days.
Vodafone acceptedthe proposal. You failed to respond. This means that our proposal becomes Ombudsman Services' decision.
We have now reached the end of our investigation process and there is no opportunity to appeal. You now have to decide jf you agree to accept our decision in full and final settlement of the dispute.
The decisionis that Vodafone is required to take the following action to resolve your complaint: send a letter of apology; and make a £30 gesture of goodwill to your account
Ifyou agree, we will contact Vodafone and confirm that you accept this in full and final settlement of the complaint.
Vodafone will haveup to 28 days in which to implement the remedy.
Ifyou do not accept this decision , or fail to respond, the decision will not be binding on Vodafone. You will still be free to follow other routes to try to sort out the problems in a way that suits you better, but you will lose the right to the remedy set out above.
Pleasecomplete the enclosed form to indicate your decision. If you have a scanner, you can confiirm your response no later than 14 days from the date of this letter.
If youagree , we will contact Vodafone and confirm that you accept this in full and final settlement of the complaint.
Ifyou do not accept this decision , or fail to respond, the decision will not be binding on Vodafone. You will still be free to follow other routes to try to sort out the problems in a way that suits you better.
Here's a simply fabulous faux pas - the enclosed sheet shows:
Acceptanceof our decision
Weaccept Ombudsman Services' Decision in full and final settlement of my/our complaint about BT
This form must be received within 14 days of the above date or you will lose the right to any resolution we set out.
l!We reject t Ombudsman Services' Decision in full and final settlement of my/our complaint about BT.
Thereis no appeal against our decision and our investigation is concluded. If you choose to reject our decision, it will not be binding on BT, and you will lose the right to any resolution we set out. You will be free to follow other routes to try to sort out the problem
ina way that suits you better.
Wehave now reached the end of our investigation process and there is no opportunity to appeal. You now have to decide if you agree to accept our decision in full and final settlement of the dispute.
If youagree , I will contact XX and confirm that you accept this in full and final settlement of the complaint.
Ifyou do not accept this decision, or fail to respond, the decision will not be binding on XX. You will still be free to follow other routes to try to sort out the problems in a way that suits you better.
Pleasecomplete the enclosed form to indicate your decision. If you have a scanner, you can return the form firstname.lastname@example.org. You must confirm your response no later than 14 days from the date of this letter.
Ombudsman Services: Communications awards levels of goodwill in light of shortfalls in customer service. We do consider the £xx is reasonable in response to the issues identified and ...."
And what? It just ceased there. If this shabby
response is not emblematic of the poor level of competence with
which the matter has been handled all along, I don't know what is.
Anyway; I see that "there
Rrrright.... Do you folks s really think I propose to leave the matter here?
They say: "You failed to respond."
19 January 2015 13:57
I do not appear to have a login or password for this site?
Anyway, I still did not get a a password but I used the password reset option and found this waiting... after 6 months and a load of hassle - not to mention this extensive blog describing the issues I have had with Vodafone...
Never mind: "...its web-site which implied on that it supports all phones if you sign up for a SIM..."
The mendacious Vodafone is s STILL saying: http://www.vodafone.co.uk/shop/pay-monthly/sim-only-deals/
I even entered the phone model in the Vodafone phone finder - it didn't find it; but after this farrago, you would think they would have made a note for future reference. Clearly no one at Vodafone give a flying feck....
December 12th update
Still in denial...
December 5th 2014
More proof Vodafone is either inept, or it tells lies...
December 4th 2014
Here we go AGAIN
Note the typo: <"you're already added..."
Although Vodafone has exported countless jobs to foreign lands, it behoves them to proof read their website more closely. Anyway.....
I tweeted ...
I got over the first issue of being thrown off my online account access (See Dec 1st entry below), but then ran into issues because I could not then manage the Sure Signal devices (that use my own broadband connection but as still charged at regular "plan" rates) to make up for the fact that Vodafone coverage is pants in many parts of the country.
.. and was sent a tweet reply that told me to click a link to go to another online form to fill out....
A proper joined-up company would allow users to identify themselves using the phone number and characters from their PIN to fill out the form - but the more we delve into Vodafone, the more obvious it becomes that all efforts seem directed at slowing down access to support, and dissuading users to ask for any sort of support. Here's a reminder Vodafone - if your service operates at advertised, then the support requirement would be a lot less onerous.
