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Vodafone won't let me cancel in my cooling off period - making me ill - **RESOLVED**


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hi there,

 

I need some advice as I am now going out of my mind.

 

On Thursday 14th January 2016 I took out a contract with Vodafone pay monthly for an iPhone 6s in Rose Gold 16gb I received an order acknowledgement but no further information. I then called on 15th January 2016 to find out what was going on with the order. After being passed around at least 6 different departments and often without being told and just being put on hold I got through to a very helpful sales advisor. This advisor took it upon himself to cancel my original order placed on the 14th and place a new order with himself which was a much higher tariff and quoted exclusive of VAT. He also took £29 for the phone cost upfront and £9.95 for it to be delivered the next day before 1pm. I was promised a text message and email of this order in the morning for delivery which NEVER arrived. Neither did an email confirmation of the order.

 

On Saturday 16th 2016 by 10am I had not received any email nor any text. Thinking this suspicious I called Vodafone to find out where the order was. I was hung up on 4 times, passed to 3 different departments and in the end my husband had to talk to them as I couldn't handle the stress ( I suffer from a depressive illness and anxiety disorder). I broke down in tears from the stress of it all. I was shown no empathy, no friendliness nothing over the phone. Just spoken to like I was an inconvenience My husband was told by their customer service person (as not one of them will give their names willingly) that the phone would not be here until the Saturday 23rd January 2016. She was adamant and all we could do is take her word for it, as she was at least the 7th advisor we had spoken to and despite having paid £9.95 for the next day delivery.

 

That same customer service agent advised to go into a shop and sort out the contract there as it had already passed credit checks. My husband told her not to cancel the contract in case we weren't able to get it sorted in the store to which she agreed over the phone. I was listening to the whole conversation on loud speaker. Being the gullible/trusting people we are we went to the Vodafone Store to get this contract sorted out. They looked into the order to discover the last advisor who promised they were going to leave the account alone had taken it upon herself to cancel the contract, which she had promised she would not do. So the store set up a new contract for the iPhone 6s in Rose Gold, 64gb. I was also told I would need to pay £69 up front for this phone also. At this point in time Vodafone had taken £136.95 whether in debits or reserve payments. Just to get this contract sorted out I conceded even though that is a lot of money.

 

All was fine until we got home after having to drive 30 minutes back from the most local Store and then a knock on the door came. It was the first mobile, iPhone 6s in Rose Gold 16gb. The very phone that we were told would not be delivered until the following Saturday and which the advisor had cancelled . This arrived at 3.38pm. So I was charged for £9.95 next day delivery before 1pm via Royal Mail which ended up with a cheaper courier not wearing a Royal Mail uniform.

 

On both occasions I was misled by the tariff with the advisor's so I decided to cancel the contracts and instead use the business tariff. Since that day I have been on the phone countless number of times trying to cancel both these contracts within the 14 days cooling off period and return the phones for a full refund of the upfront costs. This has proved stressful, difficult and impossible. The first phone that arrived through the post has been returned and received but has still not been refunded. I am having to take time out of my business to get this sorted out and it's not forthcoming. The other phone that I purchased from the shop has proved near impossible. I tried to return it to the shop but they wouldn't accept it as the customer service team had already cancelled it. To this day I have not received the returns bag and have called every few days to chase a new one. I am always told it will arrive but has not till this day. I'm now out of the cooling off period and received a letter dated 4th Feb stating I now owe over £800 as am out of my cooling off period. The line was cancelled over the telephone well before 21st January and by recorded letter which I have proof of. I have also kept every online chat with service advisor's. I have tried numerous attempts to get through to a resolution or complaints team only to be told they don't exist. Their very own website points you back at customer services - no dedicated complaints service. Today I asked for a deadlock letter so I could see resolution through the ombudsman quicker to be told I couldn't have one as the resolution team have not dealt with it. So I asked to be put through to them. I was told that no I couldn't be as their is a process. I asked what their process was to be told they couldn't deal with it. WTF?!!?

 

I'm at the point where it is now affecting my mental health. I get extremely stressed and anxious at the thought of contacting them to only suffer the same treatment each time. What can I do? I haven't received a refund for the first phone and the second phone has still not been returned due to not receiving the returns bag. Even when that is returned the process for getting my money back is really going to affect my health. I have filed a complaint with the trading standards team but too early for the Ombudsman to get involved (shy of 4 weeks). I have never in my life experienced anything like this.

 

I just want these phone lines cancelled and my up front costs return with no further hassle. Why is it so hard?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciate, this is the worst experience of customer services I have ever experienced and I will be moving my business mobiles as soon as the contracts on them run out.

