How I stopped being a Vodafone-customer thanks to customer service

I think I’m a good customer. Good for companies, not necessary for myself. Meaning when someone get me as a customer, I normally stick to them regardless of poor service and high prices. I’m just to lazy to go through the process of changing supplier when something kind of work. So Vodafone can be proud of being one of the few companies that has managed to chase me away. With really shitty customer service.

It started with me being spoilt by my wife, and getting a iPhone 4 as a late birthday gift. But when converting to an iPhone 4, you can’t just switch your SIM-card over, since Apple has decided to use microSIM in the new iPhone (and the iPad), instead of the more commonly used miniSIM (that we just call a SIM, forgetting about the credit card sized SIM that was used in the Stone Ages). For short: a microSIM is a miniSIM with less plastic around the data chip. And how hard would it be to get my hands on one of those?

Checking the Vodafone eForum, I found a discussion on the subject, and the gist was that you could get a microSIM from one of the Vodafone branches, and transfer your number to it, but that the branches might not have enough microSIMs in stock. This also applied to pay as you go-customers, were I belong. And then there were a lot of comments on how rubbish Vodafone’s customer service were. So on Friday the 25th I visited the Putney branch to try to fix it, and hopefully be able to prove the ones that think their service suck, wrong. And at the Putney branch I was pleasantly surprised. The guy behind the counter had a microSIM for me, but were unable to transfer the number. so he sent me home with the microSIM and asked me to contact customer service, they would sort it out. So with my microSIM in hand, I was halfway there, wasn’t I?

Foolishly, I sent a mail to customer service instead of calling. I explained my situation and asked for my numbered transferred, and listed both the numbers for both my old and new SIM. On Monday I got an answer:

Hello Jonas,

Having checked I can see that no number is attached to the Micro SIM
that has been given to you.

So I'm unable to transfer the number as the SIM is completely blank.

I would request you to go back to store and inform them about this you can
also get the number transferred within the store.

I trust the above information helps.

OK. And since I don’t know anything about SIMs, I accepted the answer. Baffled, but still. I decided to try another branch that Putney, and since I was going to the London city centre, I ended up at the Covent Garden Branch. Only to be told that they didn’t have the equipment to transfer my number, this had to be done at the Apple Store in Regent Street. Realising the guy talked out of his arse, I moved on. To the Strand branch, were they tried to help me, but couldn’t. But they phoned up customer service for me. Which led to half an hour on the phone and no transfer. The girl on the line apparently checked both with her manager and technical service, before telling me that I couldn’t transfer my pay as you go-number. This couldn’t happen before 6th of July, when they would start to offer iPhone 4 with pay as you go-deals. When I referred to the eForum, she told me to take the information there “with a pinch of salt”, since it wasn’t up to date. Information put there by the Vodafone customer service.

So here is the information I misunderstood:

My apologies if my post was a little confusing, basically we aren't
currently selling the iPhone 4 (the handset ) on PAYT, these need to
be purchased from apple.

We do have the Micro SIMS available and as these are blank SIM's we
can migrate your current number PAYT/ CONTRACT to one of these SIM's.
You should be able to arrange for a blank micro sim to be delivered,
at which point we would need to help you transfer your current Vodafone
number onto it.

I foolishly believed that this meant I could transfer my pay as you go-number to the microSIM, how stupid of me…

So I posted my story on the eForum to ask for a clarification, and was told this:

We cannot provide PAYG Micro SIMs yet because we don't offer the
iPhone on PAYG. When that changes down the line, we'll be able to
look into the availability of PAYG Micro SIMs.

In the same fecking discussion as the above quotes are taken from! So to hell with Vodafone!! I got my PAC-number, a T-Mobile SIM and a scissor, and am now a T-Mobile customer.

And funnily enough, some days later in the same forum, in the same discussion thread:

This is one of those rumours that we are doing our best to try and
nip in the bud before it spreads, as it is entirely untrue. There
is no difference between a Pay-as-you-Go SIM and Contract SIM,
MicroSIM or not. Furthermore, we have yet to announce any dates
or prices for iPhone 4 Pay-as-you-Go, so you could be waiting a long time.

I would recommend visiting your nearest store and asking them to
provide you with a MicroSIM as this is the quickest and simplest
way to get a hold of one.

So I hope they will agree with each other some time in the future, and maybe take a course in communication. And congratulation, you now have one less customer to pester you with questions you have to answer.

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