Unfortunately I have to make yet another negative blog post, thanks to the charming customer service at Vodafone NZ.
When I took my business full time, I upgraded my prepay account to a regular 24-month contract Vodafone Talker plan in Sep 2008. This is a pretty non-exciting phone plan with included minutes, txts and a few other extras, the main reason for choosing it is that I didn’t want to have to worry about running out of credit when doing lots of business calls.
The plan didn’t come with any good discounts or cool new hardware, it was just a regular phone plan.
I recently decided that I’d like to get an Apple iPhone 3G 8GB to replace my aging blackberry, as well as providing me with the opportunity to develop my own software for my phone. :-)
Vodafone sell the iPhone device itself at $979.00 if the phone is purchased without a contract. However, if the phone is purchased on a 24-month, $60 per month contract, the price drops to $450.00 – an amount I can cover with my new toys budget.
So, I decided to buy the iPhone for $450.00 and replace my existing contract with the $60.00 per month iPhone plan – this would surely be as simple as walking into Vodafone and signing a couple of forms or something.
HOW VODAFONE MAKES SOMETHING SO SIMPLE, SO HARD
1. Whilst Vodafone will replace my existing plan with a new iPhone plan, they will not give me *any* credit on the iPhone itself, and I would have to pay the full $979 retail price!!
Naturally this seems crazy that as a loyal customer I have to pay more whereas a new customer would get all the discounts!
2. I can break out of my existing contract for $160 – so I could break out, and then sign up to the new iPhone plan and get the phone for $610 once the cost of the break fees are added – that’s $369 cheaper than buying the iPhone at full cost!!
Of course as their salesperson pointed out, I would loose my existing phone number and (I quote) “Vodafone frowns on such a practice”. Vodafone FROWNS on such a practice? What the fuck does that mean?
I FROWN on Vodafone’s inability to provide quality services and support to their customers, I really don’t care about their opinions on customers working out ways around their stupidity.
3. Upon telling the Vodafone employee that I might as well just wait for Telecom to release the iPhone on their new XT network, cancel my plan and sign up for a better deal with them, his response was (actual words) “Well, go do it then”.
WHAT I’M GOING TO DO
So thanks for the advice Vodafone employee, I will go and do it then. When Telecom bring out the iPhone on the XT network, I will cancel my Vodafone account, get my number ported to Telecom (so no need to get new business cards) and get an iPhone on their network!
In the past I had to use Vodafone to get international roaming, but with the new Telecom XT network, I now have a choice, and I choose to go to a firm that isn’t treating their customers like crap.
Oh, and I don’t mean just canceling my mobile account – I also mean when the 24-month expires on my Vodem, I’ll move my 3G connection to Telecom.
So Vodafone is going to lose $110 per month of my business to start with…
But that’s not all, they are going to lose:
- As many people as I can possibly convince to leave Vodafone, and I’ll actively recommend people away from Vodafone wherever possible.
- Any chance of future business from me – as my company grows, I don’t think I’ll be sticking with Vodafone…
Hell, I’ll even pay more if I have to just to get better service – the Telecom people I spoke to at their store were very helpful and willing to assist in moving away from Vodafone in any way possible.
OTHER VODAFONE CRAP
This isn’t the first time Vodafone has annoyed me with their stupid crap – here’s some more fine examples:
- Their inability to merge the two different accounts I have (Vodem and Phone), because my phone was originally prepay, the account can’t be merged!
- The fact they charge $1 each time you want talk to customer support – and the only time when I want to talk to customer support, is when there has been some kind of mistake on their part!
- The fact that they force all their customers onto 24-month contracts unless you want to pay large excesses on the plans.
As a side note, the Vodafone staff at Warring Taylor St were very helpful but restricted by Vodafone’s polices (and had no iPhones in stock, so directed me to Lambton Quay).
The employee that I spoke to at Lambton Quay was rude and didn’t care in the slightest that they had just annoyed a customer so much I was going to change provider.
So congratulations Vodafone, I walked into your store wanting to spend more money with you, but came out wanting to find *anyone* else to spend my money with instead.