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  • FIRST POST
    • cookra
    • By cookra 30th May 17, 5:38 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 1Thanks
    cookra
    Our Vodafone Nightmare
    • #1
    • 30th May 17, 5:38 PM
    Our Vodafone Nightmare 30th May 17 at 5:38 PM
    Sorry TLR warning..

    I'm hoping someone!my perhaps find our story of interest.

    We feel we have been corporate bullied by Vodafone UK and we don't know where to turn. This event has turned our lives upside down and has caused so much stress and upset, as a family we don't see a way out.

    In 2016 we changed broadband provider with the promise of a faster connection. We left Sky broadband and moved to Vodafone where we had our two mobile phones under contract.

    Our switch took place and we immediately became aware of various problem with our connectivity. In our home most equipment is connected to the internet including our burglar system. It wasn't too long before our alarm system started reporting that our internet signal was intermittent and unstable. We reported the problems we were having to Vodafone support and went through various attempts to fix / reset the system. The problem continued and before long we were back in contact with the support team. I was asked to turn off the system and wait for a call within two hours, this never came. To be honest this is how the relationship continued, our internet kept on disconnecting and calls were never returned.

    During this time I was diagnosed with neck cancer, based on the lower tongue. I work as a professional IT contractor for Barclays International and as you can imagine my position requires me to access the banks systems and networks for various activities. I am extremely confident with technology and understand networking and networking infrastructure inside-out. As the illness and treatment progressed I was forced in to a position of having to work from home. Barclays supported us fully and provided the means to continue working from home. With radiotherapy and chemotherapy taking place late last year I became weaker and eventually unable to leave my bed. As a contractor it was paramount that I kept working, my mind was in such a state of turmoil due to effects of treatment and the financial worries we were facing.!


    I knew that without an income my family would face bankruptcy and this was causing me distress. Before long, due to the unpredictability of our internet connection it was clear that working from home was no longer possible and due to my health travelling to work in Northampton was now impossible. Webex sessions and other forms of online communication were not possible.

    I contacted Vodafone again and still the problems continued, I had checked my own equipment time and time again and could not identify any fault of my end. However I wasn't ruling it out, we just needed a way to prove it one way or another.

    Eventually I was in bed full time for 14 weeks, it's a strange feeling you get. Sounds around the house become more amplified and in the background I could hear the frustrations my partner Samantha was having with our internet, although she never complained to me. On a particular Sunday my brother contacted me from Vancouver where he has lived with his family for the past twenty years. Our connection died again, then again and finally went down for a few hours.

    Again, I contacted Vodafone and asked them for support. I had mentioned it before to them but I stated that I would need to leave them if we can't remedy the situation as it was now becoming unmanageable. I asked Vodafone if they would replace our router, I mentioned that this would easily identify the location of the problem as for them the current router was reporting that everything was OK their end. Vodafone refused to replace the router. I mentioned that this would indeed identify the issue and that if required I could send them the old one back for analysis and also provide them with any records required to support the investigation such as alarm reports, and logs from my network. They were not interested and again refused to send us a new router. I was amazed, frustrated but to be honest to ill to deal with the situation further. By this point I was on morphine 24/7 and being transported to hospital everyday for radiotherapy.


    I contacted Sky and decided to switch back. After a few weeks our service switched and we noticed an immediate improvement. The only downside being that we now paid twice as much for a service that was half the speed of Vodafone - although it worked without fail. My partner Samantha was able to keep in touch with friends and family and I was again able to see and hear my friends and family, such a boost to moral.

    Shortly after we received a letter from a debt collection agency on behalf of Vodafone demanding money for early termination. I was amazed, but thought a call would put the matter to rest. I contacted Vodafone and explained that I was concerned a debt collection agency was sending letters to my house. I asked them why they had demanded this money when I had explained to them that I had no choice but to leave due to a lack of service and the impact the situation had placed on my family. I continued to explain that after several attempts to resolve the issue Vodafone had failed to provide a workable resolution and in the end refused to replace what I considered to be a faulty piece of equipment. They quoted the terms and conditions to me and stated that I was at fault and due to leaving them the fine would remain in place. I was stunned. Being concerned about the debt collection agency, I contacted Vodafone again and asked them what I could do next, they weren't very helpful and refused to put the debt collection on hold until we investigated the situation further. After a long discussion customer services informed me that they would not contact the debt collection agency as that was not an available option for them as it was against their policy.!

    I explained that I would pay them any money owing, providing we looked into the matter fully. I was convinced that after playing back the calls they would accept fault and apologise for the inconvenience caused. To be honest, it felt as if I was being sentenced before trial.


    We didn't know what to do at this point and felt completely helpless. Customer services eventually gave me the number of the debt collection company and stated that I would need to contact them and tell them that i had spoken to Vodafone and that they needed to contact them regarding the issue as it's now under investigation. The number given was wrong and after long internet search I managed to find a number that worked. What happened next was incredible. I spoke to a gentleman and explained the situation to him, he was uninterested and told me that he didn't believe me, exact word being "Why would I take your word for it"? he then hung up and we were back to square one. I was worried about debt collectors coming to my door, having not been in the situation before I was worried about them scaring my partner and children whilst I was in bed or slowly integrating back at back at work.

    I immediately contacted Vodafone again and explained to them what had happened, I was generally upset at this point and explained to them that this was intimidation / corporate bullying. Vodafone then offered a reduction to £120 I believe as a good will gesture, I was shocked to say the least and of course explained to them that I wasn't going to pay them anything. We then moved into deadlock and Vodafone refused to help further.

