Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Vodafone Customer Service Misery...

I wanted to share my experience with Vodafone Germany's customer service. And, yes, I have to admit I am a bit upset...

The story begun just after Christmas, roughly two weeks ago. I ordered a phone online and the shop said it would take around two business days. With the holiday period, I wasn't much surprised that nothing happened in 2007, but I had expected a delivery early this year. Well... it took some time, but last Friday a delivery man showed up in the office, of course when I was away. But he couldn't leave the phone for me, because he was required to collect money for it (that's fine), but could not find out how much (that sounds a bit silly, doesn't it?). He promised to find out and come back either the same day or this Monday.

Well, of course nobody showed up. Being patient as I am ;), I waited until today before I even wanted to have a casual look what's going on. The confirmation mail I received after my order contained a web link that should provide status information. Nice. Not so nice is that all I could get out of that page was the fact that the application developer had obviously forgotten to handle some Java exceptions ("javax.servlet.ServletException: Error while looking for EJB" - not exactly what I was looking for...).

OK, software can be buggy, so not a big deal. I called their hotline. Well, I tried to. First thing was that there was no phone number listed at all. Bad. So I resorted to the general Vodafone hotline. The expected happend: I ended up in he wait queue and was served that nice music. But, after roughly three minutes, the unexpected happend: "all of our Agents are still busy, please call us again later" the computer voice said - and quickly hung up the phone. Ummm... not nice. So was I supposed to call back again and start at the beginning of the queue? Looks so (oh man, would I like to have the QUEUE_ENQUE_IN_FRONT setting available to me...). I have to admit that at this point in time I was already a bit annoyed.

I called again. The very same happened. Some time later, I called back again... hangup, too. At this point, I sent a quite angry email to their contact address. I have to admit that it was brief and somewhat impolite and I expressed my expectation that the mail would most probably go to /dev/null immediately. Guess what? I got an auto-responder reply. Of course, a human reply is yet to be seen...

I tried to call the hotline again from time to time, but always I received a hangup after an apparent three-minute timeout (their system seems to be even more impatient than me). So it is obviously impossible to contact Vodafone customer service at all.

Maybe that should staff up their call center - or look for a phone provider who is capable to handle a larger caller queue...

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