Does Vodafone really care?

 

If you live in Mumbai, you’re one of two people. Either, you’ve been on Vodafone all your life, or you’re one of those who wanted Vodafone since a while but wouldn’t go for it because it was too expensive.

Nothing changed when Vodafone released it’s shiny new 3G Service. It was expensive, Rs.850 for 3GB? That sounded like madness at the time. Right?.. Wrong.

I thought the price was perfect. Why? This may sound callous, but it meant that the options above, stayed true. You either preferred Vodafone because it had priced itself higher than the competitors or you stayed away due to the price being too high.

People like me, willing to pay a marginally higher price for their magnificent network in Mumbai, profited. We got amazing 3G coverage and strength. The connection would never let you down. Always fast, always eager to refresh Twitter or Download that top 10 app. This holds true for even their 2G Network. It’s simply the best in Mumbai. If you want a reliable network for calls and texts, Vodafone can be your only choice in Mumbai. Nothing comes close.

Vodafone seemingly always cared about it’s customers, which made you believe that you’re spending your hard earned money wisely. Their “Power to You” campaign, seemed to reinforce that thought. Again, wrong.

They’re good. I’ll give you that. Maybe better than the other telecom companies as well. But the shit I’ve seen at their Customer Care centers, leaves a lot to be desired. They’re great to you, as long as you ask for something they’re willing to do. When you ask them anything which sounds remotely in favour of the customer and not Vodafone, they immediately shoot you down.

I’ve seen Vodafone executives in their stores grab collars of customers. I don’t care how much that customer may have verbally abused the executive, resorting to physical violence, isn’t the answer. It never was, and it never will be.

Here’s an example of what happened to me. I brought this up on Twitter around January this year. I needed a new MiniSIM for my shiny new Galaxy Nexus. Since I had cut my MiniSIM into a MicroSIM for my iPhone 4, because Vodafone, didn’t have MicroSIM’s for us when the iPhone 4 released. They really care right?

I went to the Vodafone store, of which the closest one to my house is 6.6km away. Breach Candy to Churchgate is no joke in the morning rush hours. I talked to this executive called “Kanaiya”, that’s what his name-tag said, anyway. Sweet guy, told me sweetly to go and get the proper documents.

The next-day, I did just that. Every document he had requested was presented to him. What does he say next?.. “Sir, this document is missing a signature!”. I calmly told him, that he didn’t ask for it. “It’s obvious!”, he replies. “Are you implying that I’m an idiot? I got you everything you asked for, now simply give me the SIM, I can’t waste days and days coming here for a simple thing as getting a replacement SIM, when the current SIM is with me!”.

He goes on telling me how he can’t do that because of a missing signature. I eventually got annoyed and walked off calling him an ‘asshole’ under my breath but just loud enough so that he could hear it. Why? Because he deserved it, as he was acting like one.

He retorted by saying “Hey! Don’t abuse, OKAY?!”  and a look at his security guard. Both, the size of an average girl by the way. I was with my friend, so I turned right around and ask him what he would do. Then he replies, like a little chump, “I won’t give you your SIM.” I just told him, that I’d like to see his kahunas when 2 Gold and 2 Platinum phone numbers leave his network, due to his stupidity. After which, the manager got involved and eventually, I got my new SIM.

All this, for a replacement SIM Card. Can you believe it?.. Neither can I. In hindsight, that should have been reason enough to leave this network. But alas, their 3G Network had my geek captured.

Why do I bring this up now, you ask?

Vodafone really cares about their customers. After Airtel cutting their 3G rates to rock-bottom prices, Vodafone followed suit. You can get a good 3G plan, which gives you 1GB of data transfer (enough for a normal person), for as low as Rs.250.

Request Timed Out.

Request Timed Out.

What does this mean? This means that Vodafone’s Mumbai 3G Network is now worse than AT&T.

1) If you work in Fort, Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Parel, Lower Parel, etc. Forget about 3G during work hours.

2) If you live at Breach Candy, Peddar Road, Bandra, Cuffe Parade, Malabar Hill, Nepean Sea Road, or just about anywhere in Mumbai, forget about 3G. Period. Go back to your Wi-Fi.