But I overran the 10 minutes allowed to complete the form, which requires the usual vast collection of information ... presumably because Vodafone know this will time out in many cases and the despairing punter will go away... and got this response back...
But I persisted and sent it eventually. Now watch this space... again ...
December 1st 2014
It's hard to remain calm when dealing with Vodafone's startling stupidity at times.Today I went to log into the online account to check the latest bills and amend Suresignal users.
I waited 22 minutes for an online chat session to become available because when I tried to log into the online account, Vodafone cancelled it after I removed one of the 3 numbers it included. If the person chatting was really called Harvey, I will eat my elbows.
Plainly, mast global operations now realise how much we all hate dealing with the UK jobs that they have exported to India, and tell Shivam and his colleagues to pretend they are anything but Indian.
Anyway, the transcript of that encounter is here for the masochists amongst you. Suffice it to say it only confirms that Vodafone probably could be better managed by baboons.
7 hours later, nothing has happened, no email has been received. SO I am sending this to the online complaints form:
Will that make a difference? I doubt it.
I got a standard reply
the link that took me to...
ARGHH.....! FOR FU##SSAKE VODAFONE.
Here is the transcript of the chat session - with "Alan" ...
I resumed the process on DECEMBER 2nd
Copy of your recent chat with Vodafone online chat service team.
I was eventually put through a smart girl who knew what she was doing (at last) and the matter was finally resolved in about 10 minutes.
Dear Vodafone, why don't you recruit more smart girls and train your droids to spot when a customer is blowing a fuse, and refer them straight to the smart girls? Your practise of changing the names from Indian to appear English is both highly revealing and an admission that the UK market has become intolerant of the ineptitude widely associated with offshore call centres.
So how about importing those jobs back to the UK?
November 24th 2014
The Ombudsman is acting upon a complaint I had lodged with them in August (!) - and advises this is receiving their urgent attention. Don't hold your breath.
Also in the meantime I have tested EE to see if it has changed its Orange spots. I have to report that I was "charmed" into taking out a contract on the basis that the Signal Box would be available to fill in the dire lack of coverage in vast tracts of the realm. The page says "Signal Box is no longer available to purchase, but we’re working on new ways to help you stay connected in more places" - but still links to an item in the self help community: that made me laugh:-
"There's only ever been Vodafone that actively sell and promote the use of femtocells (signal boxes), probably because even they know their own network is crap."
Are ALL mobile phone operators incapable for telling the honest truth about themselves and the inadequacy of their services?
Anyway, when I called EE to say the signal was indeed as crap as I expected it would be, and that I wanted a Signal Box I was told categorically it was not available. And when I wanted to cancel the deal in 14 day window - it took an hour and 5 dropped calls to their "support" to actually get the message across.
Clearly, all attempts to regulate this industry full of misleading and downright dishonest con artists in the cellular phone business are going nowhere. Maybe Ombudsman Services would do well to work with massively disgruntled people like me to try and stop this rampant abuse of customers of the industry - or would that mean they would put themselves out of a job?
But it's hardly surprising that they are sinking under a workload that means August complaints are being looked at 3 months later.
And as well as monitoring this site in case I say anything contentious about their services, they should also watch the tweet stream to Vodafone, wherein they would see gems like this:
Maybe the Ombudsman Services should use its hot line to Vodafone "support" and just "tell" them to deal with it NOW without wading through the prescribed treacle process designed to let the miscreants wear their punters down with a toxic combination of lies, ineptitude, obfuscation, delays and what feels for all the world like "good old fashioned wilful and defiant stupiity". Grrr....
November 7th 2014
A birdy told me EE have signal booster devices coming! At last I can escape from Vodafone! Obviously, when I try and contact Vodafone to tell them to get the biggest SIM they find and poke it where the sun shineth not, they are all broken... as usual... I cut out 13 minutes of ghastly hold music so here are the edited lowlights.
I am going to test an EE SIM first to check it works as expected in the phone that proves Vodafone is telling lies on its website. I shall persist until I am rid of them at last. Doubtless they will want a wrangle over cancellation fees etc, but I shall enjoy that.
