Vodafone…can they actually get any worse?

I’ve posted many times about cheating lying Vodafone on here, and how they ripped me off. However I retained one dongle as it was pay as you go, and also the deal when I got it was that your money didn’t expire at the end of each month like most. I’ve only used it as a backup so over the last 2 years I’ve taken it out twice, and both times the signal was unusable.

However this time I took it out and the tried to use it and it asked me to top up. I checked my credit and it was over £13. The only way to contact Vodafone customer support is an expensive 087 line so I was forced to call that and be told that all their tariffs are changing, and now I can only buy as a minimum 250mb for £5. That’s the lowest you can spend. Not only that, but if I top the dongle up it only lasts a month. Can they do that? Clearly they can, cos they have.

I decided not to argue as their service is so crap anyway I’ve not been able to use it for years. Sad to see the best company in the UK turn into the worst. I won’t grieve for them though 🙂

Vodafone, Otelo, Ofcom and flying pigs.

Today I finally, after 5 months, got the response from Otelo that they promised last summer I’d have in 4-6 weeks.

When you have a problem with Vodafone, you contact Otelo who deal with it on your behalf. Ofcom don’t actually get involved at all. However your problem must have existed for 12 weeks before you can contact Otelo, (this is set to change to 8 weeks this year) and you must have used Vodafone’s internal complaints system. Well that part actually makes sense.

My basic problem is, my mobile broadband dongle with Vodafone stopped working very well, then stopped working at all last year. Between January and May I had problems which resulted in it being unusable. I was still paying the monthly fee the whole time. Vodafone sent me two new dongles, but as a program on Radio 4 recently highlighted, it’s the service itself that is at fault. They have basically oversubscribed their service, are not willing to invest anymore money in it, but are still actively selling the service. It’s not just me either. Visit Vodafone’s online forum and you will see hundreds of people with the same problem.

So after months of deliberation, Otelo has decided that even though I have constantly been paying my monthly fee, have had little service since Jan last year and none at all from May, their decision is that Vodafone should send me a written apology and refund me…wait for it…£30.

So as far as I am concerned, Otelo is just another paper exercise, same as the toothless trading standards and other useless organisations.

My advice to anyone suffering problems with Vodafone is don’t go down the complaints route you will get nowhere. Best just cancel your contract and go to O2 or Three both of whom offer a reasonable mobile broadband experience.

Mobile madness!!

Is it just me that finds the deals on mobile phones an utter maze?

My Vodafone (spit) PAYG SIM is staying for the evenings as it has stop the clock. So my rate is 20p per minute, so 60p gets me an hour. So, if I top up £20, I get 33.3 hours or 200o minutes for that £20. Assuming I don’t text of course.

So today I got an asda SIM. It works off the Vodafone network, but has a flat rate of 8p per minute all the time to everywhere.  So if you used 2000 minutes on that it would be 16,000p or £160. Mmmm.

So, use Vodafone SIM for the evenings for stop the clock, and the ASDA SIM for during the day at cheap rates. Seems like a good plan to me cos I have 2 phones.

Time’s up for Blunderfone

If you have a complaint with a mobile phone provider in the UK, you must go to Ofcom, who say there is nothing they can do so go to Otelo, who say you have to wait 12 weeks before they can do anything, that’s 12 weeks AFTER you have exhausted Vodafone’s own complaints department.

So finally the time is up and Vodafone have run out of time to respond to my official written complaint, this is about what was started in March of this year. Wow we consumers are really looked after hey?

Anyway so I rang Otelo who said, send us the letter you sent them, then we’ll draft a letter up and we’ll send it to you for confirmation, then you send it back and we’ll send it to Vodafone.

Kind of makes you think … consumer rights, yes it would be very nice to have some. Oh this by the way is the civilised Great Britain that we should all be thankful for living in because it’s so wonderful and modern and people are looked after.

Bollox.

Profit and power rules and everyone knows it.

I’ll wait with bated breath to see how long Otelo take to turn this around.

Another new hope?

I travelled down to Taunton in Somerset last night to Vanbitz, to get the Alden Netmaster fitted. For £3,500 this is billed as the best commercially available mobile internet you can get without being  a lottery winner. I went off on my bike while they fitted it, it took most of the day for some reason. But they said I could hang around for the night to test it out if I wanted to. Given the history of disappointment I’ve had from Datastorm I said I’d do that.