3) You can’t get a stable connection at any location during the day. Why?

4) Remember the times when you got 5-8mbps on Vodafone 3G? Forget about it. You’ll be lucky to get a connection now, and when you do, lucky to get 1mbps.

5) If you work mobile and tether. Forget it. I haven’t been able to get a stable connection for the last 2 weeks while travelling.

Why? It’s because Vodafone didn’t account for the influx of new customers, who pay a fraction of what we did when 3G just released and didn’t upgrade their towers, servers, backbone, etc.

Forever Connecting.

Forever Connecting.

What did they do to keep us old users quiet? Increase our data allowance from 3GB to 6GB. A very helpful move, if I could ever get a stable connection for over 2 minutes.

I woke up about a couple of hours ago, and I haven’t been able to refresh twitter or load one email for the past 3 hours, through Vodafone 3G.

I tried downloading the other day, and I kid you not, I got 30KB/s, which is 256kilobits, which is hopeless.

So yes, you still think Vodafone cares? Newsflash. No, they don’t and they never have.

 

What can we do about it?

1) Share this article as much as possible so we could get some sort of response from the higher ups at Vodafone about the situation.

2) Leave comments. I’d love to add more experiences to this article, so it can carry more weight.

3) Leave the network for greener pastures. Although, I don’t know what those really are.

27 Comments

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  • Indrajit
    July 4, 2012 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Why only Mumbai? Vodafone sucks in Kolkata too.
    I am fortunate that at least the service of BSNL 3G is not that subtle like Vodafone. I agree they have insufficient technical knowledge with their customer care. But wehy fear when Google is here to support me. I ha happy with BSNL 3G. At least it serves me a wider range.

    Well, can someone please ask vodafone zoozoos to stop producing kids and focus on performance? :D

    • Ad1tya
      July 4, 2012 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t have much of an idea about Kolkata.

      I live in Mumbai, hence I can only talk about that.

      Interesting to hear that it sucks in Kolkata too.

  • vijay kumar
    July 4, 2012 - 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Karma is a bitch, whatever you do ..three times worst comes to you, let karma take its course

  • Ronald
    July 4, 2012 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Bang on. I was happier before, paying the old 3G rental because the speeds were impressive. Now, it almost takes me up to my Dial-up days..

  • somnath
    July 4, 2012 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    yah bsnl3g in kolkata is good

  • Prathamesh
    July 4, 2012 - 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I have been facing similar issues. When faced with such an issue, I just reboot and get some pretty good speeds for a day or so… Then have to reboot again as the network just starts lagging…. Latency is a bitch alright….
    Regarding the customer service guys… As much as possible, I try my best to avoid the stores and people contact with the Vodafone guys, even if I have to buy something new. They just stuck, impolite to the core… They lack basic manners… Also they don’t know a lot of things about their network and many other technical terms as well….

    • Vipul
      July 7, 2012 - 12:17 am | Permalink

      99% of the times a reboot = flight mode on-off for a mobile network.
      So just toggle flight mode off then on instead of rebooting everyday.
      It works for me :)

      • Ad1tya
        July 7, 2012 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

        You’re lucky if that works for you.

        I’ve tried it, it’s a hit and miss, mostly a miss.

        For the past two days, Vodafone 3G hasn’t worked at all for me. I don’t know what. The said on twitter that it’ll be fixed in 4 hours. It’s been over 24 hours now.

  • Roshni Devi
    July 4, 2012 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Vodafone? And bad service? You’ve got to be kidding!

    They were so nice that they charged my Dad roaming for his calls in Ambernath (suburb of B’bay)! And then when i called customer service complaining about it, the guy on the other side listened for a minute, got bored and said, “Madam iss baat mein hum aapki koi sahayta nahi kar sakte. Dhanyavad,” and hung up.

    Oh and they also share the joy of their banshee-cry-tune by making it your caller-tone and charging you for it every month without ever asking your permission.

