28-03-2012 09:46 AM
And how about an acurate explanation of the cause of this outage and confirmation that there have been lessons learnt and effective contingency put in place to prevent this unacceptable loss of service happening in th efuture.
04-04-2012 12:44 PM
Has anyone recieved compensation for all this BS? Iv callled up about 7 times now and they say because I didn't report the problem when it happened (off my non working phone) I cannot recieve credit for it and that they have checked and see that no problems were reported :s its an absolute joke! would love to be out through to someone in england who can speak english!
I even emailed hoping that would be easier to understand yet my email was completely mis read and I was given a reply about switching my phone off to try and recieve networ. THATS NOT THE ISSUE!
i want compenstation for the service that wasnt supplied that I pay for!
05-04-2012 11:46 AM
Thank you for your post.
I can see that the signal issue was resolved on the 31/03/2012 that was initially highlighted as the affected site.
I have sent you a Private Message to follow and if you could also provide the original email so we can take a look at it here we will be in touch as soon as we can.
You can find your PM inbox here.
05-04-2012 12:48 PM
Its only taken 3 posts and 7 phone calls to get this far!
I dont know when vodafone moved their call centre to eastern europe/India but the poor level of understanding and english is absolutely unacceptable!
When I was told I could not have credit to my account for the 3 weeks that I had no service I asked what do i do now?
the response? 'nothing'great customer care voda!
I still cannot see how the phone staff could find no details of the outage when there seems to be 3-4 posts on the VODAFONE forum about the issue! making me out to be some kind of blagger trying to get money off my bill!
05-04-2012 01:19 PM
Do any of you guys actually know anything about how a Mobile phone service is Run and maintained?
i'm guessing not. You all seem to think it is just a flick of a switch and BOOM, Faults can vary from an internal issue i.e a blown fuse all the way down to wind damge/birds nesting etc.
First off, a fault has to be reported, once reported an number of diagnostic tests are run. After this depending on the outcome, a job has to be logged with the repair team (roughly about 300 uk staff). they then have to go around all the cell sites in the uk that have faults reported on a first come first resolved basis. (roughly upwards of 500000 cell sites of which maybe 2-3000 may have an fault at any given time).
Then depending on location (3rd party buildings etc). The repair team may need permission to access the building (usually out of hours).
Next up, the engineer will access the site and run full diagnostics to determine the fault. Once discovered, they will need to order the parts required to repair this issue, (occasionally a new dish/reciever/transmitter).
Once the parts have arrived, permission to access and work on said site has to be arranged.
The work is then done, which should fix the prolem(note, "should"). If the problem is fixed, the transmitter will be turned back on and gradually increased to full capacity on 2G, so calls/texts can start. once this is running smoothly, then 3G will be turned back on.
This process "may" take upto 3 months from start to finish, mainly due to the small amount of engineers in comparison to the vast number of cell sites scattered around the UK.
To answer the argument about paying for the service whilst out of coverage, I'm 100% sure that if you ask Vodafone nicely, they will adjust the 2 weeks loss of service from your line rental costs.
Incompetence from Vodafone? NO.
Your all welcome.
05-04-2012 01:38 PM
Very interesting. I don't think anyone is actually disputing that it is tricky to maintain a mobile network - it's more the complete lack of communication from Vodafone both internally within departments and externally with their customers. Their left arm has no idea what their right arm is doing
05-04-2012 02:01 PM
Repairs are carried out by external engineers, If they said that the "X9lmb3 port was experiencing comensation data lag via internal comm 667915 server" would that really help in the long run?
05-04-2012 05:06 PM
Magicman13. . .
The main problem here that was causing the frustration was an initial lack of any acknowledgement that there was an outage then absolutely no indication as to how long we can expect to be without a signal.
You mention lots of base stations and not many engineers. That's irrellevant. Vodafone and their engineering partners will have a comitted service level agreement with an associated service restoration trarget and should be staffed to meet that commitment.
You mention that base stations are in hard to reach places. Who put them there? When sites are chosen access restrictions are known and taken into account and will make up part of the service plan for maintaining that site. Response plans should be adjusted to take access restrictions into account.
The Vodafone website and customer services direct customers to the faults page and forum to investigate coverage issues and track faults. This gives them an obligation to provide relevent and timely information to their paying customers who are not receiving
the service they are contracted to provide and have not been receiving it for a period far longer than can be considered acceptable.
I don't think anyone ever said that maintaining a mobile network was simple or that it should be available 100% of the time. The general requests were for an update as to when service restoration could be expected and that is not an unreasonable request. Granted a few people were declaring it the end of the world and seeking compensation but that was just a reflection of the frustration caused by an entirely inappropriate Vodafone response to a serious network outage.
You rather patronisingly suggested that knowing that an XYX47 had fallen off an ABC4 would not enlighten anyone. Correct. However a response to say that an engineer had visited, identified the fault and expected to return in 48 hours with spares would at least have indicated that the fault was in fact being managed. Even it when he turned up he then found that he had mistakingly ordered a left handed ABC4 by mistake, an update to say more spares and another 48 hours keeps people informed.
When a mast site or MSC goes down it will always impact a significant community both from the MNO and MVNO user community (shan't go into the MVNE/MNA community for fear of showing my ignorance). When the HLR went down last year it impacted a huge region. These things happen. Good customer service is demonstrated when a company react to things that have gone wrong. Vodafone's response to this outage both in terms of resolution and customer communications during an extended outage were inexcuseable.
So in summary, the people of Fleet had no service for 2 weeks, had no real updates during that period and you come on here defending the Vodafone position and saying we're too dumb to understand how hard it is to manage a mobile network!
