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211 posts

Master Geek

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#269755 6-Apr-2020 14:47
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A message to my elderly father as an example:

 

Hi Dad,

 

I hope you are still coping OK in isolation and that you can move around in your wheelchair a bit.

 

It was a very good idea for you to move out to the 'farm' property from the retirement complex to reduce the risk of a Covid-19 infection in your 90 year old body.

 

I've spent an hour and a half talking to Vodafone about your surprise $980.00 billing of 'Casual Data' while you have your new smart phone with you to contact people. However, You really should have told me that you needed a new phone before going to a shop yourself and being talked into buying a Samsung S20 (from a Spark Shop). 

 

Remember that you must always 'slide' the green answer button upwards to answer calls. The Vodafone reps tried to call you back this morning to verify me but you could not answer your calls and you keep forgetting overnight how to do that.

 

However, after quite some time I was verified and was added as an authorized person to your account.

 

I have had them change the 'on account' plan that you have had since the year 1990 on your old flip phone from $33.00 (no data or free calling) per month to $40.00 per month to give you unlimited calling and data now that I know what plan you were on.

 

I then requested to be put through to Vodafone Billing Department to request a fair 'Shock Credit' to be given to you in light of the fact that your are 90 years old, wheel chair bound most of the time, have difficulty understanding the smart phone you purchased and were forced into self isolation quickly without being able to get to the Vodafone shop for advice.

 

Vodafone's response today was that they would give you a $100.00 credit off the ridiculous $990.00 casual data billing even after I had explained your situation to them very clearly.

 

Sorry, I tried.

 

Love,
[your-not-so-happy-son]

 

My thoughts: Great way to support your elderly vulnerable customers in this crisis Vodafone! - I have no words.

 

Edit: Clarified the S20 was sold to my father by Spark but the issue is still VF Casual Data billing in this case.


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  #2455858 6-Apr-2020 14:52
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@jasonparis

 

Zero idea why a 90 year old would require a Samsung S20


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  #2455861 6-Apr-2020 14:56
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Yikes, that's not great. I bet your Dad is getting a lot of use out of all the S20's great features too, like the 100x Zoom so he can easily read the $1000 Vodafone bill without getting it out of the mailbox. Or maybe he's taking a lot of 8k video? 

 

The sales person that stitched him up like that is basically being greedy and dishonest. And didn't even change the plan! Not good at all...


 
 
 
 




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Master Geek

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  #2455865 6-Apr-2020 15:00
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Linux:

 

@jasonparis

 

Zero idea why a 90 year old when require a Samsung S20

 

 

Agreed. To be fair to Vodafone I think my father was sold that phone by a Spark shop which should not have happened.

 

He tries to be independent and fails to call and ask me for help which is how this whole thing developed.

 

However, I'm not happy about the support today.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2455871 6-Apr-2020 15:04
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Ah, I shouldn't jump to conclusions about where it was bought. From your post it did sound like it was bought through Vodafone though.

 

That does change things quite a bit really, but I would still expect Vodafone to come to the party in this case. It's not like it was roaming data that's actually cost them something meaningful. 




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  #2455879 6-Apr-2020 15:10
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wratterus:

 

Ah, I shouldn't jump to conclusions about where it was bought. That does change things quite a bit really, but I would still expect Vodafone to come to the party in this case. It's not like it was roaming data that's actually cost them something meaningful. 

 

 

Sorry, my fault, I should have made that clear in the first post. However, because my father forgets everything overnight. He could have purchased the S20 anywhere but I believe it was from Spark and they should also be ashamed. He would have driven his mobility scooter into the shop :)

 

He decided to keep his VF number instead.

 

I also expressed my disapproval of the reps decision this morning with a slightly raised voice but he insisted that was all they would do.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2455883 6-Apr-2020 15:14
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Yes for sure, pretty rough on both the salesperson's and Vodafone's part. 


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  #2455903 6-Apr-2020 15:24
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Hey @datahawk, this doesn't sound right at all! Can you flick me a DM with some details and I'll follow this up for you?

 

I'm a bit rusty on these sorts of things, but if I recall correctly as long as he wasn't on a truly ancient plan then something should have kicked in to alert him to the casual usage or to stop it altogether (Flexi Data). It sounds like this was an honest mistake on your dad's part and that you've made a reasonable effort to fix this; I honestly don't remember the details of our Bill Shock policy is but I'm sure we can do better.





