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Internet speed

They lied to a journalist. Consumer advice and what causes disconnections.

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2: Seeker

Going to start by saying I don't expect support to reply and provide the stock answer of asking me to PM them my info to assist as I am going through my own troubleshooting already. I'm posting this exclusively as consumer advice and awareness - that live chat support will lie to you with fake updates - and I have all the transcripts. It's a long read but well worth it to be ready for future issues.

 

The long and short of it is I'm a magazine tech journalist. Some hard news occasionally but I'm more than used to dealing with technology. I literally wrote new ways in review guides used by hardware makers now to test their hardware. I signed up early in the year to Superfast 2 and got my maximum speed right away of 65mbps. Two months at that although it would disconnect at 9pm on the dot daily I was fine with. I could set my watch by it.

 

At this point new neighbours just moved in (worth remembering for later) and my net speed tanks to a stable 27mbps, down to 22mbps and frequent disconnections.  I contact support and follow their logic even when it makes no sense. The phone socket was newly installed by BT (the home didn't have one!) on activation day, the modem was new from Vodafone and so were all the cables.

 

I told support four times I was using the modem through a hardline ethernet connection, but they insisted that my new low speed was caused by wifi channel congestion. Um...that's new. BTW - If you believe congestion may cause wifi connection dropouts in your area you can download wifi analyser apps for free for your phone that show local channel congestion and do your own troubleshooting.

 

So I changed the channels as told by chat support. Surprise surprise it didn't fix anything changing wifi channels when not using a wifi connection. At that point they told me next they did a remote test of the line and I was told the modem had, almost in their exact words "given up the will to live." So a replacement would fix everything. OK. So that happened, and nothing did. (Found out later they charged me for the modem replacement by accident but I got it corrected.)

 

After that 'Tech Team 2' to the rescue! A phone call telling me to take the wall socket apart. Yep, that didn't change anything. So finally they dispatch an engineer...

 

Engineer was outstanding spends most of the morning around and checks the cabinet. Cabinet has good speed, checks the residence, speed is gone. Discovers it's a "long line fault" where the cable between is dropping the speed for some reason. We get chatting and surprise surprise it's over congestion caused by the new neigbours getting broadband installed too. The frequent disconnections (you can test this yourself) happens when you try using the connection at its maximum (current) speed. The line simply can't handle it so the modem will drop the connection and try to reconnect with a better quality (more stable) signal at a lower rate.

 

After the engineer spends some time on the line trying a few tricks (four times on the day) he manages to bump up the speed to 50mbps. I'm good with that. Congestion I can understand and I get a little discount for lower than 55mbps. Then the speed starts to drop again. Now a few months later it's at 41mbps at it's peak, with occasional drops down as low as 13mbps. My strong belief is that you have a honeymoon period for new customers and once someone new appears they get priority on that request line.

 

I've contacted support and this is where the lying comes in. I went through the whole thing again of "Maybe it's the modem", "Our test says there's no problems", "It could be the wall socket", "it's wifi channels need changing" and finally got round to "ok, we've got an engineer appointment for you."

 

So the engineer visit was supposed to happen recently. I move furnature on the day to given the engineer space to work (an AM appointment) and nobody shows up. I contact chat support after 12pm with the appointment number and get told "AM means up to 1pm." Sure, makes sense to allow an hour for over runs. Then at 3:30pm I contact with the appointment number again since nobody has shown up.

 

"The engineer found a problem at the cabinet and has fixed it. He's performing final checks now and if he needs to come to the property he will." - Sounds great right?? As a journalist this seemed fishy to me since it would mean he would have been working at the cabinet for a minimum of 2.5 hours and ignored all afternoon appointments. Not even checking at the residence. I check my net speed and even after reconnecting the modem to reset the connection (tell the modem it can get a higher speed and still quality) zero changes. Just as bad.

 

So 3:45pm I contact BT Openreach directly to confirm work going on in the local area. I was waiting at the address all day, starting with an early 2:30am wakeup to make sure the place was tidy and furnature done for a 7-8am visit. A very nice conversation gave great information. "There is no fault reported at that address." I confirm with them that there is no work even going on in the area on the day.

 

I follow up with Vodafone saying what BT told me and reveal my journalist profession and the first chat support agent confirms my identity then disconnects from chat right away. I admit, that gave me a genuine laugh. The second tells me "everything has been repaired", then they say about me talking to their supervisor who passes on speaking with me. It concludes with "we will book a visit and let you know by email in 48-72 hours."

