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Vodafone Germany wrap-up May 14, 2010

Posted by CK in Networking, Personal.
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Update: Today I found out that they charged me ~112 euros for early contract cancellation. I don’t know how to react and remain politically correct.

First things first: AVOID THIS COMPANY AT ALL COSTS. I received notoriously bad service, and eventually a disconnection that wasn’t my fault, at the most critical time for me — when I’m writing my doctoral thesis.

First, it was their incompetence providing me with a working phone, until I solved the problem for them.

Then, I asked them in writing to cancel my contract on August, and they replied they will cancel it in November, although their salesmen had told me I can quit whenever I wanted.

Then I wrote them that I am a university student leaving the country, and therefore I want them to cancel it in August, not November. They replied they will cancel it in May, in a week’s time after their notification.

I spoke to their customer care this last Monday, the guy said he’d try to roll it back because it was clearly a Vodafone mistake, and we should check back on Wednesday about the status of the rollback request. These requests go to Deutsche Telekom and once in, you never know if you can do something about it.

On Wednesday, the lady I (well, my German-speaking colleague) spoke to said she couldn’t see anything about such a request, and I should send a fax to describe the problem. I did, then someone called me (which is really a rare thing), said again he would try to roll back the cancellation request and call me back to notify me what is the status of things. Needless to say, he never called me back.

An hour ago, my connection disappeared. I have no ADSL anymore, it’s not my fault, and according to the latest Vodafone representative I spoke to today, there is nothing I can do about it. Her advice was to buy a 3G USB stick.

If anyone knows what I can do to kick them, please tell me. This is disaster. I was disconnected 3 months before the time I asked, and they pretend it’s my fault.


Should I laugh or should I cry? May 10, 2010

Posted by CK in Networking, Personal.
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Readers of this blog are already familiar with my bitter experience with Vodafone Germany (details here and here). Long story short, in the latest episode of this series I asked for my connection to be interrupted at the end of the summer, giving them a good lead time for that (typically, contracts require a 3-month notice). On Friday, I got a letter from Vodafone stating that my phone/internet connection will be cancelled at the end of this week. At this point in time, this would be pure disaster, my thesis’ Titanic. Calling them on the phone, they recognized their mistake, apologized, and said they don’t know if they can do something because they have already asked Deutsche Telecom to disconnect me on Friday.

Seriously, Vodafone, how difficult is it to get your act together and be professional? Are you really amateurs? I really wish I had never made that contract.

My vodafone.de bitter saga April 14, 2010

Posted by CK in Miscellaneous, Personal.
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On August 19, 2008, I wrote an article under the title “Vodafone service in Germany“. In there I was complaining about not having a phone for months after my contract started. I also wrote very explicitly, that I chose Vodafone on the grounds that they offer real landline service (not VoIP), and that I could cancel anytime without penalties. This was information I received from two different Vodafone representatives, in two different stores. As I was surprised back then by this information, I asked them both repeatedly about these two points, and they both insisted that this is the case. As a matter of fact, I went to the second store only because I got this surprising information at the first one.

As it turned out, the phone was VoIP. Although I wasn’t too excited to find out, I could live with that. At one next visit to one of the Vodafone stores, I told the salesman about it, and he insisted that no, it’s not VoIP, because you don’t need a computer to use the phone. Sigh.

Today, I found out the bitter way that if I cancel before the two years end, THERE ARE PENALTIES. So the second reason I chose Vodafone over a cheaper provider, was also a blunt LIE. I can accept that a salesman is clueless and technically incompetent (see VoIP), but I can’t accept that they are unaware of the contract’s terms. I can only assume they lied on purpose, to sign me up. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this on writing back then, and I could not read any German at all (not that I can now, but anyways) so I didn’t know what exactly I was signing. I guess my blog post is not proof enough.

It’s fortunate that, as I am enrolled here for the PhD, I can declare a student and avoid penalties due to leaving the country. Yet, if I did not have this special status I’d have to pay 3 months for nothing, only because some representatives lied to me. I am frustrated, disappointed, and angry. And I hope many prospective customers of Vodafone Germany read this.