EE also guarantee UK call centres for business customers - which is a serious admission of what we already suspected anyway: overseas call centres are only for second class punters. As a friend in the business reminds me every time I moan about cellphone companies, "they are all different types of sh*t".
31st August 201414
Vodafone again is under the mistaken belief that my sure SureSignal device has been moved. It has not, and nothing has changed.
The email message invites me to click on a link and go and sort it out.
But the link was wrong:-
Vodafone continue to display worryingly little competence. How do they manage to stay in business?
11th August 2014
I just called and cancelled one of 4 numbers we have with Vodafone. The difference between the usual call centre droid you get put through to versus the effusive and chatty lady dealing with customers leaving is spectacular; I'm sure I have got her to hand over her firstborn if I decided not to cancel. The billing cycle is the 13th of the month, but of course I cannot cancel from then, it's 30 days minimum. Considering that Vodafone can cut this number off with probably 3 keystroke, I feel that this is just another example of the endless nickel and diming that these outrageous monopolies are allowed to get away with.
Starting the process of leaving Vodafone after the years of poor coverage, poor service and downright lies, felt good.
July 28th 2014
My 3 SIM turned up. I inserted in the Cubot One, did the necessary to have the phone use it as the preferred data source, and it worked as expected. All google sync works, all google apps work. Moreover, 3 also sent a local femtocell device to provide coverage (and it seems to be way more effective than the feeble Vodafone SureSignal devices).
So then, the phone works perfectly well with the 3 network. So Vodafone is misleading and wrong when it says:-
Love your phone? Keep it.
All the nonsense spouted by Vodafone is proved to be utter nonsense and a shameful amount of time has been wasted by Vodafone pretending that black was white. There is indeed something rotten in the way that Vodafone manages its data network - they clearly need to take lessons from 3.
I am now contemplating how to size up a claim against Vodafone for having wasted so much of my time with what its negligent ignorance and/or cynical lies.
And this is interesting: using a £90 ZTE870 Android 4.1 phone (which also exhibits the absence of Google sync over Vodafone 3G network as the Cubot One) as a portable wifi Hotspot for the Cubot using the Vodafone 3G network, the Cubot then performs as it should in all Google respects! Switch the Cubot back to Vodafone 3G data, and once again all the Google services are broken.
12 July 2014
The probability that the issue refers to "Traffic Shaping" has been mentioned in various discussions. It's one of the few possible "complete" explanations for what I am seeing. This means that the networks are prioritising traffic for certain users, and pushing others to the back the queue. It amounts to being firewalled from access to Google services on a completely random basis according to the network operator's whim.
The fact that Vodafone will not/cannot explain what I am seeing other than suggesting I need to pay what amounts to ~£700 for one of their "approved" smart phone deals seems inescapable. These people cannot be trusted - they are just as bad as the bankers when it comes to believing that they can make their own rules up to suit themselves. They have to be stopped and brought to book.
The growth in smart phones has happened much faster than a lot of people in the industry expected, and the ability of the networks to up their game and capacity has never been a noted strength. Is some process of "data rationing" is being carried out on an account-by account basis? Will we ever get a straight answer by asking our phone service providers?
Having exhausted Vodafone (and myself) I got a Three SIM for the phone and was amazed to see 3/4 bars of coverage where every other networks struggles to get any at all. The catch with 3 is that it has no 2G service, and that means patches of absolutely nothing in E Anglia.
However, the 3 website is way better than Vodafone, albeit the call centre is still anywhere but the UK. But the google sync issue is much better, but still not perfect. So now I am testing their ability to respond to see if it's any better than vodafone. Watch this space.
So I have moved the investigation onto Google, since Google remains the common factor - by a process of elimination.
Model: CUBOT ONE
There is an Android thread discussing this topic here.
Anyway, let's see how Three support responds to the same question that Vodafone refused to address beyond the usual turning the hone on and off....
Below is the "last word" from Vodafone.
No comment on their security issues when posting unencrypted data entered through SSL forms; no acknowledgement of that misleading marketing message. I would have thought that a network with >400m users would indeed have been able to test every single new phone - or create a service that supported all the generic standards so that it was not necessary to evaluate every phone for foibles.