 

But it gets better. The time passes, no email. I speak to them yesterday as I was told "we sent you a [stock] text [3 days before the visit] saying "it's fixed" unless you reply the case is closed". I never had any text but that's not the interesting part. An hour long conversation reveals some interesting facts from that. Before the day of the appointment tech team 2 cancelled the appointment, didn't notify me and TWICE on the day I was told an engineer was working on the appointment that moment remotely and given fake updates on progress.

 

So that brings us up to the present. I was told during my conversation yesterday that Tech Team 2 will ring you within 24 hours. That deadline expired two hours ago. So to give in summary, not only did they cancel and engineer visit without telling me, they told me it was happening that moment and give me fake updates. They refuse to reschedule the engineer visit without Tech Team 2 ringing first (would be nice if they did), and even if I get a call all I expect is "take the socket off the wall."

 

I don't mind wasting money, because you can always make more. Time is the one thing you can't get a refund on and I've wasted time waiting for an engineer that didn't exist, talking to support staff who were actually lying to me and suffering a net speed that means it literally takes more than twice as long to perform the same tasks. Like downloading Steam games to review (in the 100's of GBs)

 

A word of warning to anyone using chat support. ALWAYS use the save a transcript option. At some point in the future you will need the ammunition.I shouldn't have to do some investigative journalism to discover that they were lying to me about doing work as a customer.

 

 

3 REPLIES 3
2: Seeker

Quick update for those interested. Kept on waiting and no phone call. Even though it was stressed to me three times they would call in 24 hours (even on a Sunday.) Chased up chat support and was told I should ring Team 2 up now instead (given number). Otherwise they will ring me tomorrow ONLY if they decide an engineer visit is needed. If not I just won't be contacted. To say I was stunned is an understatement.

 

I was also just told again that the account notes say cabinet work was conducted on the day, even though their notes also say that Team 2 cancelled the appointment days before AND BT has no record of it or work being done in the area.

 

I really have confidence now.

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2: Seeker
Sorry for the prior and current typos. When you're stressed they do sneak in.
 
Daily update - no call as scheduled for the second time so went to chat (for about two hours).
 
Long and short of it. Was given an apology and it was mentioned an internal investigation will happen to stop this happening to others in the future. So something positive for readers. Compensation will be decided if suitable only after the case is closed, which with what I'm about to write is amusing:
 
The history seems to be live chat appointed an engineer for the fault since I gave them plenty of evidence including speedtest.net results even though it wasn't an obvious one on their system. Which according to chat today they are not supposed to do. Tech Team 2 saw it and cancelled the appointment before the day without contacting me to discuss it and closed the case a few days after the appointment date passed. I was still given detailed bogus on the day engineer progress reports by chat. Trust me I'm going to ask them about that eventually.
 
No mention of the reschedule email that never arrived. About the missed daily phone calls since? Told now even though I have been in almost daily contact every single chat support member has updated the case scheduling Team 2 to call not realising that the case is marked as closed since last week - by Team 2. So of course nobody is going to call on an expired topic. So literally a waste of time to wait these past few days.
 
Been offered a new router (even though they swapped my new one so recently I still have the box) early in the chat to get me quiet for a few days and I politely declined since it makes no sense. Have been asked to keep the current one turned on to be checked remotely. After the first hour they tried to play and hide behind that engineer work won't be done unless speed is below BT's minimum for the line, not Vodafone's advertised discount minimum for the plan you're paying for. The only reason I haven't been told "we won't do anything, have a nice day" which was maybe a sentence away at one point is because I still have frequent disconnections, six on one day, which seems to barely be worth considering a problem worth doing anything about.
 
As it stands a new ticket has been created and Team 2 are supposed to call. Yep. Deja vu. Right now I'd say chances of a visit? 10-15%. It was said that an engineer visit will only occur if they believe it will improve the speed. As it happened a few months ago and an engineer doubled my speed I can't believe I'm still jumping through hoops to prove there's even an issue.
 
With an occasional upload speed of 0.5mbps on Superfast 2 looking like being called acceptable now for some strange reason I'm remembering that line from Bruce Almighty "And that's the way the cookie crumbles."
 
Hopefully this has been an entertaining read. I'll update if anything interesting occurs.
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4: Newbie

Going through the same myself in respect of the Apple watch debacle, which self boots the router and disconnects the line, thus in essence lowering my connection speed.

Saturday I was promised a response with 72 hours, well after waiting 24 hours I rang the tech team and they said they would test my line, they did this Saturday and after chatting for a while they cut me off.

i did recieve a new router today but this has made no difference to my poor speed which is now at 18 when it is guaranteed at 30 minimum

well tomorrow I will be writing to every publication in the uk highlighting the Apple Watch fiasco of which there is no fix at present and likely to be January I am informed.

i am also tied in for another 14 months with my contract, well it's time to escalate and become a pain to Vodafone.

 

 

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