Does anyone at Vodafone actually call anyone back?

Foolishly in an attempt to save some money, I decided to switch from my perfectly good iSP (Orcon) to the slightly cheaper one, Vodafone. Big Mistake. Below is a quick run through the month and a half long process of switching to Vodafone – so far.

This is the second time in 12 months I’ve signed up to a service at Vodafone and the second time the processes the company uses have had major failings and caused me to waste hours of my own time, just trying to get the services I signed up for.

For some background – my partner does a 2nd job hosting a couple of TV shows and relies on the internet in the evenings to do the necessary research. Having no internet is a big issue any time but on top of this we had a couple of friends visiting before permanently moving to Austria – both needed internet access to sort the last bits and pieces before flying out.

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The signup actually felt pretty good, a quick online form and the process was started. Within hours later I received an automated email saying that my account number was wrong but not to worry, all I needed to do was reply with the correct information. Done.

Then 3 weeks of nothing. No install date. No call back to say there’s a problem.

I call Vodafone.
Why is my internet not switched to them yet?
“Sorry sir, it would seem someone had set the account number with Orcon as my home phone number.”
Fixed. Over the next week a flurry of automated emails welcomed me to the wonders of Vodafone. My switch date was set. No services would be disrupted.

Then on the day of switching, a Friday and in the late morning, the phone rang a couple of times and stopped. My inner nerd told me it was them probably switch the lines in the cabinet. Great, just as I had been told.

Then the internet went off. No DSL link my modem reported. I gave it an hour or so and then called Vodafone to see how long it would take before we’d be back online.
“Yes we have indeed taken over your phone line, but your internet won’t switch til next week. It will still be on and if you are having any issues call Orcon as they are still your provider.”
Are you sure I asked.
“Absolutely”
I commented I hope like hell Vodafone hadn’t just cut my internet for a week as there had been zero warning that might happen.
“No Sir, please call Orcon for help.”

The call with Orcon took another 40mins as I was forced to run through the dreaded idiot proof checklist before a fault could be lodged.
“I’ve lodged the fault sir, our provisioning team will look into it in the next 24-72 hours.”
Keep in mind this is Friday afternoon – so that meant Monday. No Internet all weekend.

Monday comes and you know what – Orcon called me back (take note here Vodafone).
“Unfortunately sir we don’t have control of that line any more, Vodafone does.”
Just as I thought when I first called Vodafone on Friday but was promised the opposite.

Back on the line to Vodafone I was told there was an unexplained hold on the install. They lifted the hold but said that I was now on the list and the internet would be on ‘soon’.
I had thought this was meant to be a seamless process and to all happen almost instantly –
“I usually does sir”
Another 2 days without the internet.

Wednesday finally came and our DSL was activated and the internet back. Problems solved – now the easy bit for Vodafone – sit back and profit from my passive income that is my monthly bill.

The next day I did receive a random email saying my cap had been blown but as I signed up for 40gb of data I assumed it was just a hiccup in the system. Our internet was working normally and I was well and truly over Vodafones hold music.

Of course, I should have known better – just after 9pm Friday night comes and midway through some tragic MTV reality show – the internet stops. What better way to spend ones Friday night than a 40 minute tech support call.
So it seemed my account had two issues – the plan was set to the EasyPack plan (1GB, Full down, 128k up) but far more importantly – it had been canceled.
“Why?”
“I don’t know, there seems to be two accounts, I’ll stop the current cancellation and get that account working again”
I asked that if I had blown the 1gb cap in their system, will I get a 64k speed limited internet when the account works again?
“No Sir, it should all be running at normal speed, you will need to call back tomorrow (Saturday) though and talk to sales to get you moved back to the unlimited upload speed though.”
After the phone call and a modem restart, the internet was not running at normal speeds and clearly the limit was still in place but by now it was late and I was well over Vodafone.

Saturday morning and another call to Vodafone (also funnily enough just as I get a physical letter confirming apparently I had requested cancelling my account).
“I’m very sorry about this sir, it would seem you have been put on the EasyPack plan, and you clearly signed up for the ‘Ultimate Pack’ – unfortunately I can’t physically change the plan here as provisioning need to make a change.”
“I will upgrade you to the ideal pack (5gb, Unlimited down, 128k up) and add another 5gb so you can use your internet without issues until I can sort it out on Monday morning.”
“I will call you back on Monday once we’ve sorted it out.”

Suffice to say its now Wednesday, I’ve blown my temporary 10gb cap and am yet to hear back from Vodafone.

UPDATE
Well posting experiences on bad service does seem to get things fixed. And Vodafone eventually made everything right although it still took 3 weeks of atrocious service and support. And now, a few months on from my experience our service has worked flawlessly since – it’s a shame the signup and setup process at Vodafone is so terrible.

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