Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vodaphone Answered - 12 Days Later!

Here is their reply to me...

Hello Robyn,

I have discussed your case with my manager.

We have come to a conclusion stating that we would be able to provide you with $10 off your broadband service if your home phone line rental is with us .Since your home phone line is with a different provider you are currently paying $50 for your broadband service. If your home phone line rental is through us you will be eligible for a $10 direct dial discount, Hence your broadband service will be charged at $40 and your home phone line rental will cost you $42.50 inclusive of GST. We have decided that at this stage if you decide to bring your home phone line rental to us we will provide you with 3 months of free double your data. We will not be able to extend this offer at the moment but there could be newer plans or promotions sometime next year.

Alternatively you could also check out the ideal pack we offer. Below is the link to the ideal pack.

We also have the double your data option.

How much does it cost?

Double your data on the easy pack (get another 1GB) - $5 per block( same for broadband 1)
Double your data on the ideal pack (get another 5GB) - $10 per block( same for broadband 2)
Double your data on the ultimate pack (get another 20GB) - $30 per block

Please let us know in what you would like to do.

If there are any other further queries please respond back to this email.

Kind regards,

Vivek George

and here is my reply to them....

Dear Vivek George,


This doesn’t really suit. For one – I have phone two lines, not 1. Someone else uses the telecom line and that can’t be changed.

Telecom, Orcon, maxnet, Xnet are all offering 10gb data plans at the same price that you offer me only 5. I can go to any of those companies RIGHT NOW, and get 10gb of data allowance for the same price I’m paying you now for only 5gb. Your double your data plan only gives me 3 months. I need something more long term than that. ONLY one of those companies want my phone for that, and that’s Telecom, of which I already have my phone with – the others don’t care, and I still get MORE data allowance for the same price.

Why should I have to move my phone to you when I can’t USE a phone to get that discount. That is simply discrimination – I CANNOT use a phone so why do I need to change it? I realise you are not the only broadband company that is offering discounts like this, but when it comes to DEAF customers, it really does smack of discrimination. I don’t actually want a phone. The only reason I have it is because I need broadband. You need to start thinking laterally and offer customers what THEY want, not what YOU want them to have. AND have a pro-rata price plan accordingly.

Not only this – your customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Firstly, it took 10 days to answer my original query. Your reason for being late is simply not good enough. Vodafone is supposed to be a leading telecommunications company, specializing in broadband/internet which actually encompasses email, and both the auto response emails full of useless and conflicting information makes you look unprofessional. Secondly, I’m sorry, but 10 days to answer an email ? There is simply no excuse whatsoever. Further, when you replied to me 2 days ago, you said you would get back to me that night, or at the very latest the next morning. You did not keep that promise and took another 48 hours to respond. Again, that is simply not good enough. If you put something in writing to a customer, then that is what the customer expects, and then when it doesn’t happen, then the person/company that comes off looking stupid when it doesn’t happen, it once again looks totally unprofessional.

Like many ihug customers, I see that the time has come to move companies. You are simply not being competitive enough, both with correspondence or data plans. Further, you need a help desk that actually helps people. In New Zealand there are approximately 200,000 people that are deaf and hearing impaired, that a). either can’t hear well enough to get through your 0800 number phones, and/or b). need to contact you through email. Yet you treat these people as second class citizens, by not catering to their needs, by not responding to emails. We expect equal opportunities and equal access. So an email/fax/letter is like a phone call to us.

Perhaps you should give a dedicated email address for deaf/hearing impaired customers so that they can access your company.

I would like to see this complaint go further, not just to your case manager but higher up the chain. So to make sure this happens, I will be printing off this, and posting it in to the CEO of Vodafone, with copies to the local papers, and to the Deaf Association of New Zealand.

Robyn Carter


Sam said...

woohoooo!!! You go girl!!! There are far too many companies that don't seem to realise that there are deaf people in the world!! I have lovely broadband, but still have to pay phone line rental in order to get it and yet I don't use the phone!!! Arrghhh - you know where I'm coming from!!

Anonymous said...

