Vodafone… Disaster of a business… But they’re raking it in while we wait…

Some of you may have seen my previous blog on Vodafone… it was relatively dull and lengthy, but that’s how it feels dealing with them…

Yet once again they surpass amazement when they implement a cancellation fee to my account of their own accord and then cut my phone off…

Travelling into London over a week ago when this happened, so I paid the full outstanding balance and the phone should have been activated instantly ready for me to call back and question the high charges in the PM… however, the phone is not active at this point, nor is it for a further 24 hours…

I call the same day as I pay the bill and they notify me that they’ve made (yet another) mistake!! And they shouldn’t have billed me the extra £570+ I was charged. One of their team had set up an early termination fee at random and I was billed for it…

So at this point, still a week ago I ask for a refund, this must have been last Monday as I chase up on the refund… They tell me that before any refund they have to apply the credit to my account then chat to the bank to refund to my direct debit account (even though I’ve paid on a commercial card), I suggest refunding to my card, they suggest debit… 2 days later I chase and they tell me they can’t refund onto a direct debit (as suspected, hence why I told them to just refund the card) and they tell me they have to refund the card… So this was supposed to happen by last Wednesday and could take up to 3 working days, but they promise it’s done…

Co-meth Monday and I’m in London again with clients and low and behold there’s no refund… I chase again, I subject a poor innocent lady to my tirade, as at this point I’m going to scream and she tells me she’ll register a complaint about the previous account manager and she promises again she’s refunded me…

Now I have to sit and keep my mouth shut for up to another 3+ working days because the fine print states that they couldn’t possibly actually give you a straight answer or definitive timescale and trusting what a Vodafone customer manager tells you is like leaving your valuables on the streets of London and expecting to find them again later the same day…

So I say unto you Vodafone, oh mighty commercial entity, why don’t you just hire someone useful to implement the necessary CRM/ERP, phone, or customer management systems in order for you to stop cocking up?

Give me £150,000 and 12 months and I’ll sort it out for you… It genuinely can’t be as complex and fractured as it seems to the consumer…?!

I suspect that the majority of these processes are simply designed to confuse and bank millions of unsuspecting customers finances in the want to generate interest off holding our hard earned money while you faff about doing refunds. it would not surprise me if there was a team dedicated to dicking about with customer revenue before it goes back in their pot.

The reason this really grates on me so much is because as a person who’s trained call centres full of staff for around 10-12 years, I am tenacious enough to raid you with calls if necessary and finally see an end gain in my quest for regular service (where at all possible) and the average person on the street isn’t…

So what happens to the dad with 2 jobs, working to support his wife and kids towards their 1 holiday of the year, before Vodafone in their infinite wisdom, dock him of £500+ for no reason, leaving him no travel money… Can he afford to wait the 10 days or more it may take to eventually get his money back? Or should he call up multiple times during the course of his holiday while trying to hide the concern from his wife so it doesn’t effect their time away…?

Who’s going to stick up for that guy, the guy with the anxiety attack as he walks to the beach knowing he can’t afford the lunch… And that his kids will want an ice cream…

No one at Vodafone is looking out for those guys I can tell you that for nothing!

And so I persist in my endeavour to help them get their finger out in realising the issues but the internal processes are so convoluted they can’t even register enough interest to make my customer journey a positive one and I’m spelling it out for them… I wouldn’t hold out for ice cream that’s all I’d say!

Single mum of 2 kids, booked herself a spa weekend while the kids are with grandma, she arrives at the venue after months of planning having already paid her holding deposit, where she’s due to pay the remainder of the fee before partaking in her scheduled appointments with the massage therapists etc. But her card doesn’t work, because Vodafone have docked her £500+, the profits of which should cover a new gold and diamond encrusted letter opener for the directors offices and now the poor lady is stood at reception unable to book into her room or afford the weekend she was banking on…

But Vodafone funnily enough don’t see this, they’ll have to register the money docked back onto her Vodafone account, this could take some time but only then will they be able to show that to the bank and try and get her a refund… But wait, she has to wait at least 3 working days for the refund and they can’t guarantee that it will happen… So her weekends destroyed, she calls mum, but mum’s pension is not due for another few weeks and she doesn’t have the savings to help… She calls a money lending service at 1000%apr and she’s sorted, she gets her weekend, she’ll just have to spend the rest of the year paying off the interest that Vodafone cost her, while they’ve probably tripled that in the interest they made of her money when banked alongside the guy in my comments above, plus myself…

So now there are 3 gold and diamond encrusted letter openers on their way to head office but just three very unhappy, upset and anxious customers…

The world makes sense again… thanks Vodafone!

P.S. if the money’s not refunded in 3 days I will be calling back… But in the interim if you could consider the above cases and make some effort in sorting out your process management then that would be ideal…

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