Otherwise, we are still left wondering if Vodafone has a "deal" with its suppliers to lock cheaper competition out of their network, aren't we?
Oh yes, and the CubotOne that worked perfectly for 36 hours is now back to failure when using the Vodafone data network. I have in my hand a selection od SIMs from the competition, so stay tuned.
04 July 2014
Dear Mr P
Following your recent contacts with Vodafone you case has been escalated to me.
You have been correctly advised that we cannot assist with 3rd party devices, the Cubot One is not a supported device and we have assisted as much as possible. We have never stocked this phone and it is not possible to test every phone that is manufactured.
The reason we only test our supported range is due to the amount of testing required to make sure everything functions correctly on our network. Whilst you can always add the APN settings to a non supported device there is no guarantee it will work on our network which is the issue you have.
This is our final position on this issue and we will not be responding to any further emails or posts
03 July 2014 -I just posted this into the simple-to-access Vodafone complaints form
Me again! I am guessing you know who I am by now.
I contacted Google support yesterday – who established immediate (proper) email contact with a support guy who observed:-
"Unfortunately, not much can be done on Google's side if the network admins fail to cooperate."
He didn’t tell me to take the battery and SIM out, and he didn’t quote Ofcom at me; he didn’t tell me Google didn’t support my phone. They have even more users than you do, and you could learn a lot from their approach to user support.
But since 10pm last night, the Cubot One phone has behaved impeccably and performed as it should.
Eh? I did nothing to it. The magic must have happened elsewhere.
Instead of being supercilious and condescending, your juvenile forum patrol could try and recognise a really irate and frustrated customer and do some proper research and they might find things like this:
However, your front end support is so bad that most people will be really irate and frustrated.
I asked one of the leading journalists who writes on tech and specialises in phones which network he uses, and all he said, despairingly, was: “they are all different kinds of sh*t.”
So here is your opportunity for you to stand apart from the rest. And you can start by reinstating the link to their page http://campaigns.vodafone.co.uk/complaints/ from the main vodafone.co.uk home page and search box, pushing users with complaints towards ofcom is pretty pathetic. Currently, entering “complain” on the home page search box takes users to:
which then leads through customer types, plan and then category – which lists
Vodafone Customer Complaints Code
This code sets out how to make a complaint and your rights to refer a dispute to an independent ombudsman.
If you're not happy with our service and would like to make a complaint, there are a number of ways to get in touch outlined below. We aim to resolve all issues on first contact, but if we cannot we will escalate your call to a team manager. If the team manager cannot resolve the issue we will refer it to our dedicated customer relations team. In any event we will endeavour to resolve any complaint within one week. If we are unable to do so, we will notify you and provide weekly updates on progress.
If after eight weeks we still can't resolve the complaint you can refer the issue to the independent Alternative Dispute Resolution service provided by Ombudsman Services Communications. Provided your complaint is in their remit, they will investigate your complaint free of charge.
You can find out more on their website, or call them on 0330 440 1614 or fax them on 01925 430 049.
Alternatively you can write to:
You can request that your complaint goes to Ombudsman Services Communications before eight weeks, though we have the right to insist that our process is followed if we're taking steps to resolve your complaint and expect it to be resolved in a timely manner. Referral to Ombudsman Services Communications can be refused if the complaint is malicious or outside their remit.
If you need to receive this document in a different format, such as in large print or Braille, you can call 33222 from your Vodafone mobile or 03333043222 from a landline.
So, you really do not get it, do you? As you are the main notionally British company in this market, I feel duty bound to try and stop you going broke as a result of allowing your hideously frustrating customer interfaces driving all your customers to your competitors.
30 June 2014
I just posted this at: http://campaigns.vodafone.co.uk/complaints
I recently received a call from India to tell me that I was still wrong to expect that your SIM marketing message means what it says:.
“Get great value calls, texts and data to use in the UK with your existing phone.”
“Whether you're switching to our network, visiting the UK with your mobile, or wanting to use your existing phone for a bit longer, a Vodafone SIM only plan gives you everything you need to connect to our products and services. With a SIM only deal, choose from a 30-day rolling plan or a 12-month one, and pick the right SIM for your phone – standard, microSIM or nanoSIM.”