    All that kept going through my head is who would pay for a service that wasn't there, no one would - not even the people I was speaking with at Vodafone. But zero empathy was given.


    Strangely enough I was under the impression that Vodafone would investigate further their side. They didn't and further letters arrived from the debt collection agency. I tried to contact them again but they refused as we were in deadlock. (to be honest I wasn't really clear on what deadlock meant). After this i was told to contact the ombudsman service which we did via telephone. I gave a short outline of the events and waited for a response.

    After a few weeks we began to wonder what was happening. We continued to wait when I received a text message saying the ombudsman had a message for me online. I logged in and was amazed to say the least. They stated that due to us not responding they had ruled in Vodafones favour and outlined that based on Vodafones evidence, they had supported us fully and in their eyes had rectified the problem. I couldn't believe it. I contacted the ombudsman service immediately and asked to speak to the case officer regarding the investigation. A lady informed me that an email had been sent to us asking for ant evidence we had in relation to the case. I explained that I had not received such an email and questioned if they had used any other means of communication such as text or post. They confirmed that no other communication was made just the single email. We later discovered the email in gmail's spam folder. From that point the conversation with the ombudsman service also broke down, i explained the whole situation again and the young lady told me she couldn't help me any further.. At this point I started to think it was all my fault.

    I'd told Vodafone that whatever the ombudsman service decided that I would stick to their decision. I'd made it clear that my largest concern was the impact any of this would make on my credit report as this year we were planning on buying our first family home. In relation to this I was informed that they didn't know if it would or wouldn't..


    Last month, I became aware that my credit file had indeed been damaged. I submitted a credit application with Honda to change our car which we had had for a year. To my surprise the application was refused due to information obtained in my credit file. I looked into Experian and found four late payment markers made on my file by Vodafone. I was devastated, something I had looked after for so long, through countless difficulties in my life and this was the first time i'd been given a negative marker. Again I contacted Vodafone, but being in Deadlock they couldn't help. I explained what had happened and even mentioned that fact that when I was poorly and receiving no income, even after exhausting our savings - Vodafone were still paid along with everyone else.

    My partner Samantha asked me to stop and pay the balance, she was concerned about my health and the way this situation was negatively impacting me. Two weeks ago I broke and gave in, I contacted Vodafone and spoke to en extremely helpful gentleman who listened patiently and at the end was gobsmacked, he couldn't believe what had happened and explained that sending out a new router would have cost Vodafone less than £3, he truly felt sorry for us and showed empathy for the situation - his exact words being "I'm ashamed of this company". I have paid the outstanding balance in full, I feel terrible for doing so - but this drew an end to the worry. Now we have to find a way of solving the credit file, as we found out today that a mortgage is not possible, this event has been life changing and destroyed any future plans we had as a warm loving family. After paying Vodafone I asked if someone would contact me from the team who were dealing with the case. This didn't happen, today I contacted Vodafone and asked to speak to the team again. This time they refused to put me through, I then asked the gentlemen for the email address of Nick Jeffery, the chap asked what department he worked and i explained he was CEO. They refused to give me any contact details, I then asked for the details of their press office as i'd like to send them a copy of this email also. They refused to provide me those details also.!

    It's been a truly terrible year for us and we truly feel that this situation could have been avoided, was badly managed and showed no concern or empathy for us as customers, illness or not.
Page 1
    • Clare911
    • By Clare911 17th Aug 17, 6:21 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Clare911
    • #2
    • 17th Aug 17, 6:21 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Aug 17, 6:21 PM
    I'm so sorry for all you've experienced. I googled Vodafone Nightmare and found you! I am desperately trying to leave vodafone following a catalogue of errors on their part since May this year. The latest is that someone else's phone has now been added to my account and they are using data beyond belief and I can see the bill increasing on and on. I was intending to cancel the direct debit but your experience has made me pause for thought. I have begged the operators to let me have an email address so I can explain it all to them and not have to keep repeating myself every time I launch into yet another two hour phone call that leads me down another blind alley. To no avail of course. Good luck to everyone caught in the vodafone trap.
  • Vodafone
    • #3
    • 25th Aug 17, 1:28 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Aug 17, 1:28 PM
    Hi Clare911,

    I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties you've been experiencing with us.

    If your account remains unresolved, please email us via the form here.

    To access the form you'll need to enter the code WRT135.

    As well as stating your query in the question box, please also quote "MSE Forum".

    Once sent, you'll receive an automated reply with a reference number. Post it on here and I'll check we've received it.

    Kind regards,

    Lee

    Vodafone Social Media
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Vodafone. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
    • Clare911
    • By Clare911 15th Sep 17, 11:41 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Clare911
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 11:41 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 11:41 PM
    Thanks, Lee. I appreciate the response. I got in touch via dierctorscomplaints and have had some resolution, though it's not over yet! The latest error was that I was charged an early termination of contract fee, although it was vodafone who ended my contract and began another one as part of the hoops they've had me jumping through. One department not knowing what another is doing, I'm afraid. I'm pleased to have received a year's free contract as compensation for a catalogue of errors, but at the same time, I'm not sure whether the stress has been worth it.
  • Vodafone
    • #5
    • 19th Sep 17, 9:12 AM
    • #5
    • 19th Sep 17, 9:12 AM
    Hi Clare911,

    Thanks for updating the thread with the progress of your complaint.

    If things aren't fully resolved soon, I'm happy to take a look at your account to see what's happening.

    If you need to get in touch with me, email me via the contact details provided in post three above.

    Kind regards,

    Lee

    Vodafone Social Media
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Vodafone. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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