When I went to pay them the bank would not let me spend the £3, 250 owing, so I phoned Alliance and Leicester, knowing it was an unusual amount.  They said over the phone that they could not fix it cos it was some kind of error lol. It took me four attempts and about 20 minutes to finally pay them. Anyway, I tested it as best I could and it seemed to be quick and work fine. I really like the simplicity but I’d rather get off somewhere and test it properly so I prepared for an early start in the morning.

Yawn … satellite not working

Picture of colourfully painted shops in Llanberis
Llanberis

Well I’m having a fantastic time here in Llanberis, it’s a shame that the rig isn’t. It failed to connect yet again and Nick is now not answering his phone most times I call. Barry Lieberman still calls, to ask for his £70 a month connectivity fee.

Thank God for the Vodafone USB modem! It was supposed to be a backup but it’s my main form of communication with the internet and work now!
So much for Ethnet ‘guaranteeing’ to make things work. The fact that they won’t answer the phone anymore kind of says they’ve given up on it.

Anyway, this is a view of Llanberis high street, including the fabulous Pete’s Eats. If you’re hungry this is the place to go: real tasty food at reasonable prices. It get’s crowded in the season but well worth the wait. I can also recommend the Chinese takeaway across the road 🙂

Lochgilphead

As I said I’m in Scotland to see someone from this dating site I was a member of. Once again Vodafone totally screwed me over with the dongle, and after a couple of hours with CS a manager finally got it all sorted. Some sort of screw up with their admin grrr. This is getting too frequent and unreliable for work.

Anyway, I stayed around up here for a couple of weeks or so as it is a beautiful area. The person I visited has a loch side house and the views were amazing. Here’s one from her garden :

A picture of a sunset over a Scottish loch
Lochgilphead

“Can you imagine spending time here?” she asked. Dam right I can. This photo is taken with my Sony DSC-R1. This is without doubt the best camera I’ve owned.

Anyway, I stayed around for a while but I had to leave in the end simply because I was still failing to get a signal and work were unhappy. I hope to come back to Scotland though and explore somewhere. I absolutely love the place, especially the wild north.

Sick of the sight of Stoke now

Nothing personal, just that driving into Sandbach now reminds me of failure and the fact I face a day of listening to motor-whine as the dish goes round and round and round interminably without ever working.

Actually Musa had it working within half an hour of getting here. However he clearly doesn’t know what he’s done to get it working grr!

I wish I’d kept  a record of how much  diesel I’ve used continually coming back here.
Thank God I kept my Vodafone internet card. I’d be buggered without it!

Datastorm finally?

After many minor setbacks I have the final date for the Datastorm to be fitted, 9th December. It’s a lot of money but the thing is I have had none stop problems with Vodafone. I upgrade to the latest dongle, I keep my laptop in tiptop shape but, it constantly fails me and their customer service constantly makes mistakes. I was cut off not long ago because for some unknown reason they decided to apply a limit to my account. I rang and some person said it was a mistake and sorry I’ll take it off. Then later they blocked my access to the works website because it has links to gambling! Duh…it’s a bingo company! LOL

The connection is good usually but the constant problems mean it’s just too unreliable. The satellite system is £8,000 but not only do reviews say it’s reliable but the freedom it affords is fantastic as I can connect at broadband speeds anywhere in Europe! I can’t wait!

Happy Birthday to me

Happy birthday to me, 47 today 🙂

I’m not really celebrating, I am still in the Lake District and absolutely loving being here. Vodafone signal is iffy in most places, but never mind I’m managing. It’s very different to what I imagined, a little lonely today as there’s no-one to celebrate my birthday with, but hey ho I chose this life I can’t complain 🙂

Datastorm Freedom!

Well this is exciting. I’ve been using the Vodafone PCMCIA card that allows me to connect to the internet via the mobile phone network. It’s the new style card so I had to buy an adapter which cost £164! Vodafone are full of woes, their customer service is friendly but woefully useless. The service is very patchy, I hope it improves. However I’ve booked the van to get satellite internet fitted in November by a company in Stoke called Isatlan.

Datastorm satellite internet dishThis mobile internet satellite dish can connect to the internet from anywhere in Europe and even North Africa so I will truly be independent and be able to live in and work from the van, but also travel all over Europe too.

£8,000, yeah ridiculous money but you know, you only get one life, you have to make the most of it, so it’s about time I started living.

Exciting times, can’t wait!