Welcome to Vodafone Community
So I like a lot of people woke up yesterday morning to find my iPhone displaying the 'No Service' message rather than the familiar 'vodafone UK'.
I initally figured ignore it and it'll come back. Drive to work, still nothing. Then begin talking to others and it becomes clear there's something not right.
Call Vodafone, lose the will to live on hold. Decide to post on here to get an update. But this is where it became clear that something is very lacking at Vodafone's end when it comes to dealing with these outages, mainly transparency.
No-one will hate you for being honest.
No network can guarantee a fault free service. I get that. I'm alright with that. I'm not fuming that I had no signal, it's a mobile phone at the end of the day and nothing bad happened.
What disappointed me was the lack of acknowledgment that there was an issue. If you look at the threads posted in this forum, it's clear that there was a issue. A lot of people commented both in my local area and nationally that they were having the same issue and were met with a wall of silence.
On my own thread, three and a half hours after posting it, a Vodafone representative responded and said linked me to a generic thread before adding if you're still having problems let us know and we'll get back to you.
Well I had let you know, lots of other people had let you know. All these situations require is a 'we're aware of a fault in your area'. That's it. Like I said, no-one expects a fault free service but they do expect (or at least I do) for a fault to be acknowledged.
I asked on the same thread yesterday if Vodafone could check their logs and update me. That never happened - I was ignored.
Other threads posted got a response along the lines of "Hi everyone, I've checked the local sites in your area and everything looks to be working fine'. Just so people reading it can get the impression that it must be the devices of all those people that are wrong, definitely nothing wrong with the network.
So at no point was a problem acknowleged and these canned responses of 'everything is fine' will have been posted when the issue was fixed.
Either that or a large amount of people suffered network blindness yesterday. "It's there... you just can't see it"
The advice given by Vodafone in these situation would be like your entire neighbourhood suffering a power black out, you then call your electricity company who don't say "yeah, there's a problem but don't worry we're on it" but instead tell you "take out all your fuses, blow on them and put them back in - oh and do come back to let us know if that didn't fix the problem". Not before waiting till the power is back on to say "well we've checked and the power is fine in your area".
I mean come on, telling huge amounts of people that you're not interested in their problem unless they're willing to try their sim in different devices when it's quite clear there's a problem!
I'll end by saying, just in case you're interested that whatever fault Vodafone had in my area is now resolved so if you'd like to reply to my original post and tell me that you've checked my local sites and everything is fine then it will now be a correct response.
Those of us that visit this forum on a long term regular basis have this this time and time again with both short term and very long term outages in specific areas.
The network has a very strict policy of saying as little as possible and not making any promises or giving any updates until after the problem is resolved.
The reasoning behind this is that giving information, or making promises about timescales that may not be kept, will promote more dissent than if they say nothing.
I have always argued that this is a misguided policy but of course as a customer I have zero influence.
My colleague at work was experiencing network problems on Vodafone yesterday with the Online Network Checker showing the local mast(s) as ok but a surrounding mast(s) was at issue.
I do agree that clarity speaks volumes.
In some of my replies I say,
"Things can sometimes go wrong which I'm sure many accept, but then it's ultimately down to how it's put right that then counts ,and instills confidence back into the product and service. Communication is Key. "
Something I firmly believe.
In regards to Network Signal from past experiences in this forum and others I use it can invariably turn out to be hardware based wether it be the phone, software or SIM card.
This is why the Vodafone Network Initial Template thread is a good tool as it's sets a good starting point to what the user has tried thus far, and can point them in the right direction to try things that they may not have thought to try.
I understand if the issue is affecting multiple people so the more people that uses the template or reports it the better as it highlights that their is an issue and the Vodafone Network isn't showing the up to date information even tho it refreshes frequently.
I like they way some other Network Apps have a section typically called 'My Network' where a user can send a bug report. I've even had a phone call resulting from my bug report to go through things in finer detail.
Thanks for your replies guys...
I would have to question a very strict policy of saying as little as possible. I'm glad you shared this with me as if I had decided to wait it out on 191 and got through to someone who adhered to this policy then we'd probably have a complaint registered already.
There is no logical reason for keeping paying customers in the dark. Other networks hold their hands up for outages and say sorry. Even Vodafone in other countries (I found their info when I was trying to google to see if there was an outage yesterday).
I think treating customers like they are idiots in the hope they'll question their own sanity and go away for long enough for the network faults to be fixed is frankly, poor.
From the point of view of being directed to the template thread then I'd agree in cases where a diagnosis is needed.
It's an insult to point someone to it when it's clear a number of people in a certain are affected by the same issue.
One thing Vodafone (and other customers) need to think about is 'customer effort', if you're going to keep and grow your customer base then they really need to think about effort.
I wasted a lot of effort yesterday trying to establish if there was a fault in my area. It still hasn't officially been confirmed.
A simple 'we're on it' would have done. I'd have known someone was aware of a problem and were fixing it. Like I say, I can live with faults, they happen.
It's this strict policy of treating customers like mushrooms that I have issue with.
PS: Lee, the My Vodafone app does allow you to report network issues now (I did so yesterday). Even gave me 250mb as a thank you for doing so.
You can find useful information such as why we can't give a timescale on our Network FAQs.
We use our Signal troubleshooting thread initially to help us eliminate factors, such as an issue with the device etc. We also need this information in order to raise a case for investigation, which is why it was linked yesterday. Some posts can be very brief, and as I'm sure you can understand, the troubleshooting thread assists us with gaining more information which we can then put into our report.
I can see that your issue is now resolved, however I can see and appreciate your frustration, your feedback has been noted and will be passed on.
Apologies for the inconvenience that this has caused, please do let us know if there's anything else we can assist you with.
Thank you for your reply Alex.
I do have to say though if you think this was about the timescale then you've missed the point of my post completely. Like I've said many many times, no-one can guarantee a fault free service. These things happen.
As I posted on my other thread, it took 25 hours for someone from Vodafone to acknowledge there was ever a problem at all.
That was my issue. Anyway all is good in the world, today is a new day. Just hope whoever you've passed my feedback onto is on the same page and agrees that it's a better customer experience for customers to be told there's a problem rather than be told to play music sim cards in an area where you know already there's an issue.