 

Jody

Edited by jrobins
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You have to wait until Vodafone come along. They haven't been very pro-active recently and we are considering our relationship with them altogether.

 

In the meantime, start taking your own action with our help and we will see what can be done.

 

I suggest that one of things you should do is to read our customer services guide and implement the advice there. Then call them again and get as much evidence as you can - gently coaxing them into making useful admissions.

 

At the same time, send them an SAR. Once you have the information, we can help you take this forward.

If you are lucky, Vodafone may turn up and help you in which case things might get things sorted earlier. However, Vodafone's solutions and settlements are not always ideal.

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Thanks for replying I will follow your advice I have been keeping all my online conversations also and have been told today by the online customer service agent today it will all be sorted in 48 hours. Yeah right! I am also a few weeks away from being able to lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman as I sent an official and recorded complaint on the 21st January - no reply. I'm guessing I will need the SAR to assist that? I am absolutely disgusted at their customer service. Is it illegal or breaching some trading standards to NOT have a customer complaint department? surely they can't get away with this? I will be taking the trading standards complaint further.

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Hi

Do you have anything in writing agreeing to say that the contracts will be cancelled?

Have Vodafone accepted your complaint? It has been known that VF will not treat a complaint as such until they have been officially informed of such.

Do you have any phone recordings? If not, ring them again and record the call. You do not have to tell them.

 

Don't let them try and fob you off. If when you ring them, ask them what they have put on the system notes. I suspect VF CS reps don't add anything to the notes but obviously I cannot prove this.

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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hi there, thanks for the response, no I have nothing in writing I've asked they never send, apart from saved online conversations with their customer service agents (during the cooling off period). I have a reply of some description date 4th Feb saying I now owe them money as it's passed my 14 day cooling off period (even though I cancelled well within this time) so I guess this could been in response to my complaint of 21st January therefore it was acknowledged? I didn't think to record calls until being on here today. Problem is i'm now finding it difficult to pick up the phone to them as is emotionally draining and stressful and if I'm having a bad health day makes it far worse. I did send an email today to all the addresses listed on here to their exec team. Only one bounced.

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I would suggest following this up with a letter to their head office as a written Formal Complaint. You have some proof that you attempted to cancel so now they should action it.

 

It is possible that a VF rep may respond tomorrow (but don't hold your breath) and if they do, they may want to talk to you. Only agree if they will email you a copy of what has been agreed.

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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Hi,

 

The letter I sent on the 21st January was a formal complaint. This was in the same envelope as the cancellation (stapled together complaint behind the cancellation). I have checked their letter which I received yesterday which was dated 4th February and is does say it was in response to my letter so they have acknowledged it. Here's the interesting thing. At the point of sending the letter their website stated it only takes 5 days for them to respond. Since them their complaints page has changed and this has been removed. In that letter, which is also written in terrible English, they didn't seek to rectify the situation at all, no apologies for their appalling service, instead they have told me I now owe them £837. I cancelled the contract over the phone on 20th Jan, I know this was done at this point as I tried to cancel in the shop and they couldn't do it as it had already been actioned on the system. So I've done everything I possibly can formally speaking. I ask for email confirmation at the end of EVERY call or communication and guess what, it never arrives. I don't expect the reps to respond either this service is absolutely shocking. I'm not backing down though and as a business owner myself I fail to see how what they are doing is even legal. I feel my consumer rights have seriously been breached, I've cancelled the contracts in 3 different methods and it's like they have stuck their fingers in their ears each time. I also run my business lines through Vodafone and the second these are past contract they are getting cancelled! I'm going to get back onto trading standards today as Vodafone clearly have none!

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Hi Lee,

 

I will wait to hear from you. After speaking online today with a complaints advisor - from the complaints page of the website it seems it was an error on Vodafone's part. This still does not help this situation I would like it resolved swiftly to prevent further stress. However they have confirmed (in writing as I have the transcript) that I did everything I could within the cooling off period to get these lines cancelled and that it was Vodafone's error.

 

I look forward to talking with you soon.

 

Regards,

 

Jody

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I would also make VF aware that as this is now a dispute, any entry on your credit file that shows inaccurate data will be dealt with. Whilst any dispute is ongoing, collection activity should be halted and any late payment markers/defaults should not be placed on a customers credit file.

 

I have seen many cases where a default has been placed wrongly by VF which has caused immense problems for CAGgers trying to get low interest credit cards or mortgages

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 that warning and appreciate your assistance. I'm already trying to rebuild my credit file so if they do I will not be happy. They are claiming I'm two months in arrears already for a contract that was issued on 16th January. It's not even been a month yet so how can this be? Why do I have the feeling that despite what I ask them to do they are going to ignore it anyway! I just can't believe it's this difficult.

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I just can't believe it's this difficult.

