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Absymal Customer Service

3: Seeker

Having been a Vodafone customer for several years, I've been staggered by the abysmal customer service I've received over the last few weeks.

 

A few weeks ago, my son's 6 month old P20 Pro screen started glitching. There was no event which preceded this fail, it just began doing it to the point the phone was not usable.

 

As instructed online, we took it into the local store to see a 'technician' (a salesman) who put it in a box to be sent away for repair.  I was told it would take a few days, but should be back by the end of the week. As it happened, it took over two weeks for the phone to be returned to store.

 

To add insult to injury, it was showing returned on the tracking site as being returned unrepaired, the technicians citing an 'out of warranty' problem. After several calls to Vodafone CS, I was told that there was 'damage to the home button'.

 

On inspecting the phone in-store with two Vodafone staff, none of us could see this alleged damage. They phoned the technicians whilst I was there, where the story changed to there having been some damage to the LCD - again, apparently user damage.

 

Once again, we all inspected the LCD. It's immaculate. No dead pixels, no scratches, no bumps - nothing.

 

I asked for my complaint - which I'd tried to make over the phone before picking the phone up - to be escalated. Apparently, that couldn't be done in store - despite being told by CS on the phone that it could.

 

I had to phone through from the store to start the complaints process. The phone is defective. It happens. What's not acceptable is for Vodafone to attempt to wriggle our of their statutory responsibility to meet the rights of the consumer. They have a responsibility to repair or replace the phone. Their response instead is to claim customer damage. What sort of damage, you ask? Invisible damage, apparently. Invisible damage which moves from the home button to the LCD. Damage which, according to one of the phone operators last night, might have been caused by 'something rubbing against the screen when it was in a pocket'.  You couldn't make it up. Only Vodafone do.

 

It took around two hours both on and off the phone in store to escalate the complaint to the Resolve team. The final call was the sixth I've had to make (a previous promise to call me back within 24 hours was not kept, despite a text being sent to confirm it). 

 

The system seems designed to incentivise CS operators who refuse to pass on complaints. 

 

I now have to wait 'up to seven days' for the Resolve team to get back to me. From previous experience, I'm not convinced this call will be made.  

 

It is pathetic that Vodafone are willing to throw away years of customer loyalty to avoid meeting their responsibilities as vendors of the phone. I'm sure such behaviour helps improve the short-term bottom line, but it's a toxic long-term approach.

 

I guess this is the point where many people give up and shrug and walk away. I'm not willing to do that. Vodafone are failing in their duty.  Worse than that, they're deliberately and actively putting barriers in the way of receiving complaints. I feel like I'm dealing with a dodgy eBay scammer rather than one of the biggest communication providers im the UK.

 

There's six days left for Vodafone to resolve this, then I guess we're into lodging compaints with trading standards and the communications regulator. What a drag. How has Vodafone come to this?

 

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8 REPLIES 8
17: Community Champion

@Thelonggame 

 

Wow I'm not surprised that you are unimpressed at this sequence of events !

 

Sometimes things do go wrong which I'm sure many accept. 

It's then down to how this is put right which instils confidence back into the product and services. 

 

Vodafone would have I suspect taken the advice of the repair house technician.and acted accordingly.

When this was challenged and shown to be incorrect then imo Vodafone should have asked for the phone to be re inspected.

 

Personally I always prefer to approach the manufacturer as they do tend to be better at running diagnostics on their hardware and software to provide support.

I appreciate you approached Vodafone as they are the seller of the phone and thus do have a duty of care to you.

You may find some useful info in the Consumer-rights-act 2015.

 

I wish you all the best with this situation. 

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.

 

Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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3: Seeker

Thanks for that.

 

The complaints guy I spoke to last night said that the phone could be re-inspected - but I could end up being charged as a result. I have absolutely no confidence in their in-house team to do this after the magically moving 'damage' they've claimed exists so far.

 

Despite not being able to stick to the story of what was wrong with the phone, they somehow managed to quote an exact figure of £192 to repair it. I suspect if I sent it to them, they'd then claim it couldn't be repaired and I'd be sent a customer return phone as a replacement.

 

Can you imagine if this was a car that failed after six months and the manufacturer inspected it, changed their story about what was wrong with it, provided no written report, then blamed you for the way you'd driven it for the fault? 

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17: Community Champion

You're very welcome for my reply and I concur.

 

I wouldn't be happy either.

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.

 

Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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Highlighted
17: Community Champion

Hi @Thelonggame 

 

Where a repair is concerned, don't take the phone to Vodafone, they are limited as to the work that can be done under warranty, the very slightish blemish on the phone or idea that the phone may have been damaged by the user stops them from doing a warranty repair.

 

Far better to take the phone into an authorised repair centre, they are much more sympathetic and understanding where it is the their own product they are repairing.  If you decide to go to Huawei, don't mention that the phone has already been to the network repair centre. You can find the information here:  Huawei Support

 

Unless you are able to prove that the phone was faulty from the point of sale the Consumer Rights Act won't apply.  

 

I am sure Huawei will help.

 

 

 

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3: Seeker

Unfortunately, Vodafone have inspected/worked on the phone now. I was told specifically in store not to send the phone to Huawei by them, but to let their team look at it. I'm not willing to lie to another repair company to let Vodafone off the hook. How they choose to sort it - in-house or by sending it back to Huawei - is their choice.

 

I appreciate the advice, but it's simply not correct to suggest that Vodafone don't have a duty to sort this situation out. The phone is not fit for purpose. They've inspected it and claimed there's evidence of damage, a claim that's changed in the space of a couple of calls, and have failed to provide any evidence to back either of their claims up - no testing, no evidence, nothing. 

 

They sold it. The responsibility to sort it is legally theirs.  Until they provide me with a written report which conclusively both pinpoints the exact fault and the evidence of the damage that has caused it, I expect them to remedy the situation. 

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17: Community Champion

I agree honesty is the best policy @Thelonggame 

 

As for the 2015 link I added  

 

"The first six months

 

If you discover the fault within the first six months of having the product, it is presumed to have been there since the time you took ownership of it - unless the retailer can prove otherwise.

 

During this time, it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault wasn't there when you bought it - it's not up to you to prove that it was "

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.

 

Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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3: Seeker

Fortunately, the phone was delivered to Vodafone for inspection just before the six month deadline.  They have failed to show that the fault 'wasn't there when [I] bought it', (or that it was caused by neglect or wilfull damage) so they have a legal duty to sort the problem out, whatever excuses they're currently peddling.

 

Thanks for the reminder of the consumer law. I've evidence of all the dates concerned, so let's see how they respond.

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17: Community Champion

You're very welcome @Thelonggame 

 

Perhaps please let us know how you get on with this situation  ?

 

All the best.

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.

 

Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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