Vodafone has bad customer service

Yes, I am very much pissed off. I cannot say it in any other way but the first things I did this Friday after I got home is to sit down now, and write this post. And, I feel better once I have done it. I still cannot believe it…empty promises!

Ian Shepherd, Director Customer Service Vodafone, wanted to make me an advocate of the brand, “Understand. We are better than your experience has shown, and will fix the issues you’ve blogged. I’m determined we will earn your loyalty!” – that was a message on the 16th of July after I complained through Twitter and on my blog, see here about my rant about Vodafone’s bad customer service.

Thomas Rushton even commented, saying “customer feedback is important to us“. They seem to have the social media channels, but I am thinking, do they know how to use them? I am here to help, if you need any advice?

Anyhow, to cut a long story short. On the 11th of July I filled in a form online to transfer from a customer account to a business account. Just after my last complaint, I got confirmed that:
– It takes 30 days from the date I filled in the transfer form, to be transferred to a business account.
– I will have a choice of phones and get the same deal as any other NEW business customer.

Hurray I thought. But I was too early to celebrate. I was told that after 2 weeks I would get an email confirming that things go ahead. So earlier this week, I wrote the following email to the customer service team, the director complaint office:

“30th of July:
… Regarding the transfer, if I understood correctly, I would be contacted after 2 weeks that things are going as planned.

Since I put the transfer request in on the 11th of July, I would assume that that things go as planned and someone will contact me next week? Or was there anything I needed to do after 2 weeks? It is a long waiting.

Thanks for confirming.”

The response I got was:

“I’ve spoken to a manager in the Transfer of Ownership team today and they asked me to send you the form to fill in again and then to send it to xyz.abc@vodafone.com who is the manager of the Transfer team, and also copy in this email address.

Once XYZ has received this, we will push the process through for you to take place with you as soon as possible.”

Wait a second, what was I missing? They said that they have all information and don’t need anything from me, for things to take place. They even confirmed receiving my form I filled in online, on the 11th of July:

“Dear Mr Volker Ballueder
This is to confirm that you have accepted the terms and conditions, to transfer your mobile from this account. The unique reference number for this request is 1234, please quote this at all times when referring to the transfer. If the transfer is accepted by Vodafone mobile number 07812345678, along with any others entered on the form will be transferred from 1234/5 to Mr Volker Ballueder.
A notification of this request has been sent to the email address xyz@123.co.uk.
The next stage of the transfer is that will receive an email, to notify them that the transfer has been requested. They will then enter the details of the account that they would like the transferred number/s
to be added to. Once this request has been submitted you will be notified, and once the request has been approved by Vodafone you will notified of the date of transfer.”

Now, looking at all that I don’t understand where I would have gone wrong. If I am missing anything, then I am more than happy to apologise to Vodafone and the customer complaint team.

a) I confirmed, complained, called, emailed and got told that Vodafone has all data and I don’t need to submit anything more to them.
b) The customer service director said that he wants things to be right.
c) I politely check on the progress to make sure that I didn’t miss an email – which happens. Just checking, as I really don’t want to wait longer than 30 days.
d) I get a request to fill in the same form in a pdf version, fax or scan it, that I filled in online and got confirmation for.

A couple of questions:
a) Did Vodafone take me serious in the first place and looked properly into the files I submitted? Did they listen to me when I called and talked to them?
b) If so, why did that “faux-pas” happen?

I believe that I was just put down as another case, no one cross referenced what I was saying, e.g. that I had problems with the date of birth on the online form, or that I am happy to not send more information because they confirmed they had everything from me.

After I tweeted excessively this afternoon, I got a call that they look into my case and from receiving my forms it takes 30 days for the transfer to take place.

I told them, quite frankly, that they really seem to want to piss me off – at least that is my impression. And, they seem to not care. And, I told them that I was told that it takes 30 days from filling in the form, e.g. 11th of July, to get transferred.

You can be sure that if I don’t have the deal I want, then I am going to go somewhere else. Just hope I can cancel my contract, the consumer one, which runs out the end of August. The only reason why I haven’t canceled yet is that Vodafone still has the best reception in the Scottish Highlands and my friends and my family are with Vodafone. If it happens that I change, this will surely have a ripple effect with my friends.

What was I offered: £25 for a 24 months plan, 500 minutes, 250 text, unlimited calls to UK landlines, unlimited email, 500 MB data, free phone…..and they had an offer that got me the first 3 months free of charge. The latter is not even the issue but would be nice to get an extra or special for all the hassle I had.

Ian Shepherd says he stays on the team to get it fixed. Thank you for your involvement, but I really question a company that need involvement from the top to sort out a simple transfer. Where are the good old days when the customer was king?

All I wanted is a smooth transfer. The alternative had been to cancel my contract to the end of August, transfer it to a “pay as you go” and then go to a shop and get a great deal. Why haven’t I done it? Because I thought I could trust a company like Vodafone.

Will they ever get my trust back? Will I ever be an advocate for a such a big brand?

Not to worry, I keep you posted. Follow me on twitter too!
An update was promised on Monday between 12 and 4 pm.

Have a good weekend.