Vodafone and the worst customer service ever!

Vodafone does not seem to realize that they are losing their status in the market very fast.  I have seen lately several cases of extremely poor customer service cases with friends and relatives that proved to me that they are no longer the best.  For so many years they used to provide their customers with the best service ever and this is why we used to say “2ana Vodafone” as in their Ad.  Now I am not sure anymore!

I encountered a case with them now that made me really frustrated: It all started last Sunday 20-03-2011:

1- I called on Sunday morning because I received an email notification with my invoice value. I was shocked by it’s value as it was unexpectedly high so I called to ask why.  The lady who answered told me its because of my USB modem, my internet usage valued to this amount.  I said I doubt very much that I finished my 2GB limit as I rarely used the USB modem this month.  I asked her how much exactly did I utilize to pay that much? she didn’t have an answer and said that she will file a complaint and forward to the responsible department and they should answer back in 48hours.  It was a bit strange to me since I asked a simple question, how much did I use? does that need a complaint and forwarding to another department?? but I said ok I’ll wait.

2- I called back the next day Monday 21-03-2011 at night to see what is up.  The man who answered told me no it is written in the system that they will answer back on the 23rd. so you can call after 9:00PM to know the answer. So suddenly the 48hours became 4 days.

3- Again I called Wednesday 23-03-2011 after 9:00PM as I was told. The man who answered said: no , it is said on the system they will reply on the 23rd and the 23rd lasts until 12:00 mid night so you can call in the morning to see the result!!!! seriously??? Well I knew he was saying that just to get rid of me and end the call because definitely this responsible department will not work until 12:00 mid night but I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

4- I called this morning and guess what?? same answer: NO ANSWER YET! the lady told me if she got an answer until 5:00 today she will call me back to tell me, otherwise then I have to wait another 24 hours and then call back to ask!!

I am really shocked! does it take all this time to know my internet utilization?? how come they issued the invoice if they don’t know how much I used…to issue the invoice they must have measured my consumption so they have the figure ready and can be sent to the call center by the press of a button!!! or at least I hope so because if not then Vodafone needs to revise the systems it is working with.

I am sorry Vodafone but I have been a customer since 1999 and lately you have been loosing me step by step until now I reached the top, I really can’t stand your level of support.  If your people are too busy to answer my simple question, then give me a tool that I can install and monitor my consumption myself!!! if you don’t have a junior programmer who can do this application for you, hire one but don’t torture your customers. I know that you provide a tool that calculates consumption but it is useless because it measures by PC and not by the USB itself…in other words if I used my modem on PC#1 it will tell me I used XMB, if I then remove it and use it on PC#2 it will start counting from Zero again and tell me again that I used XMB or Y so I don’t really know how much my account consumed.  It should be per account and not per PC.

I am not paying this bill until I have solid proof that I used that much!!! and I as a customer believe that I should have got an answer from the very first time I called or at least within 24hours!!

And ohh forgot to say that I filled a complaint form on Vodafone website as well and I got no answer at all!!!! not even a confirmation of receipt by email!! you obviously have no support standards that your teams abide by!!

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The Egyptian Revolution … Lessons Learnt

Egypt is living the best days of its history after the great revolution. The beauty of it is we are learning something new every day.  With this spirit in the whole country, every manager should also start applying the lessons learnt from the revolution to achieve the best:

  1. The most important lesson any manager should have learnt is to “LISTEN”.  Listen to your people, know them, and know their needs and demands.  This is the only way to get the best out of them and make them productive. Be one of them, talk to them and listen.  And do not ever ignore their demands because if you do, one day you’ll pay a high price. It is not that you’ll always do what they want but being one of them, they will love you and they will understand when you have to do something different because they know that you are fair.  Mubarak’s biggest mistake was that he kept doing different things than what the people asked for from day one and the result was that people who didn’t join the revolution from the beginning were intimidated and joined and he was forced to leave.
  2. Be fair.  When employees feel that they are treated unjustly, they will rebel sooner or later.  This is true even for the least level in the hierarchy. Don’t underestimate what an office boy can do if he is fed up of being unfairly treated.  And the risk is not only that people for example will rebel and go on strike. You can have an unannounced rebellion, people can agree to come every day to work and never finish what they are supposed to do and work keeps pilling up and then they will show you as incompetent.
  3. Make your people participate in the decision making cycle. When the Egyptians felt that they can participate in deciding what to do next and how to build the Egypt we are longing for, we were amazed by the amount of energy, ideas and effort exerted. If you let your people participate, you will definitely achieve much more than what you were planning for.
  4. Set a clear objective and make sure everyone understands it and then put a clear strategy how to get there.  When all Egyptians had one objective ahead of them, they knew exactly what they wanted and hence they worked so hard to get there.  They were not reluctant even to pay a huge price as their lives for the sake of their country. They weren’t afraid of gun shots and Molotov because they knew that they have to endure and pay the price for the great results ahead.  Same thing if we apply it to a company. If you have a clear objective and a clear strategy people will be encouraged to do their best to get there.  But if they don’t know why they come to work every day you’ll get nothing out of them.  Don’t force your people to work extra hours, just make them understand what you want to achieve and make them part of it.  Make them feel that their efforts are highly needed and appreciated and you’ll be amazed that they will work extra hours whenever needed without being asked to.

Bottom line is: show your employees that you care, and they will strive to make you the best in the market.