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722 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 29940 23-Jan-2009 20:13
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I have been a customer of Ihug/Vodafone since 1997. Last week I had an issue with not being able to get any dialtone. I rang Vodafone & they obviously passed it onto Telecom, as earlier this week I had a call stating there was a broken cable & it was fixed. Brilliant, I thought that's good service. Mid-week I could connect but not load ANY webpages through either Firefox or Internet Explorer.

Today I rang Vodafone. I was informed I was put onto restricted for an overdue account. As I couldn't connect, I couldn't check my banking transactions. I thought I had set that up late last year (I was wrong on that count). The point being: I NEVER RECEIVED ONE SINGLE COMMUNICATION THAT THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I rang & asked the support lady, her reply was, 'we don't send out statements of impending restrictions. I said, 'you're a communications company & you can't set up a simple automated email response sytem stating as you're overdue you will be put onto restrictions in 1,2,5 days, whatever.' Early last year, they used a pop-up box for that very purpose. They have lost my money from now on. What a bunch of incompetent losers. Who knows a good ISP with landline capabilities??????? Hell, I may upgrade to broadband.

I realise it's my issue for missing payment first off, but it was an honest miss. I bet it would be a different story if their plumber sent out the debt collectors for them being less than one month in arrears with absolutely NO warnings!!!!!

Anyone else had to put with this BS???




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  Reply # 191659 23-Jan-2009 20:54
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Well - we have had an overdue account as a result of Vodafone charging us for an international call 2 weeks after. Because they run the email bills once a month (they don't send out any midmonth), we didn't know that around $2 was meant to be paid, and we got a not so friendly reminder to pay our arrears. We called up, and they said that we should look at the bills online! Sure enough there was an additional revised bill.

We weren't cut off because we didn't pay that $2 though, your one would deal with more, but no account should be suspended for late payments of less than a month. I remember ihug (2006) listed their policy on late payments... here it is. Vodafone should really stick to this.




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722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 191679 23-Jan-2009 21:58
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It's so frustrating. How can any company, let alone one that is supposedly one of the global giants be so ignorant of basic policy & to allow loyal customers to be so inadequately supported.

It makes me wonder, given Geekzone's level of NZ members, whether the ISP/telcos have employees monitoring the dedicated forum sections? I'd put money on no.




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Master Geek


  Reply # 191719 24-Jan-2009 01:51
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Yep they do have people monitoring them.

I bet this has something to do with them upgrading their billing system combined with buying ihug. Mixing it all might make a nicer cheese, but it's still got holes in it. They just need to sort out how they manage the exceptions and encourage people to give feedback and accept they aren't always right, no matter what their terms and conditions say.

Vodafone, we all know errors can happen, but when you don't have staff that are encouraged to apologise and instigate solutions for everyone, and make up for the problems you're causing them, then they will just "make the most of now" and bugger off.



722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 191773 24-Jan-2009 11:08
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I don't believe it's the staff at fault, here. And it certainly is not their postion to continually make apologies for those higher up; to constanly do so is nothing less than disingenuous.

As most know, corporations structure their employee levels to create a buffer zone between the only people the average general public/customers can communicate with, & those who actually make company policy. And it seems that there is minimal, one-way, at best, dialogue between the lower & upper echelons: you will do only as we tell you.

Maybe the only prerequisite for being a CEO/executive is having a nature that ensures you totally disregard the needs of your clients. Hell, up until recently, we had one of the best 'corporations' in our country's history: they were called the Labour Party!




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Master Geek


  Reply # 191783 24-Jan-2009 12:19
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Perhaps when companies like Vodafone were smaller, the connection between staff on the frontline and the policy makers would have been very natural and even stimulated with rewards etc. Once they reach a certain staffing ratio per customer base, different targets are introduced and the policies become more set in stone. They start changing their models to focus on customer retention than acquisition and reduce churn based on information they receive in surveys. Basically, they look at survey results and apply changes or tweak certain things to suit the majority of respondents. Unfortunately, this will not cover the exceptional circumstances that contravene these majority-rules policies, which are like yours, and the policy makers need the staff to exhibit something called initiative.

Without knowing exactly what happened in the back-end, she should have apologised, asked for a date you were to make a payment and reset the restriction for after that date. With history for over 10 years, they have more to lose by you going somewhere else than you missing one payment.

Unfortunately, customer services I believe are being asked to apologise more and more for those other than themselves. Promotions that go wrong, inability of systems to do certain things, and inflexibility of solutions for their customers. The more complicated things get, the more things go wrong. Disingenuous, yes, and stress-inducing, yes, and completely part of the job, yes. I can't forget being told almost a hundred times a week, "it's not you i'm angry at, you're just doing your job". All the good phone operators don't stay on the phones long, they get "promoted" to supervisor roles, and the average-joes and inadequates stay on the phones longer while they try to make the grade. It all depends on who you get, and I would bet confidently, that if you called back immediately after and told them what you had been told and what you wanted now as an incentive, you would have been treated very well!

