Thursday, September 25, 2008

Let my people go, Vodafone

Vodafone have become my nemesis. Since shutting down my account with them, or at least thinking that's what I had done last week, I mean, 'I want to shut down my account,' is pretty self explanatory right? I've had two calls and two missed calls from their account closures department.

The first one caught me unawares while I was walking past Keats's house in Hampstead. An ominous sounding voice asked me to confirm my name and first line of my address. He then went on to ask me why I was closing my account. This was a golden opportunity to vent all my pent-up rage, and boy did I. He listened patiently and then, with no emotion in his voice, asked me if there was any way they could change my mind.

The conversation went something like this:
Me: No, I'm sorry
Him: Are you sure, I mean, is there any way we can keep your business?
Me: Listen, I'm sorry, but you guys, OK, maybe not you personally, but the people in your company are incompetent
Him: I'm sorry to hear that, but you've been a good customer is there some kind of deal we can do to keep you?
Me: Thank you, this really is the last time I'm saying this, but no. I am not interested, but thank you for your call OK?
Him: (Sounding sad and despondent), OK, thank you.

So I thought that was that, and I'd have my PAC code by now. But no, yesterday I see not one but two missed calls from that same account closures department. I didn't intentionally not answer, just happened to be busy with Julia on both ocassions.

Then today I got another call from someone called Daniel. Daniel asks me to confirm my name (which happens to be my pre-marriage name that they should have changed but never got round to doing), and the first line of my address.

The conversation went something like this:
Him: Hi there, I'm calling from the Vodafone account closures department, and I just wanted to ask you why you are closing your account with us?
Me: Jesus, are you people for real? I just spoke to your colleague on Monday. I mean, do I really have to go through all of this again?
Him: Um, well, is it because you have found a better deal elsewhere?
Me: Listen, you people are inept, as I told your colleague on Monday, and I have no interest in keeping my business with you.
Him: But...
Me: I've bought a 3G phone and as soon as you send me my PAC code I am going to use it. I do not want to use your company any more OK?
Him: OK, well, um, thank you

I realise that Daniel got the shit end of the stick, but the irony in all of this is that him calling me after I had spoken to two other people in his company unequivocally stating my decision to close my account and indeed believing it had been done, is exactly why I am closing my account. They evidently do not make notes on the accounts following phone conversations like this, or if they do they ignore them, and the result is that none of them know what the hell is going on.

I feel as though I'm trying to leave the Mafia or something. Just let me go already, and send me my god damn PAC code while you're at it.


Mathew @ Vodafone UK said...

Hi Letters From London,

I'm writing from Vodafone, who I know aren't your favourite company at the moment but bear with me!

I work as part of an online team who help people electronically, either via our forum or by searching for Vodafone related matter anywhere on the World Wide Web and seeing what we can do to help.

Now I know that you're past the point of no return in terms of staying with us, however I would like to sincerely apologise for how your cancellation request has been handled so far and for you feeling the service wasn't good during the agreement itself.

I'd also like to offer my assistance in helping you to obtain your PAC as quickly as possible, as well as resolving any other outstanding queries you may still have.

If by any chance you do need aid, then please contact using the form at, quoting FIT135 in the body of the email (to ensure it reaches us here) - we'll be more than happy to help out.

P.S. We're definitely not the Mafia, although one of my colleagues has got a penchant for sharp suits.

Thanks for your feedback!

Best wishes,

Vodafone UK

letters from london said...

Thanks Matthew, your comment and sense of humour made for a refreshing change from my recent experience with your company. And you're charming too, which always helps.

I received my PAC in a letter from Vodafone today. It was dated the 21st of September, so either Royal Mail are slacking or perhaps your people thought they'd hold off in the hopes of changing my mind? Four calls tells me this is a possibility, however remote.

The letter was very polite btw, and it made me laugh that it contained one last attempt to keep my business. But fortunately, it also had my much yearned for PAC details.

I had an email from a friend saying she'd had the same problem trying to leave. I appreciate you guys want to keep business, but it's a bit much to repeatedly call someone and not even know their reason for leaving. There really needs to be a notes system put in place following contact with the call centre.

That appears to be at the heart of all the problems I had with your company, and it's so easily solvable.

Thanks for your comment and offer of help.

PS: I've withheld contact details as I'd rather not wake up next to a horse's head

catherine Learmount said...

The same thing happened to me when I tried to leave Orange back in 2000. In fact, after receiving a letter confirming that I'd been cut off I received a bill for a month I had not used the phone at all.
After that I had a similar scenario of trying to get hold of someone at Orange to ensure I'd had my contract cancelled and no one there seeming to get the message.
It's amazing how easy it was to sign up to Orange, but the frustration of cancelling my contract was as you describe, a rather like trying to leave the Mafia. ;-)