 

You and me both which leads me on to VF being investigated by OFCOM

 

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/competition-bulletins/open-cases/all-open-cases/cw_01159/

 

I have a funny feeling that once the investigation is over VF will find their wallet substantially lighter

 

EE got a £1m fine last year so i wonder what VF are likely to get.

 

EE Decision

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/enforcement/competition-bulletins/closed-cases/all-closed-cases/cw_01120/Confirmation_Decision_under_s96C_of_a_contravention_under_GC14.4_(non-confidential).pdf

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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I'm not surprised. I looked at putting in a complaint with OFCOM yesterday but basically it seems the only way I can do this for my case is through the Ombudsman in 8 weeks. I'm glad they are investigating their complaints procedure it's a joke. I was told they don't have a complaints department several times. Then yesterday was told there was a resolution team when I asked for a deadlock letter but I couldn't speak to this team and that advisor didn't have access to them either as there's a process. I said let's get the process started to be told they can't and can't put me through to anyone that can. What more can I say?

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This is the reason why we say write. The CS reps will do whatever they are told to do by the bosses and if that obstructs you, well, tough.

 

I have heard that the resolutions team have no contact number but they must make outgoing calls so why do they not accept incoming calls? They would get inundated which is why you have to manoeuvre around the CS reps.

 

P*ss poor practice IMO

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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Very apt choice of words :) couldn't agree more.

 

I am hoping the VF Rep will be able to help - watch this space.

 

Is it worth emailing the case officer at OFCOM with my complaint against their complaints procedure as this has been half the problem?

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I wouldn't bother with OFCOM as yet. They don't handle individual complaints and they get their data from both the telecoms ombudsman and VF themselves.

 

They may call out for customer input at a later time so you could register with them for updates on whichever platform you want

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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I would love to know what VFs opinion is on the Distance Selling Regulations?

 

Cancelling within the 14 days should be very simple yet VF go out of their way to make it as hard as possible for some people. WHY?

 

Is the filing of late payment markers/defaults an automatic process or does it require an actual person to press the buttons? If yes, does that person have ALL the details required to make a reasoned decision. That I doubt!

 

How many times have we seen on CAG where VF have filed a default when an account is in dispute. Answer, Lots!

How many times have VF added unlawful admin fees to bills that have been passed over to a debt collector. Nearly always.

 

How many times have the VF web team looked at the system notes and found nothing to back up the claims made by poster? That, I don't know the answer to but if the phone logs show a call was made, why was there no details as to why the call was made?

 

Why is it that when some customers who want to cancel their contract after the mandatory period suddenly find themselves in a new contract? Do the CS reps get commission to retain customers?

 

Why do VF not store the content of phone calls. When someone complains, shouldn't this call be kept? Why do VF delete calls? The database can handle them.

 

Why do VF not keep copies of contracts at the head office? Storing them offsite in no particular order just shows what VF are really like.

 

Rant for today over. :-)

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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I would also like to see answers to those questions it's now been a month for me.

 

I'm feeling extremely anxious over another issue. I'm still a Vodafone business customer (until contract up) and porting two numbers tomorrow. The horror stories I've read about that after everything I've already been through trying to get these two lines cancel makes me shudder. If they screw this up then it affects my business will suffer. Really wish I had known about their reputation before taking out the business contract.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi

Is there any updates on this as yet?

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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Hi there,

 

This issue has now been resolved and sorry haven't been back to update been trying to make up for all the lost time in my business!

 

Lee did call me a few days after these postings but it was already being dealt with at that point.

 

I had seen on a previous posting a handful of emails. So I sent my complaint to them all and was given a different reference number from the one posted here. I was then contacted by the customer relations team with a direct number to them. The issue got sorted out pretty swiftly from this point on. Both phone lines were cancelled and although it took ten days I got my full refund! Lee was going to sort out it being removed from my credit file which I can confirm is the case.

 

However, the issue might be resolved but I will never forget the appalling service, the way I was spoken to on numerous occasions or not at all and the month in phone calls every other day which had an impact on my health and business productivity. This could have easily been avoided by making the customer relations department accessible to all customers. Once my business lines are up for renewal I will be changing providers.

 

Thanks to Silverfox and all for your support it was a very difficult situation and you made it easier to navigate through :).

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Thanks to Silverfox and all for your support it was a very difficult situation and you made it easier to navigate through

 

Damn! now I can't get my head through the door :lol:

 

I'm glad that it is now resolved. Makes you wonder why you had to resort to contacting the bosses to get something as simple as this resolved.

 

Anyway, well done for sticking this through.

 

I will mark this thread 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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Nice work to all involved...even if above and beyond intervention.

 

Regards

 

Andy

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