10-12-2011 11:55 AM
Today I went online to pay this bill, using my debit card. I made the payment, and set up a new Direct Debit to make things easier.
Imagine my horror when I checked my bank balance and found that you had taken TWO payments instead of one. Confirmed with my bank that these payments were taken 4 seconds apart, so obviously an error on your part.
Immediately I called you, and spoke to a gentleman who assured me that this would be sorted and that someone would phone me back today.
I had another chat with my bank, as the extra amount that has been taken is nearly £100 and I have three small children to feed - this is our ENTIRE week's budget for food and nappies gone. They told me that they can cancel the payment and make sure that it is back in my bank on Monday IF a manager from Vodafone can fax them confirmation that one of the payments was indeed an error. Pretty easy to do eh? A simple letter, faxed and problem solved - hooray!
So, I called you back - as my bank shuts at 12pm today.
I was told that actually no-one had any intention of calling me back today, so that was nonsense and lies - and that in fact the money taken in ERROR has just been credited onto January's bill. So I would not be getting a refund. I can speak to the refunds department on money and apparently they MIGHT refund me. Or it will stay on my account to pay January's bill... great, that's not going to FEED MY CHILDREN this weekend is it?
I am FURIOUS. Angry about being lied to on the first phone call, and livid about the fact that you can take money in error - and then decide to use it for a bill due next month. It is MY money, and MY decision how I spend it. What you have done is pretty much theft. I have no money to feed my children, the gas meter is nearly out of credit on the coldest weekend of the year in Northumberland. This is NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
I want my money back NOW. I want some form of compensation for this too - because this is disgusting. I am going to have to go cap in hand and borrow money to feed my kids and heat my house. I shouldn't have to do that - I should have nearly £100 in my account. Why isn't it in my account? Because YOU stole it. I will be taking further advice on the legalities of this - because as far as I know, Vodafone isn't in charge of my family finances.
I am beyond angry and this needs to be sorted out ASAP.
And then, to cap everything - I have had three automated calls (which I hung up on, because I'm busy trying to work out how to feed my family) in quick succession asking me about my opinion on your customer services! Ridiculous.
I was planning on upgrading early, as it is due now - and was even quite happy to go ahead and pay the early upgrade fee. Instead I am going to wait for this contract to end and go elsewhere because this is not on.
10-12-2011 12:09 PM - edited 10-12-2011 12:09 PM
Thank you for your post and I completely understand your frustration and would like to get this resolved for you.
This is not something we can discuss properly on a public forum so I have sent an email to the address you registered with online, please complete and reply to this and I will be able to take a look at your account.
Hope to hear from you soon.
10-12-2011 03:42 PM
This is the second month its happened to me, and my account is in a real mess now. Maybe I should with hold payment, im sure that will prompt someone to contact me.
10-12-2011 04:02 PM
" Maybe I should with hold payment, im sure that will prompt someone to contact me."
You would think so, but sadly not. You might get a text ( not a call ) to say your payment is overdue, but after that they will simply cut you off and blame you for it. I do not think there are any circumstances that would cause Vodafone to contact you, apart from sales situations of course.
10-12-2011 06:19 PM
From what I can see, customer services basically fob you off till the next bill is due and keep the money anyway... so I shall resign myself to the fact that I've lost nearly £100 for the month. Which is not good when you have small children and Xmas coming up.
In the meantime, I have spent a lot of time this afternoon writing emails to both Watchdog and Rip Off Britain. In the emails I've included links to countless different forum threads about the matter, including the ones from over on Moneysavingexpert's forum too. There are quite a few! Took me a while to trawl through them all, but - what else did I have to do? Since the grocery shopping can't be done now VF have stolen ALL my money!
I've also emailed OFCOM, because the complaint guidelines say that the ombudsman won't get involved until you have given the company a maximum of 8 weeks to resolve your complaint. Obviously VF are flagrantly flouting this, as in 8 weeks most people will have a second, possibly third bill - and VF will keep the money anyway. I'm going to find out what the situation is, if it is a time-sensitive issue which needs resolving sooner than the 8 week limit. Will keep y'all posted.
