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Faulty handset - Vodafone customer service - Awful experience


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Let me begin by saying this - I have never experienced such awful customer service on this level. Or in my life. Quite upsetting really.


I upgraded with Vodafone for a 2 year contract and a new handset - an iPhone 6. I then discovered a fault with the screen. Went to the Vodafone store in Trinity Leeds and was told by the manager that it was Apple's problem. I was not even offered a repair by Vodafone as 14 days had passed.


Got an appointment with Apple - they agreed, faulty screen and provided me with a refurbished handset. Once I got home that day, I discovered the new handset had the same problem, but it was 10 times worse than the first handset. You could actually hear the screen click when pressing on it gently.


Went back to Apple the following day - got another handeset. Surprise, surprise...handset also has clicky screen.


I subsequently called Vodafone and asked them if I could get another handset or even a different model. They said go in store as we don't deal with it. This was on Sunday. So, to recap, this weekend gone, I have been provided with 2 refurbished phones with faults.


Monday - went to the store. Was told we don't deal with it, call customer service. It's also an Apple phone which is provided by them, so we can't repair.


Called customer service - was told that they would look into the issue as this was my third handset in just over 1 month. Promised a call back. Vodafone never called back.


They didn't even call back today. So, I decided to go back in store today. Was told that as it belonged to Apple, they had to repair and that they should have provided a new handset. Aaron at Trinity Leeds store seemed to be baffled as to why Apple had provided refurbished handsets. If it had been the phone Vodafone provided they could have sent it for repairs. Told him I was not informed of this.


Went to Apple - spoke to manager. They are going to take steps to retrieve original handset provided by Vodafone, but can't guarantee it will be in one piece. They also queried why Vodafone had not offered repairs. Take note Vodafone, Apple's customer service was fantastic. Always polite and lovely, and the lady dealing with my issue was clearly going out of her way.


Went back to Vodafone store - asked Aaron to confirm what part of the agreement related to faulty handsets. He rudely replied 'go online'. After having questioned him some more, he became defensive and appeared to have very little understanding of the contract. In addition to this, he was also training a newbie - might not be the best person to train him.


Got home for 6pm, have spent the last 2 hours on call to Vodafone. Was put through to a lady in the billing department after I requested to be transferred to someone senior. She said she did not have the authority to send out a new iPhone but the only option was to send it back for repairs, and if it was faulty the 4th time, a new handset would be issued. However, I had to go in store to do this. I said this was not good enough as I use my mobile for work therefore I required a mobile.


She put me through to someone else. Rather a very rude Scottish chap who ended up shouting at me, and cutting me off. And he also did not leave a note on the system. I was able to find this out as I was out on hold for 58 mins before someone spoke to me again. I have even screen shot this for my records. Perhaps this is a new record?


The final chap seemed more concerned about finishing his call as it was nearing 8pm. The line also started to echo at this time, very convenient. He offered to repair handset, which would mean that I would be without a mobile for 2 weeks. No replacement phone to use whilst repairs taking place. I stated this was ridiculous for a professional person, he simply laughed and offered no alternative. He then started to accuse me of actually damaging the phone by stating 'how do we know you've not caused it if it wasn't evident in the first 14 days'. My response is this - I take great pride in an item, particularly handsets which I have contracted for 2 years. I would not intentionally damage my phone at all, and to suggest this in his line of questioning was unprofessional if not underhand. In short, Vodafone appear to be very good at making attempts to 'pass the buck'.


I asked him what other options I had - he offered none. I asked him why a new handset could not be sent out, as this would simply solve the problem. I would not have to be without a phone whilst repairs were taking place. He did not offer much insight, the call ended with him taunting me and I cutting him off. Bravo Vodafone for employing professionals such as this imbecile.


Can anyone advise some next steps? I feel like Vodafone customer service and instore are extremely unhelpful, I have been passed from pillar to post, with different accounts, and just general lack of respect.


They don't even seem to have a complaints department hence my reason for this post. I honestly wish I had not upgraded with Vodafone. They are quick to sign you up to a contract, but when you actually genuinely need assistance, they simply do not care. I have experienced better customer service in countries from people who do not even speak the same language. Vodafone has some serious customer service issues.


I welcome your thoughts and hope this can be resolved ASAP.


If I get my original iPhone back from Apple, in pieces, are they going to attempt to fix it?

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Hi Sky567,


Thanks for making me aware of this.


So I can access your account, email me with your details via the Contact us 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 "CAG Forum".


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


Kind regards,




Social Media Comms


Vodafone UK

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I have responded to the email sent to me, but for completeness sake, I will also submit a response on this forum.


I am available from 7-7:30pm.

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Hi Lee


I have now been informed by Apple that the original handset has now been located.


Please advise as to the appropriate cause of action as it now seems like I have had to go through a futile exercise which has been a complete waste of my time.


Moreover, I am considering cancelling my contract with Vodafone. Please forward details as to how this can be achieved.


I also went to another Vodafone store - it would seem that I am only eligible for a replacement handset if I have insurance with Vodafone or a certain bundle.


Look forward to receiving your comments.

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An update.


Did I get the above problem resolved.


Short answer - no.


This is my response to Lee.


"Hi Lee


Thanks for your response. I do not have the time to go into a Vodafone store to determine whether there is a replacement handset or not. I have since this complaint made 3 visits to a Vodafone store, and to be quite frank, I don't want to have to deal with your colleagues after the initial encounter.


Please note on your system that I will not be renewing my contract with Vodafone after the contract has expired, and I look forward to having very little contact with your company in the near future.


What a shambles.




Will definitely not be recommending Vodafone to anyone.

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you have been messed around by Vodafone.


I guess you have not had any compensation or goodwill gesture in respect of the times you were paying for your phone and contract when the phone was not working and in for repair?


Vodafone web relation team I guess are there to mitigate complaints that are in the public eye (forum). After 3 weeks you are told to go into a store to see if they have your model phone in stock... And if they didn't have in stock, how much longer would you have had to wait? More weeks or months?


Ideally, Vodafone should have sent you a replacement phone without the need for you to visit stores and chasing up and checking to see if they can replace. I find it very hard to believe that Vodafone can't simply check their stock levels for you via computer, or even order and send you replacement by courier.


Because you have been paying a contract and left without a phone and been continually messed around, I am wondering if this is sufficient reason for you to cancel your contract without any penalty and choose a more reliable company that cares about its customers?


Cancelling your contract without penalty is the least I think Vodafone should do.

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