On Thursday 6th October, I put my Samsung Galaxy S5 in for repair with Vodafone. And so started a tale of woe which goes some way to exemplifying why they were recently slapped with a £4.6 million fine by Ofcom for poor customer complaints handling.
I was told it would be repaired by Wednesday 19th October, or if it could not be repaired, I would receive a replacement. Throughout the period of my contract, I have been paying £6.99 per month insurance from Vodafone on top of my contract, so I expected nothing less. I had to agree to pay £25 excess. However, I did not expect to have to pay this until the issue was resolved.
As I write this post, I have NO PHONE, and I have ALREADY PAID the excess. It is 1st November – two days short of four weeks since I put the phone in for repair!
Around the 19th October, I was telephoned by their Repair Centre to be told that I would receive a new phone within five days, as my old phone could not be repaired.
On Monday 24th October, I tried calling the Repair Centre, but after 40 minutes of holding, I had to give up. I eventually got through to someone on a second attempt, and was told that they were sorry it had not been despatched – that it would be that evening – and would be with the local store the next day, or failing that, within 48 hours.
On Wednesday 26th October, I called AGAIN – and was told EXACTLY the same thing. It turns out the phone was not sent out after all.
On Friday 28th October, I called AGAIN – and was told EXACTLY the same thing. Yes – it turns out the phone was not sent after all.
Each time, whenever I called the number given for my local store, it went straight to voicemail, and NOBODY bothered to call me back, despite leaving my name and telephone number. Nobody has rung me back from the local store to this day.
On Friday 28th October, as well as calling the Repair Centre, I discussed the issued with the main Vodafone Customer number (they advised me to take it up with the Vodafone Insurance people), and when I called the Vodafone Insurance people, they advised me to speak to Customer Services!!! WTF!!?? I vented my anger on Twitter. It got picked up by their Customer Care Team, who advised me to take it up with a live chat – but I couldn’t bear to go through it all again, as an email I sent via their website has never been responded to.
By today – Tuesday 1st November, I still had no sign of the new phone – so I called a new department altogether – Vodafone Complaints. They looked into the whole issue. Now it turns out they cannot guarantee me a date by which I will get my phone – so the previous conversations were all LIES!
They can’t begin to have a conversation with me about compensation until the issue has been resolved – but who knows when that will be. Compensation is not my driving force – I just want my phone! The Complaints Department tried to fob me off with the Insurance Department – but I knew it wasn’t the Insurance Team’s problem – the issue is with Vodafone itself!
Apparently, it’s all about them having to “follow a procedure“, but obviously, their procedure obviously doesn’t work. I’m paying for a contract, but not receiving the service, yet some poor mug could walk in off the street, order for the same new phone I’m waiting to receive – and get it straight away. God forbid they do, otherwise they will be entering into a contract which delivers this kind of service.
When I dropped off the phone on Thursday 6th October, I was given a courtesy phone, to be fair, but in today’s age, it is the equivalent of a ‘brick‘. The key-pad sticks. Apps freeze, and kick you out. There is not enough memory on it to download Apps which I use regularly, like ‘WhatsApp’ – no, I have not disappeared friends.
I have NEVER known a level of service like this Vodafone – so just felt the need to share. You have taken money from me for a service I am not getting; made an additional charge for a service before I get it; lied to me on numerous occasions; hidden behind a ‘procedure’ which does not deliver for the customer – and refused to discuss how I will be compensated until the issue is resolved – yet nobody is able to ANYTHING to resolve the issue, or give me any signpost about how, or when it will be resolved.
It’s like being in Vodafone’s very own version of the Circumlocution Office – a government office in Dickens literature where characters like William Dorrit are passed from official to official without getting a satisfactory answer. I’m just being shunted from department to department, but getting nowhere. Come on Vodafone – I’ve been with you for what must be at least fifteen years. This is a disgrace! My next call will have to be the regulator.