Vodafone Customer Service

Two days ago my daughter’s mobile phone was due for an upgrade. As she had been using an old handset of mine for nearly a year she was understandably very keen to get ‘upgraded’. So instead of her getting ready for school, and me for work, at 6.30 a.m. on Friday morning I found myself logged into Vodafone’s website choosing a new phone for her. When it came to the delivery options I decided not to opt for ‘Next day to my home address‘ as I didn’t want to be forced into staying in all day on a Saturday. Instead I chose to have the phone delivered to one of Vodafone’s shops so that I could combine the collection with a shopping trip.

On arrival at the shop the following day, I was told that deliveries “never came on Saturdays” and unless I’d ordered early on the Friday it wouldn’t be there. Clearly 6.30 a.m. wasn’t early enough (perhaps we should have set our alarms for midnight!) as the new phone hadn’t arrived. The best solution the sales assistant could suggest was that I cancelled the previous day’s order and he would process the upgrade in the shop. Apparently he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do it – I had to call myself. So after nearly 20 minutes on the phone to someone who certainly sounded like he wanted to help, I was told the order had been processed and couldn’t be cancelled.

Back in the shop no other viable solution could be found. I asked if they had the make and model I wanted in stock. They did but apparently they couldn’t give me one. They offered no explanation but told me to complain to Customer Services about it.

Now Vodafone Customer Services don’t have an email address: the cynical side of me says that’s because they couldn’t cope with the incoming traffic. They give an address for ‘snail mail’ or the offer of ‘live chat’ with a service advisor so I took the latter. After a failed attempt yesterday (I got connected to an advisor but he or she didn’t even answer my first post) I got through today and queried why I couldn’t have a phone from the store’s stock. I was told: “When an order is placed, the handset imei (sic) number is assigned to it and we can only give you that handset.” Now that might be Vodafone’s policy but as far I as know it isn’t any sort of legal obligation not to change the details on an order is there? Surely all the store had to do was to amend the handset IMEI number that had been allocated to my daughter’s number showing it as ‘on way to the store’ then allocate the IMEI of the one in stock to her. If the software in store won’t let them do that (and it should) then they could have at least phoned Vodafone HQ themselves and asked for it to be done.

It was quite apparent after my encounter in store and with Customer Services that I am not important enough to Vodafone for them to bother.

I know nobody from Vodafone is going to read this and even if they did they probably wouldn’t care but I feel a lot better for having ‘sounded off’ about my experiences with them!

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