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#175642 7-Jul-2015 08:10
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There is actually no snark at all in the subject of this post, it's a question based on my experience yesterday.
I agreed to buy my son a Vodafone Smart Prime. Since we were in the Courtenay Place area, we called into a Vodafone store to discover they were sold out. We were told they'd been exceptionally popular. I get that, since the price seems good given its specs.
We went to a couple of nearby stores that usually sell Vodafone products, with the same result.
I decided it would be more efficient to head home and call some of the Vodafone stores in Wellington.
On multiple occasions over several hours, I called the Lampton Quay, Porerua, and Queensgate stores, In every case, the call went to voicemail.
I called 777, who were unable to tell me which stores had product in stock, although they did attempt to call the same stores for me, with the same results.
I didn't want to order online from Vodafone, because past experience has been that their delivery times can be over a week and I wanted to see if there was a quicker way of getting the device.
I understand that some people may call their Vodafone store when they should be calling 777 for customer service, and that must be frustrating for staff who have legitimate customers in-store. But not answering the phone at all prevents customers from making legitimate inquiries about stock, and there seems no alternative means of getting that information.
In the end, we bought a different device from Mighty Ape. It'll be here today and my son will stay on Skinny. He would have ported to Vodafone if we had bought the Prime since it doesn't do WCDMA 850.
The loss of his 19 bucks a month will make no difference at all to Vodafone, but it was a pretty frustrating experience. There's something ironic about a company offering phone services who won't pick up their own phone.




Jonathan


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  #1338248 7-Jul-2015 08:17
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To be fair, stores are busy and people who've made the effort to go in should get priority over someone who just picked up a phone - though if stores publish a phone number they should probably answer it.  I had the same experience with Spark when I wanted to buy my S4 a couple of years back.



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  #1338251 7-Jul-2015 08:26
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I presume you drive a vehicle?
I have no issue at all being asked to hold. That's fine. However, as a totally blind person, getting to each Vodafone Store to ask about a phone that may or may not be there is a huge hassle. It involves either bus travel to somewhere unfamiliar, then navigating in an unfamiliar area, or expensive taxi travel, which may get someone closer to the destination, but is still in an area that may be unfamiliar. Vodafone have recently closed the store at our local shopping mall with which I am very familiar.
And when all of that's over, there's a strong possibility you've wasted a lot of money and energy without a device to show for it.
If there were a way to go online and check store stock, then fair enough, ignoring phone calls may be more justified.




Jonathan


 
 
 
 


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  #1338261 7-Jul-2015 08:35
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If you were a customer who had to wait in a line to get served and they all the sudden have to pick up the phone to a customer who is on it for 10mins as a customer who has just waited to get served how would you feel?

It is like this for all retail stores. Customers in the shop take priory over the phone hence why almost all retailers have voicemail too, if you can't get through then leave one then they'll call back during a quiet period when they physically can.

There isn't a need for somebody in these types of retail stores to just sit there answering the phone as trust me - people will call the store when 777 is more suited to help them. There is also an online store where you can buy most of what is in the store online or even MMR's like Noel Leeming who also sell Vodafone products.




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  #1338262 7-Jul-2015 08:36
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While I can understand your perspective. I've walked out of stores that answer their phone instead of serving me at the counter. I've always considered it rather rude.




Please note: I have a professional bias towards Vodafone.

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  #1338263 7-Jul-2015 08:38
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OP is blind.

He raised a good point.
 





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  #1338276 7-Jul-2015 08:41
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Why can't Vodafone call center sell a phone and ship it out to the OP? What about using their online store?

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  #1338278 7-Jul-2015 08:42
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timmmay: Why can't Vodafone call center sell a phone and ship it out to the OP? What about using their online store?


The op said why.

Shipping delay.

 
 
 
 


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  #1338280 7-Jul-2015 08:43
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Jaxar: While I can understand your perspective. I've walked out of stores that answer their phone instead of serving me at the counter. I've always considered it rather rude.


I have been to only a handful of Vodafone stores.

One store was extremely busy - all I want is just to buy a phone. That takes a long time and they seem to be pretty happy answering phone calls while dealing with the customers. I personally don't mind this and will not consider this as rude.









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  #1338281 7-Jul-2015 08:44
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In my experience the issue is more that their stores are understaffed. I suppose it depends which store and what time you try though. School holidays probably make it worse.



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  #1338285 7-Jul-2015 08:49
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Actually Michael, you're simply incorrect. it is not like this for all retail stores, and I can tell you this because as a blind person, I call a lot of retail stores.
If I call one and get no answer, I'm very happy to accept that all staff are busy with customers, and I'll hang up and call again in 15/20 minutes. Almost always, someone will then pick up.
If that person asks me to hold, I will gladly hold.
Not until yesterday have I had an experience over a four hour period where I called three different stores belonging to the same company, and had no one pick up once. It has never happened before.
Let me reiterate that if this information were available online, I would gladly have sought it online. It was not.




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  #1338287 7-Jul-2015 08:51
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surfisup1000:
timmmay: Why can't Vodafone call center sell a phone and ship it out to the OP? What about using their online store?


The op said why.

Shipping delay.


Yes the OP is blind which does make it difficult but staff can't leave customers in the store they are dealing with and say I need to answer the phone as the caller could may have a disability

I help out the Jonathan from time to time and go above and beyond because I personally know he is blind and is dam nice person

John

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  #1338292 7-Jul-2015 08:58
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I have struck the same thing, eventually I left a message and they did call back.



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  #1338293 7-Jul-2015 09:01
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I think the point here though is that this comes down to the need to provide good-quality customer service. There may be a variety of reasons why visiting each Vodafone store on the off-chance that a highly sought-after device might be there isn't practical. In my case, blindness plays a major factor, but disability isn't the only reason.
Let's be clear, these numbers are published. If the numbers are publicly available, that's an invitation for the public to call them.
If staff will never pick up, then don't set expectations that they will, by publishing the numbers.
And inquiries like mine could be minimised by developing a system such as Dick Smith and other retailers have, where customers can query stock levels for specific items at specific stores.




Jonathan


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  #1338294 7-Jul-2015 09:02
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I am also disabled, I would not expect the bricks and motor stores to place priority on the phone that is what the contact centers are for. However there could be a point in between that could help the disabled with out be unhelpful to the rest of the customers.
A recent example for me was buying a new phone, it is difficult to get to the local store and even more difficult to really test the phones to see if it is appropriate for me, a "loan system" would be helpful.
As for store stock, if Harvey Norman and Noel Leeming can show store stock levels why can't the Telco? just a thought. For me to go to the local stores to see if they have them is a major expedition.




Mike
Change Management Consultant
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

He waka eke noa




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  #1338297 7-Jul-2015 09:08
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It saddens me that people contribute to these threads without properly reading the original post.
As I wrote there, all the contact centre could do to answer my question was to call the stores, who did not pick up for her either.




Jonathan


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