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I appreciate any help and advice I can get on my case as I feel I have hit a brick wall with Vodafone. I will try and keep the summary below brief.

 

In short I sought to upgrade my old 12m contract to a new 12m contract and upgrade my old iPhone 6 to a new iPhone 6s Plus. I placed a pre-order, only to receive a 6s and not a 6s Plus which was delivered around 5 weeks ago now. Phone was returned promptly as possible. Vodafone charged me for the upgrade via direct debit and have yet to refund me for the returned handset. Furthermore they have not rolled back my tariff as I was advised to ask them to do, and there has been a problem with my contract dates, meaning they do not see me as being owed a new handset, believing I have already upgraded. My old iPhone 6 has been associated with this new contract and I have had problems unlocking it as a result, to this day I have not been able to successfully unlock the phone. So to summarise, I am owed £385 plus the difference of my new tariff versus my old tariff (approx. £10 for the 2 months that have elapsed), an apology for the sheer incompetent and inaccurate customer service wouldn't go amiss either. Given the time elapsed I will soon be considering legal action if not resolved to my satisfaction.

 

 

 

 

Long version:

 

On Sep 12th, 2 weeks before the release of the new iPhone I received an email inviting me to upgrade. I called customer services and explicitly placed an order for a 6s Plus and agreed to a new monthly tariff.

 

 

On Sep 24th I received an email from Vodafone thanking me for my 6s order. I queried with customer services to be told not to worry and a 6s Plus was on the way.

 

On Sep 25th I took delivery of a 6s and not a 6s Plus. I called customer services who told me I could try and return the phone to store, but would most likely need to wait for a returns bag which I was told should be with me within a couple of days. 1 week on and I had not received a returns bag. Another call to customer services revealed a returns bag had never been ordered for me, but one would be dispatched. Extremely frustrating, but this time a returns bag did turn up. It was also confirmed to me I was due to pay for a 6s Plus and not a 6s, so appeared to be a "picking error".

 

I received the returns pack and posted the unopened box back on Oct 7th, and can see via tracking the package was signed for on the 8th. No confirmation of receipt of return was given to me, despite customer services claiming I would be sent an email or text updating me with the status.

 

 

On Oct 14th I called customer services to confirm they recognised I had returned the phone, which they did. I was informed I would be charged for the phone in my next direct debit payment. I asked if, given receipt of my handset, they could reverse this charge, but they said no. I was told the refund payment would be processed within 72 hours, but to this day there is no sight of the refund. I was given the option of cancelling the direct debit payment (including the contract payment), which I declined as I didn't want to end up in a situation where I was showing a missed payment opening a whole other issue. At this point I asked for my tariff to be rolled back to my previous contract terms, and was told this would be done.

 

 

On 15th Oct I was unable to make or receive calls, despite having full signal. I thought this might have to do with a tariff adjustment. On visiting my local store to home this seemed to be a network issue that was resolved 3 days later, but over this time I could not make or receive calls via 4G. No notice from Vodafone on any network issues.

 

On 19th Oct I visited a store local to my work to check on the process of my refund, my tariff change and my showing of eligibility to upgrade. Nothing had changed despite being more than 72 hours since I was told these changes would take effect.

 

On 20th Oct I attempted to unlock my iPhone 6 which was now past its 12m contract date, only to receive an email saying I hadn't yet paid 3 months worth of bills on this device. It then became apparent my old phone had been linked to my new contract.

 

A further visit to my work branch saw me have to repeat the sorry story again, and this time the sales rep sent an email to "HQ" telling them what needed to be done. I saw him type the email and it covered all the necessary points. Despite promising to keep me updated, this individual has not contacted me once with an update. The manager local of the branch local to my home has called sporadically but hasn't manage to resolve any of the key issues.

 

On Oct 27th I sent a recorded letter to Vodafone head office, detailing the above points, requesting I wanted the above to be rectified; a refund for the handset and the excess tariff charge, to be able to upgrade my phone and to be able to unlock my old phone. It has been a week now and the letter has still not been signed for. I cant recall sending a recorded delivery letter and it not being delivered within a couple of days.

 

I called customer services last night on 3rd Nov, explained my story again and was told it takes 72 hours for a refund and they had been promising this for nearly a month. I told her I had written a formal letter of complaint and would be seeking further action to recover monies that I am owed if not resolved, to which she hung up on me.

