Vodafone ordering fiasco

Around 2 months ago my wife ordered an upgrade to a Nokia 5800 from Vodafone. This should have been a straight-forward every day thing for them, but somehow it ended up taking 2 months and various departments before she finally received the phone.

It all started with a mistake when giving the delivery address over the phone. Once that was corrected the problems started:

  1. Wait for phone for up to a week, receive no dispatch text and no phone.
  2. Phone up.
  3. Get told order was never placed or was cancelled.
  4. Get promised phone will be reordered (sometimes with a promise of a call back to confirm).
  5. Go back to step 1.

Admittedly there were stock problems at the time since this was a new phone, but the delays were still unacceptable. After about the 12th phone call my wife enquired as to why it seemed impossible to actually order the phone. This is how they (2 people said the same thing) said it works:

  • Phones can only be “ordered” during working hours.
  • If the warehouse receives an order and none are in stock they cancel the order.
  • When new stock comes in they all sell out within minutes.

This seemed like an almost unimaginable system – I honestly couldn’t believe it worked like this. How do they sell out so quickly if you can only order when they’re in stock? Are the entire Vodafone staff poised ready to order the second they come in? Madness!

So, after getting authority on my wife’s account, I head on to the Vodafone eForum with this post. They assure me the system can’t be as described, and do their best to help. This is when I discover that they have great difficulty sending emails, half of them getting lost or receiving no response. I’ll admit the staff were polite and helpful, but after a few weeks we still didn’t have the phone.

We decided enough was enough and decided to lodge a complaint. I spent a while trying to find an address to write to on their site, but failed (it is buried in there, I discovered eventually, but it’s well hidden). Whilst googling though I came across the following link:

http://campaigns.vodafone.co.uk/complaints/

Interestingly this was a paid advert on Google, so it seems at least somebody cares enough to deal with the problems. We submitted the form on the weekend and within a day or two got a response. We had one member of staff throughout who was extremely helpful and polite. She confirmed that the system is as crazy as described, but that there’s resistence to change. Within a few days though the phone arrived.

I find it hard to understand how a person in the complaints department can solve the problem so quickly and everybody else can fail. Still, it shows that complaining works :-).

To help others I thought I’d mention this on the eForum, but my post was rejected! The reason given was:

Whilst we really do appreciate your contribution to the eForum, can we please ask you to refrain from posting this link as it detracts from our desire to help out first hand! We trust this is clear now, and hope to see your contributions to the eForum again soon!

Given that kind of cenorship I don’t think I’ll bother in future…

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One thought on “Vodafone ordering fiasco

  1. Sounds like a nightmare mucker – we had a similar issue with Orange and The Carphone Warehouse – it’s as if no one talks to each other…

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