I’ve spent the last few weeks in discussion with Vodafone about what I believe is a scandalous bill for roaming data charges. Vodafone agreed to reduce the bill by 25%, but this still represents daylight robbery.
Fast forward a few weeks and the BBC’s Watchdog program highlighted several cases similar to mine, where people had been charged ridiculous sums of money for trivial amounts of data transfer. All the people mentioned in that program had their bills reduced by 100%.
Vodafone should apply the same discount to all people in the same circumstances, not make a big deal about a couple of high profile cases then exploit the rest of us.
I would like to take this opportunity to pass on a few bits of advise for anyone dealing with Vodafone, or any other mobile phone network for that matter.
- Do not deal with the regular call center. Go straight for the cancellations department and start your conversation with the phrase, “I want to cancel my contract.” As soon as you do this you will speak to someone who can actually make a decision. Invariably they will offer you something to keep you on your contract. This may be a bill adjustment or a new phone etc. I’m not saying you will get the perfect answer, but it’s a start.
- Write emails to every consumer show, ombudsman and regulatory body you can. Someone like Watchdog may pick up your case and shame the company into doing the right thing. I’m convinced if I had written to Watchdog one month earlier I would have had my bill reduced to nothing. As it is I’m Billy Anonymous and Vodafone are happy to ignore me.
- Be as big a pain in the butt as you can. They are exploiting you. The least you can do is give them a hard time about it.
- Vote with your wallet. Once this whole affair is over I will never put money into Vodafone’s pockets again.
I’m sure all networks are guilty of this sort of behavior, but I can only speak about my experience of Vodafone. After 10+ years of being a satisfied Vodafone customer, I can safely say I think they’ve now dropped off the bottom of my customer satisfaction chart!
Hell hath no fury like a Tim scorned.