Vodafone Reloaded

Sometimes I consider to just stop asking the “sense” question….VF – don’t get me wrong – I do like your services, otherwise I would not be a private customer for almost 20 years  and 20+ as a business customer – I just hope you take this (and the example I posted some days ago) as a hint to where you might want to consider changing / improving…

First things first (and this is really positive):

End of April last year Vodafone called me up to inquire if I would consider an early renewal / extension of my private cell phone contract; I had extended and upgraded (to get an iPhone for my better half who’s using this number) less than a year before that call. They made a really great offer: Same service, 10 EUR less per month plus a new phone. As our phones were pretty new I asked if I could have an iPad mini instead (again for my better half – she didn’t have a tablet at that time). VF responded extremely positively, I paid close to nothing for an iPad mini black 32GB.

An this was great until this Saturday!

Saturday morning my wife dropped the iPad mini – only about 30 cm, but it fell on the portable charger and damage on glass was pretty bad – all still functioning, but not usable. Well, Apple warranty of course out of question (dropped and out of warranty period), so I started to web-search and do some calls. It was actually the Apple web site reminding me my carrier might have a better repair service contract….so I called up Vodafone helpline….the following is a more or less literal transcript of the next 2 hours.

Call #1

– Get greeted by a friendly computer asking me for the reason of my call
– I started to answer – then moved over to press buttons – and got put on waiting line…..
– I dropped the waiting line after about 20 minutes and went for a coffee

Call #2 – about half an hour later

– Same friendly computer, I had learned my lesson and directly pressed buttons and then asked for human support
– 10 minutes listening to VF’s current favourite song
– Got handed over to department #1
– Went through credentials, explained situation, stated I am absolutely willing to pay for the repair
– Got a quote for the repair (60 EUR more than Apple’s quote) and – after breathing – asked if there was a chance to do an early renewal so I can get a new iPad instead
– Answer: Oh yes, that should be feasible – let me transfer you to department #2
– 10 minutes waiting line – same song….
– Department #2 answers phone, I explain the situation again and got this great answer: “I can only tell you which devices we have, It’s department #1’s job to find out if you qualify to get one – I will connect you back and you can tell them to please do their job!”
– Got transferred back – positive surprise: Instantly got connected to a new human being – less than 5 seconds waiting
– New person in department #1 – I explained situation, asked if I could get an early renewal to get a new iPad…….
– The guy was really nice, did a lot of research (I guess that’s what he’s been doing in between our seconds of conversations and 10s of minutes of listening to that great song)
– After about 15 minutes I had a positive feedback: Yes, you qualify for early renewal, you can get the iPad, but until you reach the date of official renewal it’s gonna be an additional 20EUR per month
– I did my quick math – that’s cheaper than the repair cost and confirmed my request and willingness to pay
– He went back to (I guess) filling out some forms….
– Got back to me about 5 minutes later with “All good – I’ll now transfer you to department #3 to finalise process and change contract”
– Transferral took about 5 minutes this time (great song btw if I forgot to mention…)
– Department #3 did all look-ups on my account, checked, confirmed, entered a lot of information in some screens and then transferred me to department #2 (yes, we’ve been there before) to finally select my gear
– I was now signalling my better half “All good – you’ll have a new pad in a few days”
– And now the final message from department #2: “You do not qualify for an iPad, as you only have a phone contract”
– Me: “Well, I ran through this with quite a lot of your colleagues in the last hour and they all said it’s good as the iPad was acquired through you”
– He: “That was a one-time marketing initiative, I can’t give you an iPad”
– Me” “Your colleague confirmed 2 minutes ago that all is good – I can – it’s all in the profile”
– He: I can only give you an iPad if you sign up for another data plan

I explained how satisfied I currently am with my VF plans (see my earlier post), hung up, and went for other options – getting the repaired iPad back mid next week…..

@Vodafone: Just to re-assure: This is not about making you look bad, as you do usually provide decent services (see above), but please check where you’d be willing to change…..

/Chris 

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