I work in the Corporate/Government space for Vodafone, but I know a little bit about a lot of things we do. In saying that - my opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.


 
 
 
 




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  #2455922 6-Apr-2020 15:27
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konfusd:

 

Hey @datahawk, this doesn't sound right at all! Can you flick me a DM with some details and I'll follow this up for you?

 

I'm a bit rusty on these sorts of things, but if I recall correctly as long as he wasn't on a truly ancient plan then something should have kicked in to alert him to the casual usage or to stop it altogether (Flexi Data). It sounds like this was an honest mistake on your dad's part and that you've made a reasonable effort to fix this; I honestly don't remember the details of our Bill Shock policy is but I'm sure we can do better.

 

 

Thanks, appreciate the help.

 

He may well have been getting alerts somewhere but because he does not know what text messaging is he probably still does not understand.

 

Standby for DM...

 

 


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  #2455931 6-Apr-2020 15:32
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Maybe might pay to try and get him something like this https://www.parallelimported.co.nz/nokia-2720-flip-dual-sim-red-mobile-phone.html

 

selling a s20 smart phone to a 90 year old that has not used a smartphone before is not the smartest move by the spark shop.




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Master Geek

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  #2455958 6-Apr-2020 15:38
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tripp:

 

Maybe might pay to try and get him something like this https://www.parallelimported.co.nz/nokia-2720-flip-dual-sim-red-mobile-phone.html

 

selling a s20 smart phone to a 90 year old that has not used a smartphone before is not the smartest move by the spark shop.

 

 

Yep, I agree 100% - Any shop that sells a smart phone to elderly people should take better care and at least ask them if they know how to send a text message before they even show them a sparkling new toy :)

 

I would certainly have 'advised-him-strongly' not to buy such a device.




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Master Geek

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  #2455985 6-Apr-2020 16:12
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SOLVED - It appears that Vodafone accounts staff changed their mind after my earlier calls and have credited the casual data off my fathers account.

 

It's a pity this decision was not made while I was on the phone because no-one has subsequently contacted me to let me know that they did this.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

This is a good example of support for elderly people - Well done.

 

Now all I need to sort out is how to get my father to turn his phone back on because he needed to shutdown and restart for the plan change (according to the rep). He is 40 Km away and his phone is OFF.

 

 


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  #2456072 6-Apr-2020 17:05
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To be perfectly honest too I would follow up the S20 purchase. There is no way he needs it and this to me is one of the bigger problems here.





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  #2456080 6-Apr-2020 17:15
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michaelmurfy:

 

To be perfectly honest too I would follow up the S20 purchase. There is no way he needs it and this to me is one of the bigger problems here.

 

 

Yeah agreed. It's fairly predatory behaviour by Spark, at best. I'm reasonably confident that it'll get resolved, if it gets to the right level.




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Master Geek

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  #2456088 6-Apr-2020 17:25
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Handle9:

 

michaelmurfy:

 

To be perfectly honest too I would follow up the S20 purchase. There is no way he needs it and this to me is one of the bigger problems here.

 

 

Yeah agreed. It's fairly predatory behaviour by Spark, at best. I'm reasonably confident that it'll get resolved, if it gets to the right level.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback from you both.

 

Yes, I will be asking questions of his local Spark Shop if/when we get released from lock down as to why they thought an S20 would suit a 90 year old.

 

BTW his phone is still off so he got that far trying to restart it. Then I made the mistake of looking up how to turn an S20 back on - Even I'm confused now.

 

I'll have to get a family member to go visit with a long stick and extra hand sanitizer to turn it on for him.

 

 


'That VDSL Cat'
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  #2456102 6-Apr-2020 17:39
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datahawk:

 

Thanks for the feedback from you both.

 

Yes, I will be asking questions of his local Spark Shop if/when we get released from lock down as to why they thought an S20 would suit a 90 year old.

 

BTW his phone is still off so he got that far trying to restart it. Then I made the mistake of looking up how to turn an S20 back on - Even I'm confused now.

 

I'll have to get a family member to go visit with a long stick and extra hand sanitizer to turn it on for him.

 

 

I have a feeling there is alot more to the story, or well two sides to it as always.

 

 

 

Happy to ask the right folk to have a look into what transpired. We do have what i'd class as a very senior friendly device, that would have been ideal in this case.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.

 


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