Right to reply…

I received the following from Vodafone this evening. In fairness, I’m popping it on here in full as it does answer all my complaints. It’s amazing what you can get from someone if you whinge loudly and forcefully enough – it’s a shame it has to come to this, though.

Note that this is still not as ideal a situation as I was given initially. I have to switch to PAYG before I fly out (the SIM needs to be activated in the UK), and I have to make one chargeable call every 60 days at least to keep the number/SIM active. So I have to switch the phone on while abroad (*kerching*) or leave it with someone here and ask them to make a call every 2 months. If I take it with me, can I “charge” it with credit while in Thailand or Vietnam?

Time for another reply. But in fairness, my complaints have been addressed…

Queries Regarding Your Account.

Good Evening Mosh,

Thanks for your e-mail, I’m sorry you feel you have received poor customer service from Vodafone, Vodafone prides itself on high levels of customer service, I have passed your comments onto the relevant department to help improve our training scheme.

Having looked into your account I can see the following details:

* There is a discount applied on your account which will apply until the contract end, for free text messages.

* I can see no current request on your account to transfer to Pay As You Talk, if you wish to transfer to Pay As You Talk please confirm this.

* I apologise that it was not made clear to you at the time of upgrade that you where entering into a 18 month commitment period.

* As a gesture of goodwill I have changed your commitment period to 12 months, your current shortfall fee now stands at £61.21

* We are able to transfer you to Pay As You Talk with immediate effect if you require this.

* If you choose to switch to Pay As You Talk a chargeable call will need to be made every 60 days to keep the number active, the SIM will also need to be made active whilst you are still in the UK.

If you would like to talk further about this issue my office number is 08000 680126.

Hope This Helps,

Steph Houghton

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Dear Vodafone…

Hi again,

Just so you have this in writing after my discussion on the phone with
someone yesterday:

I am *incredibly* displeased, upset, annoyed, angry and verging on
furious with your company right now. Let me step you through some

1) I re-negotiated my contract around March/April last year. I went
from a 12-month contract to a 12-month contract as agreed on the phone
with the salesperson. This contract was to include a set amount of
free talk time, text messages and weekend calls.

2) My new phone arrived shortly thereafter. All seemed fine.

3) I requested a paper copy of the terms and agreements of my
contract. These have never been sent to me. As such I’ve never signed
anything agreeing to any contract simply as I’ve never *seen* anything
to agree to. In good faith, however, I’ve used the service and paid
for it without hitch.

4) On my first online statement I was thrown a little by the “deal”
that was listed, the wording seeming to infer that it (and therefore
my free call time, texts etc) would expire after 6 months. I called
and was assured this was not an issue and this was “just the way it
was worded”. I asked for a letter confirming that this was the case.
This never arrived, much like the contract I asked for.

5) Lo and behold, 6 months later I get a bill around £30 higher than I
should have as my “deal” had expired. After much to-in and fro-ing
(during which time it turns out it was impossible to send me a
corrected bill with the relevant amounts removed), the matter was
resolved, and I was informed that the “deal” would run till the end of
my contract. I confirmed that this meant it would run for the full 12
months and I was assured it would. I asked for a letter to confirm
this. I never received one.

6) Earlier this year I made the decision to go abroad for an extended
holiday with a view to emigrating. As such, I didn’t want to pay a
monthly fee for a telephone that would be switched off. After an
initial enquiry, I was informed that this was no problem and that I
could simply switch to PAYG for the duration of my absence and restart
on my contract when I returned. I have the email replies telling me
that this would be fine. I simply had to let you know in writing 4
weeks before the date I wished to drop to PAYG.

7) I duly wrote a letter slightly more than 5 weeks in advance
requesting that as of March 16th 2006, my contract be “downgraded” to
PAYG and a letter be sent back to me to confirm that this was being
actioned. Guess what? I never received confirmation. For a company
that deals in communications you seem to have a woeful idea of what
the word actually means.

8) I chased the matter up via email and received the above reply.
Shortfall payments? Call us now? It’s urgent? Quite right it’s urgent
as I now leave the country in 14 days. I duly called.

9) As a reasonable person, I agree that I have a contract with you and
I understand that if I finish that early I should pay the remaining
months’ fees up front (It seems my contract will not go on “hold” so
much as it gets cancelled – which wasn’t made apparent from initial
discussions). However, the fee quoted – in excess of £171 – seemed a
bit high as I only have a month or two left as I started my contract
in March/April last year. Oh, no. I apparently signed up for an *18
month* contract. News to me as I would not have *agreed* to sign up
for an 18 month contract. 12 I discussed, 12 I agreed, 12 I expect.
That’s hardly unreasonable.

10) Apparently I agreed to the 18 month contract on receipt of my
telephone. Some clever spark in the sales department seems to have
decided to put contractual agreement clauses on delivery notes which
directly contradict discussions made with other people in the sales
department. The individual I spoke to yesterday tells me that my
delivery note states that by receiving the phone I agreed to an 18
month contract, and that if I didn’t like it I could have returned the
phone. Now this is all fine and well apart from 2 things:

a) I certainly don’t recall seeing anything whatsoever on any delivery
note. Your staff member yesterday could not tell me *where* on the
note this change to my agreed contract was noted. I suspect in tiny
letters in invisible ink under a label in Urdu.

b) I’m not even sure I saw a delivery note. Would this have been in
the box, wrapped round it, given to me separately by someone pointing
out “by the way, they’ve decided to change the contract you agreed to
and by signing this piece of paper you’re agreeing to their changes”,
stuck folded up in a little envelope or what?

