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I'm loathed to call it lying but twice, I have been actively deceived over live chat about a potential upgrade.
On Friday the 19th, I receive an email telling me I can upgrade, this is approx 4 months early. I open a live chat to discuss the upgrade:
danielle : Hi you are speaking to Danielle from Vodafone, please allow me a moment whilst I catch up/read through your previous conversation.
Simon : No problem
danielle : youre looking to upgrade is that right?
Simon : Yes
danielle : okay, tell me what sort of things youre looking for and i can see what we can do
Simon : Is there a fee to pay to upgrade early. I've had the email telling me I can but not sure if I have to pay to do so?
danielle : so you can upgrade to a new handset for free and to a sim only from april
Simon : Sorry Danielle, got cut off then. Is the remaining length left of contract added to my new contract, or do I just start a new 24 month deal?
danielle : you would start a new deal
Simon : And can I just check whether I could add the 15% NHS discount to my account once I had completed the upgrade?
danielle : yes thats right, you will fill out the form to add it on
Simon : So I could do that with the S21 annual upgrade contracts for example?
danielle : you certainly can
Simon : Just so I'm super clear... on some of the tariffs (they seem to have a purple box around them) it says this underneath:
Simon : Underlying tariff inc £4pm (£3.33 exc. VAT) reduction applied to standard plan price. £4 (£3.33 exc. VAT) per month reduction cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers except our Trade-in Guarantee.
Simon : Can I use the NHS discount with those tariffs?
danielle : im just going to check
Simon : Thank you.
danielle : im still here, just getting clarification
Simon : No problem, thank you.
danielle : so if you wanted to go with that plan you could do it through us and we would remove that £4 reduction and allow you to place the 15%
danielle : but i would recommend looking at the 100GB plan, its cheaper and its uncapped speeds
Simon : No problem. I'll have a look. I've got unlimited data at the minute on my account, I think it was given as part of the coronavirus response. Would that carry over for now - I think it's in place until June/July
danielle : yes your current contract doesnt end until 14/06/21 however i would mention order an s21 now and you would get a free pair of galaxy buds pro
Simon : Thanks. I think I just need to decide which s21 and which contract now. Thanks for your help today! Sorry I've hogged your time with my questions
danielle : no its fine, i understand, have a nice day
Simon : And you. Take care
So Danielle tells me that when upgrading, I start a new term and I can upgrade after 12 months on the annual upgrade. Great. I order over the weekend, but have a change of heart over my tariff and request to cancel so I can re-order, which is actioned Monday evening
I then did a second live chat as I was unable to login to my account (security codes taking an extended amount of time to come through) and spoke to "Anthony". Unfortunately this chat isn't saved but maybe you have a copy? Anthony unfortunately informs me that Danielle is incorrect and the 4 months is added on to my contract, thereby meaning I can't upgrade after 12 months and it would be 16 months, thus making the annual upgrade pretty pointless. I decline to progress the order any further and Anthony agrees to transfer me to cancellations/retentions, where I spoke to "Phil" - who couldn't have been more helpful and agreed to waiver the 4 months and stated that I could start a new term as Danielle had originally said and get my annual upgrade in 12 months. Typically, as he was processing the order, the chat must have timed out because it disappeared and I couldn't reconnect.
I then started another live chat and asked to be put back to retentions but I wasn't and was instead sent to Arif at upgrades - this chat I've saved and I'm really glad I did, because it's nothing short of outrageous.
Neli : Hi, how can I help you today?
Simon : Hi Neli, I was just talking to Phil on the Rententions team, but my chat appears to have closed. Are you able to transfer me back?
Neli : I will surely help you with that , just to confirm , is it about your cancellation or upgrade?
Simon : Well I was trying to upgrade but wasn't happy with an aspect of the contract, I was then put through to the cancellations/retention team and Phil resolved the issue and was ordering me the phone when the chat closed, unfortunately.
Neli : Okay no problem , let me check it and locate your account and help you connect with the team
Simon : Thanks
Neli : can you please help me with your 2nd and 3rd digit of your pin?
Simon : xx
Neli : Thank you
Neli : Let me just go through your account once , will be right back
Simon : No problem.
Neli : Thank you
Neli : Let me connect your chat to the upgrade team to help you with your concern, It might take sometime to get connected to the team due to the current situation and high chat flow, so i would request you to please stay connected and don't close the chat.
Simon : No problem.
Neli : Thank you
Arif : Hi, how can I help you today?
Simon : Hi Arif, long story short... Ordered an upgrade on Friday, cancelled it yesterday as I wanted to change the tariff slightly. Was attempting to re-order tonight and it transpired that my existing 4 months would be added to my new contract. Was aimin for the S21 on an annual upgrade but I wouldn't have been eligible until after 16 months, so a bit pointless. Anyway, I was transferred through to retentions (Phil) who agreed to waiver the 4 months outstanding but was cut off before we could confirm the phone would be ordered
Arif : let me check
Arif : Can you please confirm your full name, date of birth, post code, and also the one time access code that I have sent to you?
