Vodafone are arse (again)

I’ve had problems with Vodafone in the past, even though I’ve been with them for years. “Better the devil you know” and all that. The first doozy was yonks ago when they tried to give me 6 months’ “freebies” on my contract instead of 12. Then they tried to extend my contract to an 18-month one when I’d agreed a 12-month. These are detailed waaaaay back before I started travelling here and here.

More recently, I had a nightmare in Oz – which I’ve not documented – where the Vodafone UK web page just stopped letting me top up. There’s no reason for this. It worked fine all the way through SE Asia and New Zealand but by the time I got to Oz it just wouldn’t let me. My phone was “already configured for a different account” or something – I forget the exact wording.

After about 5 messages to and fro (more than one of them involving them sending me steps to follow which exactly mirrors the list I’d sent them of how I arrived at the problem) they relents and gave me a fiver’s credit. This was after their initial suggestion of “get someone at home to buy a topup card and send you the code from it”. Very helpful.

How about “fix your fucking website, you bastards”?

Anyway, I am now in Holland. The only means I have of contacting these lovely Couchsurfing people I’m staying with as I approach each city is to send them a quick text. Unless, in some cases, I’ve had the chance to email earlier and arrange a meeting place and rough time in which case I can call, let the phone ring and then hang up. This hasn’t always been possible. And if they call me to say there’s a problem, it costs me 75p. Not good when your credit stands at less than two quid.

So I decided to try again and see if Vodafone’s website is fixed. And now it’s telling me that my account is locked! So I went via their contact form twice. The first time I hit “Send” I was just returned to the front page. No confirmation of delivery so I tried again.

The form’s full of questions I can’t answer: home phone is a mandatory field. I have no home, nor a phone to put in it. If you don’t know your password/PIN then “method of payment” is also mandatory – even when you’ve indicated you’re a Pay As You Go customer! There’s no option for “TopUp Card”. What a bag of shit.

Anyway, second time around I got a confirmation email so I guess we’ll see…

The above method of payment is incorrect, but your web page (which has been broken for over a year now) doesn’t offer a relevant alternative. Also note that the “home” phone number is not mine – I do not have a landline and your site will not let me send the form without one.

I apologise if I’m mailing twice, but the page also gives no indication that a mail has been sent.

I am stuck in Holland with next to no credit on my phone. I can’t add credit (again) because your website is broken and now when I try to see if I can get it to work, I am told my account is locked.

Would someone kindly a) unlock my account and b) fix the thing so that I can add credit like I used to over a year ago? I went through all this mess some months ago with one of your staff who was unable to resolve it. His suggestion was to get someone in the UK to send me the code from a purchased topup card. The thing is, I have the feeling this means I am being *charged* for the call I have to make to top up!

Kindly resolve this ASAP as otherwise I am stuffed. I have no other means to contact people I am meant to be staying with in the short term.

If this is not resolved, I will be making a 3 or Orange shop one of my first stops when I return to the UK in a couple of weeks. 02 are the only network I’ve dealt with who seem to be worse than Vodafone.

Thank you.

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