Vodafone - A Horror Story

The following ramble is my frustrated customer opinion on Vodafone’s poor customer care…

If I were to consider an ideal world, in which companies deliver on their marketing promises, as a client, I would be royally taken care of in every minute of my life… Unfortunately, this is a dream that most probably will not come true, at least not in my life time (if ever)…

The context

A while ago, the Romanian government decided to kill the majority of the small and medium sized enterprises, by introducing an arbitrary revenue tax. Companies that were not making profit are now forced to pay a tax based on their revenues, since the government “knows” they’re not reporting profit in order to cheat the system. The result of this tax was that a huge number of small companies shut down or froze their activity because they could not afford to pay such a stupid tax.

I have a small company that I use on and off for various small projects, and I wanted to freeze it myself, because it makes no sense to pay an arbitrary tax on top of my regular revenue tax for a small, non VAT paying company. Thus, I started to clear off all financial operations from the company in order to be able to freeze its activity until the government will eliminate the before mentioned tax. This included moving all my mobile phone services from the company’s responsibility into my own.

The issue

In order to transfer the mobile services into my personal ownership, I asked Vodafone to simply transfer the responsibility from a legal person (my company, which I personally represented as Administrator) to an individual person, the same individual who represented the company before, but this time in his own name. I thought the answer would be easy (just close a contract and sign a new one), but it was not.

The idiocy

In my mind, it made sense that if I represented my own company as an owner and if I payed my mobile phone services bills in time and proved to be a good customer, there should be no issue just swapping the details of the ownership of those services because the “goodness” of the client would be preserved. After all, the actual client was the same, it was simply an administrative change that I was looking for, in order to make my life easier.

Guess what, Vodafone doesn’t think the same way! By changing ownership, they treat you as a new customer and impose on to you all their stupid limits that, supposedly, reduce their risk of being screwed by poor customers. I was not allowed to transfer all of my numbers without paying a safety deposit, which I found offensive, so decided not to.

Basically, I was using 6 mobile numbers on my company, for my whole family to use (4 mobile phones and 2 mobile internet connections). Transferring their ownership from the company to myself meant involving my parents as well, since neither individual could take ownership of more than 2 numbers. Ok, I said, I will survive with it, since my parents wanted to pay their own mobile services anyways.

Guess what? Vodafone didn’t allow me to decide which numbers go to whom, since they picked an arbitrary second number after the initial number that you wanted to transfer. Thus, I ended up having ownership of my own phone number, as well as that of my father’s. My mother ended up having ownership of probably her phone number and I think one of the mobile internet connections, while my father ended up having ownership of the second mobile connection and my sister’s unused phone number (that I could not close, because I dared to use some “loyalty” points in the past, thus being “forced” to stay loyal to Vodafone for another 12 months).

The result

Well, this whole idiotic issue derived from the context (see what I did there?) came to a closure today, when Vodafone warned me to pay my bills. Yes, they were due, but the problem was that I did not receive all the details of the necessary payments, because I only received 2 of the text messages out of 3 and was hoping for the invoices to arrive via mail to clarify things. Most probably, the 3rd text message with the details of the 3rd invoice arrived on my mobile internet connection text message inbox, but i doubt there is anyone there paying my bills.

So, instead of making my life (and theirs) easier, Vodafone managed to screw up the whole thing. Instead of having a happy customer, they managed to get me mad and screw themselves in the process, simply because, being harder to manage 3 different accounts with 3 different bills coming to 3 different phone numbers, they will most probably have delayed payments from my side.

Thus, adding another “happy” customer on their check list, Vodafone only managed to make me seriously think about moving my mobile services to a different operator, because “come into the coolest network,” their main marketing message, is by far an extremely arrogant slogan when matched with the quality of their customer services.

Orange or Cosmote reading this? Come get me boys & girls, I’m cheaper than your average customer (for whom you pay a ton of advertising money) and I’m also a good client to have because I am probably in the higher customer spending bracket.

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