Porting Experience with Vodafone

This post could equally be called Why do Service Providers Make Their Problems my Problem?

I recently migrated my company’s mobile phone account over to Vodafone via The Carphone Warehouse. We had two numbers to port but when I got my first bill, there were three subscriptions on it – one for an unknown mobile number.

I rang Vodafone on 1907 and the agent’s first response was to ask me to return to Carphone Warehouse. This irked me. Yes, the sales agent in Carphone Warehouse most likely made the error. But I’m not their customer. They are not billing me. Vodafone are. This seems pretty cut and dry – there’s a subscription I’m not using, don’t have and don’t want and one that I did not receive any phone discount for on my bill. Just remove it and refund me. Take it up with Carphone Warehouse on your time, not mine.

So, after explaining to the agent that I am Vodafone’s customer and expected them to sort it, she said she would and put me on hold. Eventually she got back to me to let me know that she had left a message for the agent in Carphone Warehouse who would call me within an hour. I had a sunken feeling. This should just have been dealt with. The how and why and means of it being dealt with are not my problem and I don’t want to know about it.

As expected, one working day later and no word from anyone. I ran Vodafone up again. This time the agent checked the notes and let me know it was with the agent in Carphone Warehouse and they were waiting on them to get back to them.

I made some simple points:

  • I was promised a call within an hour which I did not get;
  • I made the point that I did not not want to call Vodafone every day for an update – I just expected that it would be done;
  • I was told that I could assume it would be done. To this I replied if I did that, I’d be looking at the same charge on my bill next month.
  • The reply was that I could then call in to have it really taken care of. I explained I’d then be €100 out of pocket and not €50.
  • I was advised to call in a week.
  • I explained this was not my mistake – can it not be diary-ed in there for someone to follow it up in a number of days and for me to be called when it was done. No, this is an inbound call centre only. WTF?!?

So, it’s still not solved and still my problem. Why?

Oh yeah, rather than asking if I’d like to take a quick seven question survey on your phone service, why not just answer the bloody phone by a human within three rings? Then you wouldn’t need to do surveys!

UPDATE (~4 hours later): I tweeted this to @VodafoneIreland after writing it up. They got back to me (here and here):

I’ve DM’d the details and gotten further replies which is great.

I just hope the real issue has not been lost in the quick resolution through the public forum of Twitter: Vodafone’s problems / procedures / relationship with agents / etc is not the customer’s problem. Don’t make it the customer’s problem and don’t expose it to the customer. Just fix it.