In the meantime I think that each and every person that it happens to needs to email Watchdog and Rip Off Britain.
10-12-2011 06:40 PM
I've been followng at this issue for some time too, allthough I must say from the outset that it hasn't happened to me. Interesting to see you've reached the same conclusion that I have, that they bend over backwards to keep the money. As for the TV programs,I have the feeling that watchdog are a bit of a dead duck and that Rip Off Britain are good, but a bit too gentle. Personally I think "Don't Get Done Dom" is the best, because he stays in the perpetrator's faces until they put their hands up. Good luck , and please do keep us all posted as you said !
11-12-2011 12:53 PM
The thing is, even though I probably won't get my money back - it'll drag on until the next bill is due... I am NOT going to let this lie. I'm like a little terrier with a bone, I will still pursue a complaint and I will pursue compensation... and if I don't get satisfaction, I'll go to the ombudsman. I don't care - nothing to lose! Vodafone will not win.
11-12-2011 06:13 PM
Absolutely right. They really have got to fix the bug in their payment system so that they STOP doing this. It's happening too frequently to be human error, so the IT systems must be the prime suspect.
13-12-2011 07:11 AM - edited 13-12-2011 07:13 AM
Vodafone should be ashamed and watch out for FSA in future months if they dont shape up!!! Its premeditated theft and keeping money fraudulantly whilst gaining unauthorised interest on it should be reported!!!
If they ever do if again i will terminate all 4 of my contracts and go to a network that can be trusted!
13-12-2011 12:50 PM
The most frustrating thing for people in your situation is that there appears to be no method of paying Vodafone in such a way that they can ONLY take the amount you authorised and ONLY do so once. This of course is what cash payments, standing orders and (to a slightly lesser extent) cheques used to offer, but most large companies have made it impossible for us to use any of these methods. Unless of course anyone out there knows differently.......
14-12-2011 05:12 PM
Well, well, well... Vodafone have had three days to call me. I was promised a call on Monday morning and have so far had nothing.
No reply to my email to customer "care" either.
I have, however been called twice by my bank who have been trying to claw back the payment from VF - AND this morning I got a lovely phone call from a BBC researcher on Rip Off Britain. She said she's had a few similar cases regarding VF and that they would be very interested in my story. She's taken some notes, and has asked me to email her if I hear anything from VF. So watch this space.
I've also spoken to OFCOM and OFTEL and interestingly - the 8 weeks given to companies to resolve a complaint will only apply if the company acknowleges the complaint in the first place. As VF have not replied to my email of complaint or accepted a complaint over the phone - they are in breach of standard complaints procedure, and I can escalate my complaint straight to them.
Oops Vodafone... you messed up!
16-12-2011 10:13 AM
Anyway, to update - had a lovely chat with James from the web team - who called me yesterday. He is going to put through the refund request and all that jazz... I don't hold out much hope, as the mythical "refunds team" seem to exist on the same plane as Santa and the Easter bunny. However I do appreciate that James will do everything that he can at his end...
I still have a complaint to Vodafone with regards to how I've been treated and I will still be pursuing that - with a view to compensation for the lies, inconvenience and general bad treatment. The lack of reply to my original complaint email is still an issue - and I have sent a letter recorded delivery to the Customer Relations team so that I can begin to count the 8 weeks for complaint referral from the date it was signed for... I will not let this lie. Even if, by some miracle; a refund appears.
16-12-2011 11:57 AM
"had a lovely chat with James from the web team"
You're doing far better than me then, I'd love to speak to him.....
2 days since I sent him an email, guess what................
Still no reply, what a surprise.
Vodafone have the most abysmal "customer services" (what an oxymoron) I have ever come across and thats an utter understatement.
23-12-2011 05:07 PM
Recorded delivery complaint letter was sent to Customer Relations last week - so will just add the lack of refund the the ever growing list of complaints I have!
23-12-2011 07:26 PM
As you said - what a surprise ! It's good that you've bevn able to keep your sense of humour through most of this !!
Just re-reading this thread I noticed that the Tech Team responded very promptly to your original post on 10/12. Can I ask what happened after they e-mailed you ?