 

 

Throughout this process customer service has been atrocious, plain and simple. Lies is a strong word, but it would appear I have been told false information on numerous occasions. No one seems to be able to help, and no one I have been able to reach in the company has any authorisation to override what is a relatively simple mistake, and a mountain has been created out of a molehill. I have spent hours on the phone to 191 and would estimate the average wait time is about 45 mins, and on more than one occasion I have been cut off.

 

I will not hesitate to proceed with a small claims charge if need be. Vodafone have been quick to take money from me, and slow to refund, and have not refunded when they have said they would have. This has caused me some financial inconvenience as I have had to move money around to cover this handset charge that would usually be offset by me trading in my old handset.

 

I would be extremely grateful if anyone with sufficient authority at Vodafone could contact me to resolve this (if this person even exists), and to also receive some advice on how I would prepare a case for a small claims court and what I should be looking to claim for. I would need to take a day off work, so would seek cost associated with this too. Beyond the financial aspects, I would like to receive an apology from Vodafone, for what is their error, but yet I am the one having to chase all loose ends to try and get a resolution.

 

 

Thanks for taking time to read.

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No sooner had a I posted my second formal letter of complaint, I was contacted by Dave from the Vodafone social media team who reacted to my contact via this forum. I was extremely grateful for his contact, as I has all but given up hope on someone at Vodafone getting this resolved. I should be receiving my refund within 10 working days and then I can upgrade from there and my existing phone should be unlockable. Keeping my fingers crossed. Will keep this thread updated.

 

Dave, if you are reading this, many thanks!

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Hi and welcome.

I'm sorry that I missed this thread however, you have done exactly the right thing by using the contact form.

 

Hopefully this can be fully resolved for you but I would also ask for a 'Gesture of Goodwill' (hate that phrase) for the time and effort VF have put you through. This type of thing should never happen. I know that VF have upgraded their systems but it seems that the upgrade has done nothing for customer services.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Thanks for your reply, no need to apologise. The payment Dave said he would be making to me includes a small "gesture". I will update as and when I receive the money and am able to successfully upgrade to the phone I wanted all along. I'm not sure if internal system issues are to blame, but there certainly seems to be a lack of authority given to customer service staff at Vodafone which has been very frustrating.

 

As an aside it seems Vodafone have a mail redirect on their address and my formal letter of complaint was signed for yesterday on the guaranteed delivery service, a day late, so will see if any additional response comes of that.

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Update from me. I have received a payment from Vodafone which covers the cost of the phone and a little more, but is short of the sum I was told I would be paid when Dave called me which seems very odd.

 

At least I now have been refunded for the handset which was the main cost. I have contacted the social media team again, querying why the amount received was short of what I had been told.

 

No response as yet with regards to my formal letter of complaint sent to HQ.

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At least you have managed to get something out of them which in itself is a minor miracle.

 

Even though your issue is nearly resolved, I would let the complaint run its course.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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Edit - I now recall Dave saying the difference may appear as credit on my account - so I guess that will be the case and if so I owe an apology with regard to the above post. I will look to confirm this and assuming that is in order we can consider this case closed.

 

@silverfox1961 - you managed to sneak in between my 2 posts. When Dave responded to my form on here, he addressed the majority of the points I had written in my formal letter of complaint, and as such, financially I have been put good which was my main issue. However, customer service has left a lot to be desired and on occasions downright rude, so it will be interesting to see if they formally respond to my letter. I will update in due course.

Edited by dmm1983
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  • 1 month later...

Update from me. Money was refunded as well as a gesture of goodwill from Dave and Lee. I am now in possession of the phone I wanted all along, which is good. I upgraded via a local store which was tedious as the upgrade was a manual process but got there in the end. Only issue now is Vodafone were slow in applying my new data plan, having rolled me back to some basic plan in the interim. As a result I hit my data allowance and have been charged as a result for additional data which I am trying to get refunded for.

 

Its been a frustrating experience. Lee and Dave have been the most helpful and managed to turn this issue around for me, as until then I was in deadlock, so I owe enormous gratitude to them and this board. It feels like in store service is poor, even managers seem to have their hands tied to a degree. 191 customer service is crap. This has been the biggest frustration for me and countless promises have been broken. My official letter of complaint was responded to and I was essentially told "We are sorry, but that's life and no compensation is due", contrary to the attitude of Lee and Dave, which epitomises my customer experience.

 

I am happy I have the phone I want but annoyed its taken so long to resolve. I trust the small data charge will be refunded and I am back on the straight and narrow.

 

I consider this now to be case closed.

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Well done. the hard work pays off once in a while. I will mark this thread as resolved.

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

Please help CAG. Order this ebook. Now available on Amazon. Please click HERE

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