    They also love asking for documents for every goddamn thing. And once you get the documents, they remind you of the signature you need AFTER your 3rd round at their office. They miss your pretty face, yes they do. That’s why they’ve asked for my documents almost thrice in the past 5 years

    You call THIS bad service? You don’t know customer service till it smooches you in the face. After bath salts.

  • July 4, 2012 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Your complaints are about 3G. I have been complaining to Vodafone for the past 3 years about network to make and receive calls. My network outside is superb, however, bring any Vodafone number to my house and it starts behaving like a baby learning to talk, all noise no actual words. You can see the network bars on your phone but to make and receive calls or send and receive msgs is a b***ch!!

    I think Reliance is a super option to switch to when it comes to network, or even prices for that matter. Drawback: Customer service — leaves much to be desired! :S

  • Akshay
    July 4, 2012 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Vodafone has turned to shit. That’s a fact, and unfortunately it’s thanks to all of us. The “Loyal” customers, who take every type of shit thrown at them (me included). If I start listing the issues I have faced with i’ll probably end up writing an article twice as long as yours. I cant even receive calls in my office anymore. I need to step out of my cabin for every call, with a small prayer that the caller will be able to hear my voice. I have about 25 numbers of vodafone that I am willing to port. Any suggestions?

    • Ad1tya
      July 4, 2012 - 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Reliance cares about corporate customers a lot more than Vodafone. Most offices I know are on Reliance.

  • July 4, 2012 - 6:03 pm | Permalink

    I recently tweeted about Vodafone charging postpaid customers Rs. 200 more than prepaid ones of the same BlackBerry plan in Bombay: https://twitter.com/kapoorchetan/status/219029705481912320

    Their explanation: “Oh, we offer postpaid customers 1GB of _free_ Vodafone Live through which they can browse the Internet without any charge, and also watch videos on YouTube.”

    Do they mention this difference on their website/plan page? NO.

    Do they offer the same prepaid plan _sans_ 1GB of Vodafone Live for postpaid customers? NO.

    Don’t you see how much they care already?

  • July 4, 2012 - 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Beautifully put Aditya. You have echoed every major gripe, that i have had with this blasted network for the past year now. There is really nothing for me to say, that you have not already mentioned, every fucking thing wrong i could think off.

    Oh and this latest business of not getting any connectivity at all? It’s now really nasty. Outages for hours. Zilch connectivity driving from Neapean sea road to Dadar. Data drop offs invariably at Worli Naka, like just now at 645 pm.

    The worst part is as horrible as they are, Airtel 3G is even worse. It’s coverage, backhaul and latency are terrible. The only reliable provider i found is Reliance 3G and their billing is a total mess. No real options available.

  • July 4, 2012 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Very well said, I have a Vodafone connection and it makes me feel that I would have been better off with a landline connection rather thn this idiotic thing. I have taken the 3G connection, and since I activated that I have been literally using my phone as an iPod. Oh and while travelling there isn’t a since call that doesn’t get dropped throughout the city of pune. Thankfully I never listened to my friends and did not discontinue my original idea number, on which by the way the 3G is on the whole day. It is not as blazing fast as Vodafone but it is reliable and stable. I get a very smooth flow of 3G no matter where I am in the city and face nothing more than 20% call drops at the max. I would recommend all to stay away from Vodafone their service is as ugly as cute their ads are.

  • Govinda Choudhary
    July 5, 2012 - 5:03 am | Permalink

    I had migrated my postpaid vodafone connection to a prepaid one as, i was getting charged for fake subscritions/ services (which i never subscribed for). The new sim was given and i was told that it would take 24hrs to activate however, it took more thn that, it took a week and even after calling them sevral times and visiting their 3 stores malad, mira rd, bandra.. The prepaid sim was nt activated and i was still getting billed on postpaid sim and started getting collespction calls even after paying all the dues before migrating to prepaid.. After fighting with mira rd manager for an hour the # gets activated still after 8 hrs .. This is vodafonels service.. I hate vodafone to th core, this is nt the only incident of their disasterous services.. I hav loads of them..

