I have been a customer of Vodafone for over 25 years, their phone and data service in Exeter is lamentable, 3G is rare and until recently 4G unheard of, it has now appeared in various parts but sporadically. As for traditional phone calls they are impossible inside my house without a signal booster and difficult outside, despite living in the centre of the city. Compare this with their service in a number of European cities I visited last year including Marseille, Cadiz, Vigo and Florence, all had a good 4G service, and that was on roaming.
That aside I believe they offer reasonable value for money on my monthly contract and are particularly good when travelling, especially in Europe and as I don't use my phone much in Exeter (I rarely make calls on it and am on wifi at home and down the pub) I put up with the slight inconvenience. However they do have one major failing, their user-facing and support systems are terrible. The web site is painfully slow and their customer support, which is actually good from a personal point of view with their staff always being friendly, is let down by their help desk system.
I use their site each month as I need a bill summary for my work expenses report and for a long time I have been annoyed at the fact that my first name has been Anonymous. So emails are addressed to Dear Anonymous and bills show as being for Anonymous Fawcett. I eventually decided to do something about it, you can't just email in a request, oh no, you have to phone or use live chat (where a chat box appears on the web site) but I dislike the latter as the operators seem to disappear between sentences for minutes at a time. The option to change my name on the web site was not available for reasons best known to a faceless manager at Vodafone. So I phoned up...
- The first time I entered my phone number and was told all operators were exceptionally busy (as always) and it would be best to try later or use the web site [gnashing of teeth by me]
- The second time I entered my phone number and was told all operators were exceptionally busy (again) but was offered a call back within a few minutes so I took that option
- I was called back and then had to go through the usual twenty questions to verify my identity, despite the fact I had set up a password on my account years ago to avoid this
- I then explained the problem and was told I would need a new account set up and the old one deleted. This seemed like an overkill but I was told it would take 24 hours and I would be notified by email
- Some time later I received an email but when I tried to login to my new account I was refused access
- The next day I tried again, same result, I then tried using my old credentials, this worked but I was still Anonymous and it still showed on my next bill
- I rang again, entered my phone number, and was put through. I was immediately asked for my number, apparently it doesn't pass it on to the operator so why ask for it?
- I mentioned using my password instead of all the questions but, in spite of having the same one for over ten years was told that the first and last characters that I had been asked for didn't match, so back to address, post code, favourite Dicken's character...
- My request to change password is refused as the system doesn't allow it
- I go through the whole reason for call again, for some reason no one ever makes a note of customer's previous requests, have they heard of CRM?
- I am told it's very easy (!!!). He will delete the anonymous, it will show up after 24 hours
- I wait
- I log in to my account, Anonymous is no longer my first name! - but I no longer have a first name. Emails are now addressed as Dear ,
- I lose the will to live
I am now summoning up the strength for another call.
Happy New Year