Saturday, 6 August 2011

Vodafone says I do not have an online Account

Why am I posting this?

I have an issue which Vodafone is unable to rectify properly and their solution is not acceptable to me. Their "email us" link is a web form(Vodafone thinks a FORM is an email) which has a limitation on number of characters that I need to explain the problem. Their Customer Service executives are not competent enough to understand the complexity of the situation and are unable to escalate this problem to a relevant department. I have even been cut off after being told that the systems are not working only to call back immediately and find out that the other executive was in fact lying.


What's the issue?
I have been a Vodafone UK Customer for over 2 years now. I had a 24 Month contract with them which ended this May. I have an online Vodafone account that was associated with this number which I can still login. This number is obviously mapped to my gmail account. The only email account that I use(apart from my work one). Before the contract ended, I got a second contract in my name as an anniversary gift for my wife. This number is now shown in this account. The day after the main contract ended I upgraded to another 24 month contract. So now I have 2 numbers which are both displayed on the online account that I have with Vodafone. However, I do not see the bills for these online. When I contacted Vodafone Customer Care(191) they claim that I do not have an online account. Well How can I login then?

What's Vodafone's Solution?
Since I felt I was overcharged for the past month, I needed to see the Bill online. Since this is not visible, I requested for the PDF version to be sent to my email which they have registered on their system. They say they can't do that? May be Vodafone is living in the early 90s when PDFs were not so common. So they are sending me an itemised list but I am being charged for it.(Wasn't aware of this till I got a text after 3 days of the request). To be able to see my bills online, Vodafone wants me to create another online account for each of the phones.

The online form asks me for my email address and it won't except my email address as it is already registered on their system. So it means I have to create another email address for each of my Phones and remember those email addresses and passwords and the corresponding Vodafone account details for them. Why should I do it if I already have an online account which lists both the numbers that I currently have? Do companies that have a 100 numbers registered with Vodafone create 100 email addresses and Online Accounts to see their bills?

What proof do you have that you have an online account?


The following snapshots demonstrate that I have my online account which shows the numbers that I have. Note that I have hidden parts of my active numbers and other sensitive informations.

This is the snapshot of the account when I login. Note that it shows the current Price Plan which my wife is on. The one that I gave her as our anniversary gift. So Vodafone knows this account holder has this Price Plan. Sweet, but how come they say this number is not registered online?


The is the My Devices page of the account which lists the 2 Phone Numbers that I currently have active. The devices page allows you to add the device that you are using with the phone. It allows us to choose it. Strangely, Samsung Galaxy S II is missing from the list.

This is the page for the Phones and Plans that I have. Check the Drop down in My Account section. It lists both the numbers that I have active. Vodafone claims these phones are not registered to any online account. How do I see them here then? Is that Magic? Did the numbers come here out of no-where? Do you just put phone numbers into random accounts for fun?


Now this is the Bills Section. Look I got a bill worth £32.29. the numbers that are marked out are account numbers and not cellphone numbers.


So let's see what this bill is about, shall we? Oh, look! This is a bill from the Month of May for the old contract. The phone number clearly visible, 07983364744. This number now no longer exists, because Vodafone failed to turn this into PAYG at the end of the contract as I had requested. Now, neither the Contract Team nor the PAYG team knows where the number is. May be it got suck into the Blackhole they are trying to create at CERN.

The online account shows the old expired number as my contact number. So I decide to change it to point to the current active number that I have on me all the time. The form is correctly filled but I get Validation Errors. No suggestion what so ever as to what is wrong.

What should Vodafone do for you?
I am a single entity. I can have multiple numbers in my name. Hence it should be  possible for me to view all the details of the numbers I have in one single account.

Now one asks you to make 2 Driving Licenses if you have two cars. No one asks you to make 2 Passports if you have Visas for 2 Countries. Even my bank is capable enough to list my Current and Savings account under my single online Banking account. Google allows you to use all their services with one single account. So which world is Vodafone living in? Update your systems and give me the right to see my itemised bills online or send them to me on a monthly basis by e-mail. I do not want to be charged for receiving them by Post and I do not want to have more trees felled for sending me a paper statement(or a paper itemised bill)

If you know of any high level Vodafone Executive, Manager, or even the CEO, point them to this blog post and help me get this resolved.

I have called up 3 times now trying to explain the situation to the Customer Service Agent and they never seem to give the right solution or find an account associated with them.