Vodafone has no one to blame


YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES:MICHAEL DOHERTY says he is extremely unhappy with a recent purchase from a Vodafone store but adds that his problem highlights the “no one is to blame” problem. He went to a Vodafone shop on Grafton Street in search of a replacement for his Nokia C3 handset. “I informed the sales rep that I wanted the same phone or as close as possible, emphasising that my main usage involved my work email.”

He paid €99 for a Nokia Asha 302. “This handset does not function properly with standard IMAP email accounts (it does not allow emails to be sent – this apparently is known, as there is a thread on the nokia.comsite about the problem).”

So he brought the phone back to the store and was told to contact Vodafone’s technical support, which he did. “The technical support rep told me that he could not understand why the phone did not work properly and referred me back to the store. The phone was sent away for inspection and came back as ‘no fault’.

“So, I have now a phone which does not do what I require it to, having been sold this by a Vodafone rep who assumed it would fulfil this function, and being told by Vodafone technical support that they cannot understand why it doesn’t work.

“The exact comment from the technical rep was ‘Where did you get this phone?’ I must now purchase a new handset apparently. I need the phone urgently for work but as soon as I get a chance I will be leaving Vodafone after approximately 15 years as a customer.”

Aer Lingus allowed for honest mistake

ALAN FAIRBROTHER read about Danielle O’Riordan’s disappointment with British Airways which charged her a big sum for changing a little mistake she made while booking flights online.

“I had a similar situation but a different outcome,” he writes.

Last September he booked this year’s holiday flights with Aer Lingus for what he thought were July dates but when he got the confirmation email he realised he had actually put in June.

“I rang their customer service helpline and the girl just changed the month – no charge, no hassle. Maybe there should be a 24-hour limit built in to some part of consumer law which allows genuine mistakes when booking flights like Danielle’s to be changed with no fee.”

Great leap forward on  travel card's time rule

AND ANOTHER follow-up from last week. A reader’s daughter who was using a Leap card to go from north Co Dublin to Greystones found she was double-billed for each journey because it took longer than 90 minutes to complete and once that 90-minute threshold was reached an additional fare was charged.

Our reader reviewed the Irish Rail timetable and discovered it was virtually impossible to travel from north Co Dublin to Greystones within 90 minutes – even if using Dart-only journeys rather than combinations of commuter rail and Dart.

A spokeswoman for the National Transport Authority contacted us last week and said the issue has now been addressed. The authority has been in touch with Irish Rail and modifications are being made to the Leap Card which should be in place, subject to testing, within two weeks.

Corner Bakery cake

LAST WEEK we carried a review of a chocolate cake from a bakery in Terenure. We loved it and gave it five stars.

So far so good. The only problem is we said it came from a place by the name of the Corner Café in the south Dublin suburb. We were half right. The name of the bakery is the Corner Bakery.

And did we say that was the only problem with our review? It wasn’t.

We put the price at €4 when the actual price is €4.95 – although the owners did say that following our review they were considering putting in on special at the lower price so as not to disappoint any readers who called in.

We should also point out that at €4.95 it would still have got its five stars.

Lost mandate

A READER called Leo recently changed banks and manually moved his current account from Permanent TSB to Bank of Ireland. “I set up a new direct debit mandate on the new BOI account so that the PTSB Visa was paid in full each month. I received a letter from PTSB Visa saying ‘DD’ had been successfully set up,” he writes. “There were sufficient funds in the new account to pay the mandate when it was presented, but subsequently BOI stopped the payment and imposed a penalty charge.”

He noticed and contacted both banks for an explanation. “Many phone calls and letters later, BOI state they had not received the physical mandate so they stopped payment and imposed a penalty charge. PTSB Visa charged a penalty and interest. BOI have refunded their charge but PTSB Visa have refused to refund any charges despite a letter from BOI stating the reason for non-payment was non-receipt of physical mandate.”

He says he now feels as if both banks are fighting amongst themselves and consider him an irrelevance. “Neither bank has offered an apology.”