In the last few years Vodafone has been trying to claw back customers after the PR nightmare than was the collapse of their over-stretched network. The new – dare I say – revitalised carrier has been offering good deals and backing it up with solid network improvements.
I rolled my day-to-day mobile service back at the start of 2014 and have been generally satisfied. My iPhone4s doesn’t get to take advantage of the 4G spectrum and given the models lacklustre reception (even on Telstra NextG network) I could generally say that Vodafone more than met my needs.
I’ve held onto the iPhone 4S for 3 years now, waiting patiently for the iPhone6 release as it was about time to “upgrade” to resolve the issue of my 4s needing a replacement battery and struggling to cope with a days use.
I’ll let my complaint to Vodafone explain what happened:
Like the rest of Australia I’m wanting to upgrade to an iPhone6. I missed out on the pre-orders on the 12th of September because like every other Telco (and Apple) your website was basically non-functional while a lucky few customers managed to place pre-orders.
Over the subsequent days I confirmed that through the Online Store (now reporting wait times in the weeks) that it was possible to add an iPhone6 to my account as a Phone Only MPP. That is not bind the phone to a new contract. Sure it would cost “more” but honestly I’m happy to pay the price difference for the flexibility. I was once a 3/Vodafone customer with 5 services that got severely affected by those service quality issues a few years back and I’m not being locking into a plan again with any telco!
On Thursday the 18th I checked in the Tuggeranong Vodafone Store about stock levels and opening times, I was told that while “the company” didn’t like customers using MPP to buy new high-demand Handsets it was possible and they’d do it.
On Friday 19th at 7:30am I found myself at number 2 in the queue, and was informed that there was stock of my chosen model/capacity & colour. “Great”
Then it went wrong, The lady at “1” in the queue left looking agitated and without a phone, and I was asked what I was after, repeated my request to the staff member who used the computer system to open up my account details. He then told me that he “couldn’t” do MPP and I’d have to go on a plan. It was apparently a company policy and the system wouldn’t allow him to do it.
I politely declined and left the store. Your staff in Vodafone stores have always been helpful and polite, your service has improved dramatically in the past couple of years, so much so that I returned as a customer.
But why is it that you can “sell” one product through your on-line channel, and deny it via the face-to-face channel?
“It’s just a phone”, true, and I can easily wait until your “rule” changes or there’s no longer 2-3 weeks stock delays in the online store, but why wouldn’t I just walk to any of the other carriers within a few hundred metres of your Store and sign up for a contract?
No your policy meant that I’m a Post-Paid month-to-Month customer with no locked in commitment to your service, be that a Phone Plan or a MPP. Given the “cost” of regaining customers and the difficulty in restoring “faith” in your service the least I would have expected is a uniform policy on the use of MPP for iPhone6 sales for Existing customers.
All this doesn’t seem so hard does it? Sure if you would prefer customers signed for new contracts encourage them, a new contract is better value for the customer. If the customer knows about the Mobilie Payment Plan (MPP) option then let them exercise it. At least you’ve kept the customer locked into to something!
I shall see what I get back from Vodafone customer service in response!