I would actually also forward this to Mark Sainsbury of CloseUp TV program.... meantime, lets see what vodafone come back with now ... in say, two weeks time?

Dave said...

We need to be vocal every time on these issues. Sometimes I think, "oh just let it go" but now I don't. I email every company I can that refuses to caption their ads or have a web site that advises their only accessibility is by phone!
Come on people, this is 2008 almost 09 for Gods sake. Phones?
Use email and make it right!
Nice post as always!

Bron said...

After reading these responses to you from Vodafone and also those I've gotten from them I have come to the conclusion that Vodafone only employs irrational pre-menstrual women or men who think they are. Where the hell have all the logical, technical, sensible people gone? I am having similar problems finding reliable ISPs to work with who actually make level headed sense.

Love your reply to them. They probably all went screaming off together holding hands to the girls bathroom for a mutual girly cry.

I can't see why they can't come up with permanent, sensible plans that accomodate people who are unable to use the phone instead of having to find some sort of existing promotion to handle the discount. And I don't like the way they make it sound like they are doing you a special favour. There would be plenty of people who are unable to use a phone for some reason and need an internet connection instead so what is the big deal? It's all so common sense it makes them look really stupid.

C Kovacs said...

Your disability is well noted, however such does not afford a privilage to mouth off every time you feel you don't get it your way. Why the fuss?? You were given the plans.. it's a free country.

Unlike government social programs, Corporations have to provide seervices that are consistent with return on investment. In case such does not compute to you, a company cannot be everything to everywone all the time everywhere and roll out supports to meet every whim justified or otherwise - at your level of affordability. Instead of being grateful that someone can meet your rather complex needs, you proceed to berate a compnay and staff who seems to fall short of your arbitray expectations. Instead, you obsess with an arrogant attitude that ALL service providers should do it. When you put a buck in the plate, you'll get a buck's worth of voice, otherwise. Services for the handicap have major cost and technological challenges. As for the back room customer service staff shaking in the boots.. you've made their jobs ever more difficult and stressful. Think about that!! Call center work is most stressful, especially dealing with demanding nerds like you, helping thousads of customes, all wanting perfection every minute of the day, 12 months of the year.

Can you hear me now?? By the way, be sure to pass on this message on to the Vodaphone people as an appropriate rebuttal.

Sincerely wish you and family a peaceful and heatly new year.

C Kovacs

PS - Writer is not connected to Vodaphone in any way.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr or Ms Kovacs,

Obviously you've never been deaf, and have never been on the end of trying to get customer service from a company, when you can't use a phone.

I pay good money each month like every other customer, and the company is there to provide every customer a service.

All I wanted was an reply to an email, one within the 'short time' or '24 hour period' promised, not 12 days later. As a paying customer, I do expect fairness with this.

As for technology for my needs being expensive - excuse me but these companies provide telecommunicaitons and are supposedly experts in this. To set up a dedicated email address would cost them next to nothing. It would not be expensive at all.

All people, no matter what kind of disability they have, should have equal access to goods and service, especially if they are a paying customer. You can obviously pick up a phone and get instant access to services, but you think it's okay that I have to wait 12 days for that same service.

You call me arrogant, but it's you that are actually coming over as the arrogant one with that attitude.

Demanding? I think not - all I wanted was a reply - in the time frame they said would happen. Not 12 days later.

Vodafone at least got back to me - 12 days later, No other companies (telecom, orcon, xnet, maxnet) even bothered at all despite promises of a 24 hour response time in an automated email.

Is that good customer service?

I think not. Service companies need to lift their game.

If you couldn't use a phone - I think you would feel exactly the same way if you got exceedingly slow or no service at all.

We are paying customers afterall.


Amy said...

Boo, hiss Kovacs your arrogance and ignorance are exposed. A 12 day response is horrific especially when touting a 24 hour turnaround. This company is obviously lacking in customer service to a host of people who cannot use the phone. The deaf/hard of hearing community is not asking for special treatment, only for equal access and to not be charged for services they don't use. You can't lodge a complaint to customer service because they are over worked and over stressed? Ridiculous!