  • Govinda Choudhary
    July 5, 2012 - 5:09 am | Permalink

    Vodafone and Loop both have some tie ups. These are the only 2 networks who bribe the telecom ministry i guess big time. As only these 2 networks charge roaming after Bhayander on Mumbai western line. None of the other network providers charge and thats the way it should be i guess as even after crossing Bhayander you dont cross Maharashtra and if i am incorrect then why dont they othr networks charge roaming?

  • July 7, 2012 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Just got my new Vodafone SIm card especially for 3G services as I work while travelling and use the hotpsot feature on my phone. Was really looking forward to use 3G. But there has been no 3G network on my phone. Why should I pay premium 450 bucks for a normal 2G connection. I can get the same speed for 98 Rs. I really think VOdafone should solve this problem or else we should attack them on every social network and make people leave their services, then maybe they will understand.

  • Abhishek
    July 7, 2012 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I have faced similar issue with Vodafone 3G in Pune. The 3G network is very fluctuating. Call drops are regular. Complained many a times but their standard reply is we are looking into this or the area is not covered. Due to this deactivated 3G and moved to 2G …

  • July 7, 2012 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Hello Ajit,

    Please share your contact number with us at http://bit.ly/NcLfE0 and we will get back to you with assistance.

    Regards,
    Vodafone Customer Care.

    • Ad1tya
      July 7, 2012 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

      You don’t have to reply multiple times. Once is good enough.

  • July 7, 2012 - 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Hello Ad1tya,

    Kindly share your contact number with us at http://bit.ly/NcLz5J so that we can assist you further.

    Regards,
    Vodafone Customer Care, Mumbai.

  • July 9, 2012 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hello Abhishek,

    Please share your number here http://bit.ly/LIiCMy and we’ll get back to you soon to address your concern.

    Regards,
    Vodafone Customer Care

  • Rajesh Sinha
    December 11, 2012 - 9:10 am | Permalink

    Need to get 3 USB connections of 3G for my client in Pune. After reading the comments above I am going to recommend DoCoMo 3G to them.

  • Ankit
    March 18, 2013 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I work in Churchgate area . . and I have thr Rs 375 3G plan which gives me 1.5 GB per month.My connection is postpaid with average monthly bill of Rs 2000. But problem from Monday to Friday between 9 AM to 5 PM is that I am not able to connect to 3G, forget abt surfing and downloading. I am a big cricket fan and cricinfo is blocked in my ofc :( and this 3G sucks so much that i cant even even check score. I went to same infamous churchgate vodafone store and told them my problem . I am very busy during office time, so I went after office hours. First they gave me a token and after 30 min when my number came that guy said he cant help me as it is 3g related to issue. I have to go to a different counter which is dedicated to 3g. And that counter had some a long queue. I asked him that I already wasted 30 min, so u should resolve my problem or at first place u should have redirected me to that counter. This is after I explained my issue to store manager before taking token. And that idiot redirected me to diff counter. Finally after an hour my number came (OH How lucky I was !!). But that guy listened my issue and gave me dirtiest look possible and said he is hearing this kinnda problem for the first time. And i should bring my phone during office hour when this problem is occurring. I replied that I am busy during office hours and i cant come. So he said that he cant help. To which i said then i might have to switch to different operator and he replied you are welcome to do so. WOW . . Amazing reply. May this is thr strategy to reduce number of customers to improve service quality. But pity is I dunn know which operator I should go to as Voda is best of the worst :( :( Please give feedback abt 3G services of Airtel or Odea Or BSNL as i am desperate to switch.

  • Vishal
    June 4, 2013 - 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I am experiencing this in Goregaon area. Infact entire stretch from Goregaon West Ram mandir road till Oberoi o JVLR is like this. here the 3G connection does not last for even a minute and it comes back after 2-3 minutes. So you are forced to use only 2G while paying for 3G service. In Hiranandani Powai thier 3G is slower than 2G. When I compained few weeks back thye said they would survey and correct the issue. 7-8 weeks later no change. Now one of thier store guy tells me there is no 3G site planned in that area hence service will not improve. So I put a port out request than I get flurry of calls promising improvement. But nothing happens. Spent 65 minutes once to explain the problem to dumb call centre people.So now I am porting out. At least hope to get 3G service if not better customer service.

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