“Whatever your device, we've got a price plan for you. Take your pick from our great range of Pay monthly SIM only plans for your phone with unlimited calls, texts and loads of internet…”
“loads of internet” eh? That’s about the level of technical competence I would anticipate from your organisation.
But no asterisks, no small print, no qualifications. The implication is perfectly clear.
… the gentleman calling was polite but had no technical competence and merely repeated what he had been told, which was poorly informed and still fundamentally misleading. I tried to explain it all again, but he plainly was not sufficiently savvy to listen and comprehend. Judge for yourself: http://youtu.be/6cfyuDTzQgc
We really need to know why Google apps will not no longer work over your 3G network from my phone. But WHY THEY STILL WORK using the WiFi connection. This means crucial services like things like maps are useless. The same thing happens with a ZTE870.
I am happy to take part in all manner of diagnostic tests - I just want the scientific explanation (I am not afraid of discussing MHz and IP ports) of what is going on, because someone there knows the answer.
I have to ask if this a conscious effort (ie a conspiracy) to stop "good value" smartfones working on your network? If you will not explain, what other conclusion shall we make?
My other points about Vodafone sending sensitive messages containing data entered into secure forms, as plain email, also needs an answer. Check outwww.youtube.com/embed/OXwjGHxNpWE
I've been banned!
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so I replied...
Your approach to customer service is in my opinion and that of numerous others, arrogant and objectionable, and extremely poorly judged. You need lessons in managing irate users, not the power to ban them. Since you have not specified precisely what it was that triggered your ban, I cannot directly respond.
Was it this one:-
Or this one:
I have only posted accurate reports of my experiences and issues; your “forum patrol” chose to try and intimidate me with their opening remarks and set the tone for the rest. I don’t know if your PR people get involved in situations like this but you can do a year’s worth of reputation damage in 5 minutes by failing to address an indignant customer’s complaints directly and effectively.
You are obviously aware that this is not the end of the matter and I shall be taking the matter of your misleading marketing up with others who will also be fascianted by this example of one of the world's largest companies shooting itself in the foot through serial poor customer relationship management.
As for your “forum champions” with 10k posts, I wonder if an objective observer is going to accept that these are not actually planted and sustained in some way by Vodafone? You may need to get ready to prove that they really are nothing to do with Vodafone, and receive no incentives or favours for their curiously ubiquitous efforts at defending Vodafone.
Overall, I think you need to prepare for the drains to come up in your world and expect a full analysis of the benefits/damage of the way you handle customer dissatisfaction.
But have some free advice, when you are in a hole, stop digging. EE, 02 and 3 must be laughing their heads off.
June 28th 2014
I see there is an Australian law firm putting together a class action on behalf of 20,000 unhappy customers. Let's hope there is a UK firm will to follow suit.
I just wasted another 2 hours trying to contact Vodafone support, spoke to Indians then a Dutch girl. All without anything useful to contribute - just a repeat of previously unsuccessful APN settings.
And the way that callers are required to enter their details in the online contact form and then repeat the details every time the call is bounced around inside Vodafone suggests that Vodafone is completely incapable of operating a joined up business. But we knew that already...
June 26th 2014
My Android 4.2.1 phone was working nicely for months - then the access and sync to any google apps (mail, maps, chrome etc) began to get flaky - sync errors, intermittent/no network connection - but everything was fine using WiFi.
Other apps like FB, Skype etc work OK using the Vodafone data connection. It is ONLY the google stuff that does not. I assume there is a separate port or some proxy issue that Vodafone have managed to screw up.
All the evidence suggests that the Vodafone internet data proxy is messing up the link along the way.
Of course Vodafone have no direct suggestion based on the reported issues, and instead go into some sort of "automated" response sequence, and suggest deleting everything, take out the battery and SIM, and reinstalling. And if all else fails, sacrifice a virgin.
But that simply does not address the fact that it all works with WiFi, but doesn't using their own proxy internet service.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Sadly I need Vodafone because of the sure signal femtocells - otherwise I would be off to EE like everyone else