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Is Customer Service Dead?

Is Customer Service Dead?

We go through phases in a products/services lifespan where different needs should be addressed. So we have that wonderful honeymoon phase where if all if perfect and 100%, they can do nothing wrong, you tell everyone about it/them, you can’t praise them enough. Then further down the line – and if its a product, usually a month after warranty has run out, something goes wrong, something doesn’t work or you are not happy with the information or lack of relevant to a service.  This is when good customer service should kick in.

These days, with more and more understanding how to better utilise social media and this whole internet, more business’s need to ensure they have effective and immediate response to anything that is posted online.

So, you ask, what is the point of this post?

Simple, I am presently sitting in the third phase of customer service, ie been with them a long long time, had some ups and downs, that were sorted out, but am now at the whole disillusionment phase.

So, should I worry about naming names? No, because what I state is totally true and as I sit here on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I wait to find out what is being done.

Ok so to set the scene:

I have lived at present house for some 7 years now – its at the bottom of a slope on the edge of the Pennines, and I can see the old Winter Hill tv masts and lots of others from my bedroom window.  So when I moved here, I was immediately told about the ‘dip’ ie some 4 houses that get irregular signals for both tv and mobile network, but being mid contract at the time with Vodafone, decided to play wait and see, and for my TV, we had Sky installed as it worked whereas aerials needed to be rather too high off the top of the house to work all the time.  Shucks, I had to have Sky sports – such hardship!

So, as there were at that time some 5 of us on Vodafone, we soon got used to sitting at the top of the stairs or in your bedrooms to use them – no major hardship, at least we got to stay in the house.  Why mention the last bit? Wait and read on!

So renewal came round and I did, as after all I had been with them since 2000 – at it was by now 2010 – so 10 years, stuck with Vodafone as they were good elsewhere and had excellent customer service in that you could speak to people immediately, if you had issues, they rang you back or if I needed to speak on social media – gave me further contact details.  All in all, I was happy.

Every so often would ring up and ask if they were thinking of adding an aerial nearby and was given some helpful tips re airplane mode, and altering the network I was using etc and these worked over the years.

So we now reach the crux of the story – the last two weeks.

Wow, what to say about them, sheer hell and torture would be about the level I would aim for.

I kept receiving phone calls and making them from home, and with no particular pattern, some time in to the call, it would go dead.  The person on the other end could hear me, but I could hear nothing, so I thought it was the phone itself and took it to the local shop who sent it away to be repaired.  They kindly issued me with a replacement loan phone and I thought fantastic – they are good!

So I get home, head upstairs – as my office is there to enable me to make calls without needing to run up and down the stairs, I get a call, and bingo yes you guessed it – its happening again.  Good thing the window was shut.

So son no 2 comes home and rings his sister – it happens to him 3 times!! He has one of those wonderful apple phones.  So by now then thats 3x phones with the same fault – so I contact Vodafone via my landline, and go through it all – to be told a case would be opened.  As I forgot to ask what would happen next, I ring back two days later to be told no case was open but that they would.

So I sit and wait, and go and pick up the poor samsung I had sent back – for no reason – to find out they had forgotten to give me back my battery – so not only can’t I make phone calls from home, I now can’t make phone calls anywhere as I have to wait for my battery to be delivered.

I even give the old twitter @vodafoneUKhelp account a mention that I am more than a tad frustrated to just get the same old same old – head to some forum and post up the details.

Sorry @vodafoneUKhelp I don’t want to join up a forum to post up the details to then sit and wait, I want to speak to someone who can tell me what is going on.  I am of the age that I want to be able to ask questions and get answers there and then, I want immediate response as I am now very very unhappy customer.

So yesterday afternoon, I rang up, again on my landline – note this is costing me money Vodafone! – and went through to cancellations – I mean yes a mobile phone means you can take it anywhere, but if I want to use it at home, I can’t, I have to jump in my car and park up the road – so the word mobile, really is mobile.

Anyhow, I digress, I spoke to the most helpful individual for some time.  He couldn’t help me enough.  He kept going away and asking questions and then ringing me back, and eventually has escalated it as high as possible, however, I still have no time scale as to when it will be sorted.

So kudos to him for taking on ownership of the issue and trying to get it sorted, but Vodafone, let me explain how another mobile company handled it.

Work mobile is with O2 – they were contacted and explained re dip and bad signal – they immediately sent out a booster box free of charge, plugged it in and it worked each and every time.

See the difference? Vodafone gets pages of space and venom, O2 gets two lines and my utmost respect and gratitude for being straight to the point.

So Vodafone, after 16 years with you, when I have had 6 phones on the go at one time, one business phone, one dongle and spent too much money, whats your next step?

Do I get to post a footnote expressing my delight the matter is sorted or do I have to carry on not being able to use them whilst living at this address? Balls in your court.



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