Anyway it's working now lets hope next time it happens, as it surely will, someone in Vodafone will remember that they have an obligation to their customers that goes beyond collecting line rental on a monthly basis.
06-04-2012 09:25 AM
I wasn't suggesting any levels of stupidity within the community of Fleet, so please accept my apologies if it came over that way.
My point was that, in the majority of posts, people were suggesting it was incompetence on Vodafones behalf that the network was lost.
Some eForum members were advising that the issue was known and a resolution was being looked into but couldnt supply a timescale.
But lets say they said "oh it would be fixed within 48hrs, and then the issue was more complex than first thought, and wouldnt be fixed for much longer, then people would be just saying they were been fobbed off etc.
I'm sure its all about setting expectations. If no timescale is available, then why advertise a random repair time.
They were just being honest and saying they didn't know.
As for the locations of Cell sites, They are placed on building roofs etc for a reason, and its the same rerason standard cells are on top of large masts. A higher cell will project its signal further, and they are less visible. Lets be honest, they are a bit of an eyesore.
Months of research goes into selecting these locations to try and cover "black spots" etc.
Maybe the UK will catch up with the Good ole US of A when it comes to masts. Just type Cell site into Wikipedia and have a look at some of the ground level Camoflauge masts disguised as palm trees and such.
Frustration is bound to result when services you pay your hard earned money for, stop working as expected.
But as i mentioned above, its simply a case of riding out the issue ad then getting reimbursed the money you have paid whilst not getting a service, which Vodafone will glady do.
As for the people saying....."i'm off to o2/T-Mobile" etc, it would be delusional to think that other networks dont suffer from the same network problems and the concerns arising from them such as timescales and compensation.
Thankfully, the good people of Fleet now seem to have network funcionality again, and hopefully you will all be compensated for the network outage, and possibly an apology for any inconvenience caused, which is all you can really expect from Vodafone and (in my opinion) rightly so.
My main issue with a lot of these comments, is not the frustration, but the over-reaction to the problem (again my opinion) such as people basically saying that the network which has provided a decent mobile network for 20+ years are the worst network in the history of mobile telephoney at the first sign of a problem.
You seem quite knowledgable Mark-voda so i can only assume you have a good amount of common sense, so if you looked at the posts prior to mine, you too can see the over-reaction contained within.
As i said before, Frustration is fine, but to mistake this for incompetence or a lack of care, is not the correct thig to do.
I'm sure there is an old adage that says "Patience is a virtue"
06-04-2012 11:03 AM
Have to disagree with you again I'm affraid. Standard ITIL response to a major outage is to ensure impacted communities are informed of latest progress and estimated time to either restore service or issue further comms to update the status of the situation. This was the primary failing in Vodafone's response this situation.
Take for example the recent fire in Rotterdam causing the Netherlands core backbone site being taken down then a resulting signalling storm between the Amsterdam and other EU core backbone ingres points took down the bulk of the NL infrastructure. To your reasoning Vodafone should have stayed quiet as they had no idea when the fire was going to be put out or what resulting damage would remain. No. What they did was issue situation updates, state when another update would be published and then publish in accordance with the plan. The response to this one was mostly silence which is the worst possible response.
The impact to users goes way beyond refunding line rental however the T&Cs we all sign up to specifically exclude consequential loss (lost £10M order due to no phone) so their only legal liability is to achieve a suitable service with compensation limited to the cost of the service for the duration of it's unavailability.
Cell sites. Coverage plans are complex areas however access restrictions are as important as coverage provided. Access restrictions will be known and so should be factored into the support plans for a site.
Not entirely sure how you can justify the Vodafone response to this outage. It was absolutely inappropriate and that is why people complained.
Anyway it's working now. Let's hope you are here the next time we suffer a significant outage (about every 2 years) to justify our abandonment.
06-04-2012 02:09 PM
You do make some valid points regarding the Netherlands issues, and this highlights that UK Companies lag way behind their overseas counterparts when it comes to dealing with contingencies. (bit of snow you say? lets close the airports and roads and train stations!!!)
And yes, some customers are more severely affected via loss of work phones etc (but surely a company dealing with a £10m contract should not rely on an unpredictable and sometimes unreliable service alone (landlines should be a must)).
Again, i'm not trying to justify Vodafones response as i'm sure it could have been better, but when they were saying they had no resolution timescales at least they were being honest and not setting false expectations.
My point was to highlight what on most peoples part was a vast overreaction to something beyond anybody elses control.
As you said, the network is now running again, so that is good news, and it has been a pleasure talking to you Mark, its always good to have a sensible discussion with different opinions on an issue, as i said before, all my posts are based on my own opinion and the info i take from other comments, and are not intended to be taken personally by anyone.
07-04-2012 03:09 PM
The way in which technical issues are solved is of no relevanceto me, this is why i pay vodafone to solve issues and dont go out to masts myself :s even though I havnt even complained about the way problems are dealt with.
HOWEVER the way in which I have been treated as a customer is disgusting! you would think its fair to gain some kind of credit or comepensation wouldnt you? And I know of 2 people that have had success, but for some reason when it comes down to me, I have been told its not possible nor in vodafones policy to compensate for network loss..... This is the same response from 4 different customer service staff and a line manager (who could not find any infomation about the outage even with this and other threads)
I assume I have been given this treatment as I have just recently renewed my contract and they have no reason to 'keep me sweet'
So... why would I go to o2?
1. Far far far better customer service (i used to be on o2)
2. Full reception and 3g in my own house (vodafone 2 bars no 3g)
3. Better perks such as o2 priority
I would like to know how many people from the fleet area have been offered compensation or credit to thier accounts?