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  Reply # 191852 24-Jan-2009 19:23
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Is anyone else seeing a pattern here? Ex long term vodafone/ihug customer here also, i think it came to 8 years of their service before i decided to end it early last year.
I have seen very many long term ihug customers now deciding to leave for reasons like yours over the past year or two.

46 posts

Geek


  Reply # 192100 26-Jan-2009 11:55
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I too have left IHUG after about 12 years......
basically the service has gone down too far.

late last year they cut my service with out warning for an over due bill, when I gave feedback on this I got no response.
when I used the feedback form on the web site, I got no response.

then I got in touch with Paul Brislen, he was very helpful, he did care, I give him my full story, and he said he would pass it along to the right managers, once again I never heard back.

many small issues build up to a service that sucks.

* un-educated staff.
help desk staff that don't know the tech, sales staff that don't know the products.

* can never escalate an issue.
ever time I ask for a manager I am told that the manager has just gone into a meeting, I know that managers do a lot of meetings in a day but to be given the exact same answer five or six times??

* lack of response to complaint emails.
several times over the last year I have put my issues in an email, never really got a good response to any of them.

* insane website.
far too hard to find anything, my account details say I am on the "get 3" plan, I can't find anything about this plan on the website.
I can't find prices for basic dialup accounts, unless I look under broadband? WTF??


as with most of us on here we are geeks, we are the people who give advise to friends/family/customers.
over the last 12 years I have often been asked as to which ISP a person should use, for 10 years I said IHUG with out pausing.
over the last 2 years I have often recommended Saturn/clear.


any fool can move data packets, it's hard to be the best in data services when you are selling the same type of service as all the others.
customer service is where you can win new customers and keep old ones.


all we ask is for the help desk to answer calls in as little wait time as possible, 3-5 minutes is cool.
help desk people with some basic skills, not just reading from a script.
system status that is correct and updated.
and a feedback system that works


PS:
if a member of the IHUG/vodafone team wish to talk to me about this then feel free to PM me.
or email me at Ihug.co.nz (robsonde@)


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  Reply # 192135 26-Jan-2009 15:48
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Agreed - I logged into the abortion of a website, submitted a ticket for some support on reactivating an email address I had years ago that I then closed when I no longer worked there so all my free statuses was removed.

Anyway, about a week goes by and I get a reply that it was being sent to the homephone and broadband team... WTF, I chose that when I submitted the ticket and made yet another account for their damn site.

Is one username and password to deal with everything too much to ask for from vodafone? Apparntly it is.

also weeks later still no sign of anything from the homephone and broadband team. If so many people didnt have my @ihug.co.nz address I would have being long gone. I know it was stupid to use it but when I got on the net there was no $10 domains with $10 hosting available.




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Wannabe Geek


Reply # 192149 26-Jan-2009 17:11
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Yes -  I pulled the plug on Ihug/Vodafone 2 years back. Automatic payment via direct debit from my Visa. Advised them of change of expiry date -  then they used old expiry date which bounced ! of course!  so they just denied access. Very annoyed I did everything right  - they made a mistake and blamed me.
End of Ihug/Vodafone.
Switched to Orcon - very happy - better service and price and culture. Had a few tech problems which they handled very well.
Great speed and phone service.   


45 posts

Geek


  Reply # 192969 30-Jan-2009 18:02
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- Inaugural customer with Bellsouth.
- Account number 2xx8 - only 4 digits compared to todays 7-10 digits.
- 10% discount for life removed after Vodafone took over.
- Last year their Billing system change wouldn't allow me to enter new credit card expiry.
- This was fortunate for me as they also screwed up my data billing which went from $70 per month to $400.
- 7 hours on hold to their help desk because their IVR was screwed as well.
- cut off twice because of screwed up bills, only contact was my mobile.
- 10% discount reappears on bill after absent for 10+ years.
- CSR informs me I can't use the 1GB on my plan because their billing system will bill me additional data over 200Mb. What?
- disconnected again.
- they never rang to sort out the problem. They just disconnect out of the blue.
- I have no intention of paying the final bill as they probably owe me anyway for the years of not applying my lifetime 10%

Now instead of recommending Vodafone I tell people to avoid them like the plague.

Everyone I've meet on Vodafone the last year have all had problems with On Account billing. Not one has said no problem. Not just mobile but Internet and Phone as well.

Dump them I say. You'll wonder why you put up with their rubbish customer service for so long once you did.

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