Different answers from every shop leaves Vodafone customer at wits’ end

Pricewatch: ‘On this occasion the customer experience fell short of our expectations,’ company says

Mary Goggin has been driven to her wits’ end over “a simple but important issue – a faulty phone bought from Vodafone in January 2022″.

She says “intermittent faults became obvious after several weeks [but it was not until] July before I spoke to the Vodafone customer service helpline. Since then I’ve been directed to Vodafone shops, back to the customer service line, back to the shops... I get a different answer at every step but always with the assurance that it will be fixed if I go to another outlet.”

Last month customer service told Mary she “simply had to go to my nearest Vodafone shop and all would be resolved – and helpfully offered to list all the Vodafone shops in the country. So I drove to the Vodafone shop in Douglas Shopping Centre on Friday, July 15th, to be told that they couldn’t handle this issue; instead, I should go to the Vodafone shop in the centre of Cork. However, there was no point in going to the Cork shop because ‘it’s Friday, and the engineer is only available Monday to Thursday’. (It wasn’t clear to me why it needed the ‘engineer’, but...)”

So she rang customer service again and was once again told that another journey to Cork was required.


She says that her ability to travel from Kinsale to Vodafone shops is “somewhat limited” as her husband is unwell and the couple are “both in our late 70s, [so] visiting shops is to be avoided where possible”.

But she went back to a Vodafone shop in Cork city where she was met with a whole lot of nos.

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“No, the engineer couldn’t (or wouldn’t) deal with ‘warranty’ issues – my phone would have to be sent to Dublin and I would be lucky to get it back in three to five working days. No, they couldn’t arrange a replacement phone (presumably Covid restrictions?). Because of our situation, we need phones available at all times. Thus, no resolution there either.”

She says she was told by staff at the Cork shop that “the information provided by Vodafone’s customer-service helpline was incorrect; further, that the information provided by the Vodafone shop in Douglas was incorrect. He told me that the Cork Shop could not assess the problem – the phone would have to go to Dublin. So, should I contact the Vodafone head office to resolve all these different messages?” she asked.

Another negative.

“No, they won’t help; the only way is through Vodafone shops. But I get different answers, depending on the shop – and so far, none of them can provide a fix. I should mention that my mobile, my husband’s mobile and our domestic wifi are all on contract from Vodafone – so much for looking after your customer. At this point, I’m left with no obvious way forward – no point in going to a Vodafone shop in Cork or elsewhere, no point in going to Vodafone customer service, no way of contacting Vodafone head office... and a dodgy phone under warranty, whatever that means. Can you help?”

We can certainly try.

We got on to Vodafone and hours later heard back from Mary.

“I’ve had a call from Vodafone customer service who were very helpful and have provided a sensible way through this mess. [They] will confirm the details later this afternoon, but the short point is that they will replace my faulty phone if I go to one of their shops (we agreed which one). I hope to get that done tomorrow. The mystery is why it was well-nigh impossible for me as an ordinary but long-standing customer to sort out any of this.”

We contacted Vodafone again and received the following statement.

“We are very disappointed to hear of the poor experience that [Mary] has had with us. At Vodafone Ireland, we put our customers at the core of everything we do and we strive to empower our frontline colleagues with the skillset and knowledge to demonstrate excellence in customer service in every interaction. However, on this occasion the customer experience fell short of our expectations and the standard we set. We have been in touch with [Mary] directly and the issue has been resolved. We are committed to undertaking a re-training exercise for our frontline staff, based on the learnings from this incident and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused.”