Open Letter to Vodafone (or Where’s the Edge?)

vodafone03Dear Directors of Vodafone and those responsible for the service to us, your bill-paying customers.

I have been a customer of yours for around 20 years.  I founded a business and ran all (hundreds of) my phones through you. My Family have all been Voda customers for as long as I can remember and for this I have paid my bills faithfully but now I’ve had enough and here’s why.

I pre-ordered a new Samsung “Edge” in February.  You failed to deliver on the target launch date (9th April) so I called to discover you had no stock – despite a national advertising campaign to say the phone was available.

I rang again a week later to discover still no stock. Would you call me when stock arrives?  No Sir, we can’t call you, you have to call us.  At an average call duration of 30 minutes, (I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man, – what does that song even mean?) I called every Tuesday and Thursday (stock delivery days at Voda distribution) for four weeks to discover still no stock was available.

Finally, after a lifetime of calling twice a week to be told Samsung had let you down I got a phone – the wrong phone.  More calls – oh, sorry, the order was incorrect; so we’ve fixed that – we’ll send another handset next week.  Please accept 2 months tariff free by way of compensation; don’t leave us.

Three weeks later I did get another phone – another wrong phone – £1,450 of smartphone tech sent late and without explanation leaving me to arrange returns.

More calls to discover how such incompetence could have arisen. Gushing apologies from your customer services but please could I wait another 5 days and pay £9 for another delivery.  This amount was later refunded but no, you couldn’t offer more compensation nor could you sort this out in 24 hours – “that’s not how the company works”.  Clearly.

Four days later a text arrived to say the delivery was postponed by another day.  A courier will “uplift” (sic) the wrong phone and deliver the right one.  He did arrive – empty handed, asking for “a pickup”. I ticked the box saying “pickup not ready”, bid him a polite goodbye and called Voda.  I was disconnected after 20 minutes holding for the returns department. Rang back; 1 hr 24m later, 5 different depts. (security at each step), no stock at HQ so they rang round their stores to find…no stock in the stores either!  And so it goes on.

So far, (and its not over yet) you have cost me three days at home waiting for deliveries that have not come and around 5 hours of telephone calls and a half hour queue at the post office.  You’re marketing a phone you don’t yet have, from a manufacturer you blame for not delivering, sending out wrong phones to your customers not once but twice, offering platitudes and paltry compensation.   Access to your support is an assault on the senses, taking not just 30 minutes but the very will to live.  Your agents make the same promise – to “own” my problem yet I need to recite my problem to each one and they’ve all failed to resolve it.

Twelve weeks after my order I still do not yet have my new phone. And as your competitors encircle me for my business let me tell you this.  You do not deserve your licence nor any customer loyalty. Your customer service is inept, you have broken too many promises and I have lost trust in you.  You have failed me completely and you show little care for my plight.  You are a broken brand.

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