Regardless, I discussed and agreed to a 12-month contract. I am to
expect a phone call from the original salesman, apparently, but I’ve
been waiting almost a full day with no response. Of course, given your
history on getting back to me with required information this comes as
absolutely no surprise whatsoever.

On the face of it, someone’s made a mistake and entered “18” instead
of “12” somewhere. Worst case, someone’s thought they can earn a bit
more commission by subtly “upping” my contract from 12 to 18 months,
not thinking I’d notice (I didn’t – as I wasn’t told). Or even *worse*
case, this is standard practice and your company deliberately sets out
to ensnare people in contracts they didn’t agree to and defraud them
of additional monies.

Now, as I said, I’m going abroad for quite some time. I expect to
return, but there’s no guarantee. If I do, I’d like to have the same
mobile number and to just restart my account and go on as if nothing’s
happened. While I’m away, my bank account will be closed, direct
debits cancelled and so forth. There will be nothing going *in*, so I
can’t have anything going *out*.

Right now, I’m more in the frame of mind that my mobile number simply
isn’t worth this mess. I’ll have forgotten the number when I get home
anyway and I doubt there’ll be any 18-24 month old voicemails worth
listening to. 02, Orange, Tesco… there are *many* other providers I
could just wander off to and not give you so much as a single thought.

The ball’s in your court. Prove to me you’re not a bunch of lying,
cheating, defrauding, slippery conmen and put me on the 12-month
contract I verbally agreed to. As stated, I will pay the “shortfall”
based on those terms and those terms only. As stated, as of March 14th
I will be out of the UK and not contactable, so you better get your
skates on. My house has been sold, my bank account’s in the process of
being shifted abroad and my credit cards cancelled in lieu of
foreign-based ones.

I did give you the required 4 weeks’ notice so as far as I’m concerned
I’ve done all that’s required of me – you are the ones holding
everything up with your ludicrous attempts to rip me off.

Yours not-very-faithfully-at-all,


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Barclays = shite

And people keep trying to get me to shift from TSB… Well, Barclays are definitely not one I’ll be going to. OK, so I’ve only signed up to rip some money out of them (have two grand in the bank after the first two months and they give you £100 which you can then take and deposit back in your real account), but it’s no excusing the **** service I’ve had so far.

First off, I got all the bumph in the mail. Cheque book, welcome letters, offers of loans, applications for credit cards. The usual ****. In amongst it was a letter telling me to expect my debit card and PIN within 7 days. 14 days later and no sign of either. Worrying. OK, so there was no money in the account, but they’re the two things you really don’t want someone to have.

So I gave them a call, and a nice polite young girl (sat in India, naturally) told me I wasn’t getting a debit card and one had never been applied to my account. Well, OK, she didn’t tell me. The person three forwarded calls along told me. I was advised to pop into the branch where I applied (I applied online) to sort it.


Well, no problem. I have no intention of doign anything other than transferring the cash electronically back to TSB anyway.

Next, I set up internet banking which was OK apart from the usual bollocks of getting another immemorable “membership number”, another passcode, another set of passwords and memorable phrases… All of which I promptly forgot once I’d set it all up and locked myself out of the system.


So I called their online helpline. After 2 minutes of selecting options on the phone menu, none of which was really relevant, until I got a recorded announcement telling me to call back between their opening hours of 7am and 11pm.

It was 10:55pm. By my reckoning, that falls between those hours.

I called this morning at 8:55. When their systems were updating, as they do every morning apparently, and told to ring back in half an hour. It’s a really good job I don’t have anything actually urgent to do or I’d be ******.

So. Barclays = shite. Simple as. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

More Shitty-Link

Well, they finally picked the package up today after managing to lie to me on the phone. Several times. According to them, they didn’t come on Thursday and on Friday the driver asked for an “Iain” at reception and was sent away.


On both Thursdau and Friday he turned up asking for a package to go back to Acer and with no contact name, so he was turned away.

Thing is, according to their phone people, the procedure at that point it to get hold of the depot who, in turn, contact the customer directly. Which they failed to do twice. The fuckwit, lazy bastards.

Hey ho. The package has gone (finally) and only 4 days late. At least I’m not paying for it. Good ******* job as well.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have a beef and turkey burger to eat. Mmmmm…. double-burger…

City Link suck arse

I’m sure I’ve mentioned these retards before, but for a delivery company they seem to be lacking something very important. The ability to ******* collect a package.

I’ve had a TFT screen die on me, fortunately well within the 3-year warranty. Acer very kindly gave me a load of reference numbers and a contact number for City Link. After 3 hours I managed to get through to someone who took my details and promised a collection by 5pm on Thursday.

I stayed an hour late at work (that’s 5:30, folks) and nobody turned up. I rang them and the chap there said he’d call me in the morning and reschedule it. I beat him to it and called at 8am on Friday. Another reference number was given and I sat and waited.

At 4:20, I called them back and he gave me the number of the Bradford depot. I called them and the lass on the phone said she’d track down the van driver and ring me back. It’s 7:30pm, I’ve had no phone call and I spent 20 minutes after 5pm ringing numbers where nobody answered.

In short: ******* ****.

I think this may call for another sarky letter. If I can be arsed.