24-02-2012 02:17 PM
I've seen a few comments in the last couple of days about VF changing it's upgrade policy, and, as I've said in several recent posts, three of my four contracts with VF were upgradable in February/March so I thought I'd have a check on the dates for me.
Loh and behold - they've all changed! What a surprise!!! So, of course, I rang VF as soon as I saw this just now, and after being cut off by the first person, I did manage to speak to someone else, who kept me on hold for a while to tell me that "we'd have to be patient" as the upgrade dates had all altered and I would basically have to wait until the new dates came round.
I made it clear that I was not happy with her reply and advised her that I would take matters further if possible, once I'd had a chance to gather my thoughts on this.
So, here is the official notification from VF, taken from this website:
Further to the message above, as of 20th February:
We have taken the decision to reduce the period within which a customer can upgrade, to within 50 days of the end of their contract. We still offer one of the most competitive free early upgrade options available for customers.
These changes do not affect the length of the contract a customer has committed to. Any period left on an existing contract is accounted for before the customer’s new contract period starts.
This means that regardless of the period in which a customer can upgrade their phone, the contract length is not affected. The change does, however, mean customers will have to wait a couple more weeks before getting their next handset, so we have tried to introduce this change at a time which is traditionally relatively quiet in terms of new handset launches.
This change takes effect from February 20 across our retail and online channels and March 12 through customer services.
We will honour upgrades for those customers that were notified of their upgrade date ahead of any changes that we have made
Now, under the old arrangement, you could upgrade something like 190 days prior to the end of your contract but had to pay for the handset, or if you waited until 90 days you could go online or into a store to upgrade, and then if you wanted to ring up and actually speak to someone you had to wait until 70 days. The limit has now been reduced to a flat 50 days by the sounds of this, whether you call in, go online or ring up.
The last line of the statement talks about honouring early upgrades where customers were notified prior to changes, so the big question is - what constitutes notification? I can't recall ever having any sort of personal notification over the last ten years or so that I've been with VF that a renewal is due, so the only way of checking this is by looking online or ringing up. I've known for a while that an update was available in February/March so is this my notification?
Also, it's not like VF actually went out of their way to tell anyone about these changes - I had to really root to find this blog and nothing was sent to me to advise me of the changes. There are other questions raised on other sections of the VF site to the same effect as this one, and queries over the legality of contracts etc. if this is an issue.
I dunno, but it reminds me of the bit from The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy when Arthur Dent is finds out his house is going to be bulldozed to make way for a by-pass, and when he asks why he wasn't notified, and whether there had been any plans on display,the developer says "The plans were on display in the local council offices, in their cellar, in the bottom draw of a locked filing cabinate, in a dis-used lavatory, with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'." Arthur then explains that he did go looking for them once he knew of their existence, but complained that both the lights and the stairs down to the cellar had also been removed.
Does this sound familar VF? Are you really listening to your customers VF?? You are not the only company offering early upgrades (despite VF comments to the contrary) and the your competitors who do offer this don't go round bad mouthing the other carriers for bad service - I can smell something very unpleasant VF.
As I've posted int he past, I'm looking for a top end smart phone when i renew (Sony Xperia S, iP4s GS2/3 etc.) all of which I can get from other suppliers on VF cheaper than you offer or from other providers cheaper than VF direct. Why would you turn away business like this???
24-02-2012 11:33 PM
Your upgrade date is the day on which your contract ends, i.e. 18 or 24 months after you started the contract.
The early upgrade dates are Vodafone's offer to customers who want to recomit before the end of their existing contract and in turn get a new handset. No other UK network offers free early upgrades! Every other network will only offer you a free upgrade when you have fulfilled your full commitment.
You mentioned honouring the upgrade dates. This can and will be done where possible, I know this as i have just upgraded my handset! my upgrade date was changed to the end of March yet i'm sitting with a shiney new Galaxy Nexus(Top end smartphone!)
Best thing to do is contact the @vodafoneukdeals twitter team. They specialise in upgrades and are the team that helped me! For info on how to contact them head over here and follow the instructions. They are a small and very popular team so they may not reply straight away, stick around though as one of the team will get back to you as soon as they can.
25-02-2012 09:27 AM
Many thanks for your post. Once again, Nabs is spot on with his advice.
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Let me take this opportunity to show you how Vodafone like to say thank you; take a look at VIP.