Simon : xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Simon : xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Simon : xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Arif : it should be there
Arif : thanks
Arif : do you want to keep the Entertainment
Simon : No thanks. It was the 24GB, £55 per month tariff.
Arif : and £48 up
Simon : Yep.
Arif : and which colour
Simon : Phantom grey
Arif : okay 2 min
Arif : ]4-6 working days
Arif : for deliver
Simon : That's fine
Arif : okay
Arif : I will send you terms and conditions, please read and if you are happy please type 'I agree'
T&C removed as exceeded post count
If you are happy with the Terms & Conditions just reply “I agree”
Arif : wait i can do 48GB for the £55 pm
Simon : I want to add my nhs discount of 15% but I don't think I can add it to that tariff, it already says there is a discount
Arif : okay
Simon : Just to confirm then, I'm okay to add my discount to this tariff, I'm on the annual upgrade and the exisiting 4 months of my current contract is waivered and won't be added on to my new contract?
Arif : yes you can add you NHS
Simon : Are you able to confirm the annual upgrade and waivered 4 months?
Arif : so it will be annual upgrade but the 4 month get add on to the new contract
Simon : So I can't upgrade for 16 months - this is the discussion I had previously, which the retentions team agreed to waiver.
Arif : so you can upgrade for the 16 month not the 12 month
Simon : Are you able to transfer me to the cancellations/retentions team please, Arif?
Arif : im from the retentions
Simon : Well the person previous said you were from the upgrades?
Arif : im upgrade/ retentions
Simon : Well if you could pop me through to Phil who's on retentions, I'd really appreciate it.
Arif : we cant transfer to some one direct
Simon : Well that team would be great then in that case, thank you.
Arif : okay so if you can please say IAgree
Simon : Arif I'm not agreeing to those terms and I find that a bit underhand to be honest.
Simon : If you could just transfer me, that'd be the best outcome here.
Arif : so we cant remove the the 4 month because that is of you old contract which thus not end we are letting you upgrade early with the month add on
Simon : I know and as I've said, Phil on the retentions team had agreed to waiver those 4 months. If you're not able to do that, that's fine but rather than take up any more of our own time, if you transfer me I could then speak to Phil or someone else on his team
Arif : that team is closed now they open from 9:30 to 10
Simon : I think I was speaking to Phil after 10pm but I'll have to take your word for it in this instance and attempt to contact them again tomorrow.
Arif : sorry
Arif : maybe you where the last customer for him
Simon : Maybe. Goodbye.
Arif : bye
So notice when I ask him to confirm about NHS discount, the annual upgrade and the 4 months he only confirms the NHS aspect. Then says it's annual upgrade, when it isn't, its 16 months and then tell's me he's from retentions? And then when I ask him to transfer me, he asks me again to type "I agree", to try and catch me out and sign me up to something he knows full well that I'm not happy with. Illegal? Maybe. Underhand and snide, definitely.
Honestly, lost for words.
I'd appreciate it if someone could reply to this or PM me directly to discuss further.
I'm not surprised your confused due to the changing advice and frustrated with having to deal with so many departments.
I can understand you want things 100% confirming before signing up to a lengthy contract , although one does fortunately have a 14 Day Cooling Off Period just incase.
When a person is wanting information about upgrading early I direct them to this official Vodafone information page … What-s-a-Flexi-upgrade-and-how-do-I-get-one.
What I'm thinking here with your situation is too many agents from different departments have become involved and are trying to change what Vodafone systems and T&C's allow in order to cater to a new upgrade.
An old saying cones to mind ' too many cooks spoil the broth ' !
As a rule of thumb only one discount is permitted per contract.
Unfortunately this is going to need account access which is not available via this forum.
The Vodafone Social Media Team's here will be able to access your account to try and help if you engage with them via Contact-us-for-account-specific-queries.
I wish you all the best with this.
Current Phone > Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G - SM9860 Snapdragon.
Samsung One Ui 3.0 / Android 11.
There is some confusion here as to whether you are enquiring about the 12 month early upgrade promise here: Early Upgrade Promise where you would need to trade in your old phone for money off the new 24 month contract. As this would be a Trade in Plan, you would be unable to add the NHS discount as mentioned here: Vodafone Advantage
This is different to the flexi Upgrade, where you would need to pay an early upgrade charge and be able to upgrade to a new phone after 6 months as mentioned here: Flexi Upgrade
Trying to upgrade before the end of contract is never easy and there is never going to come cheap, much better to wait until you are in the last month of contract, depending on the phone you are wanting to upgrade to this puts you in a better bargaining position with the network.