Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The Great Mobile Phone Saga

I hate mobile phones. And I hate Vodafone. Things are supposed to be very simple for people with contract phones and insurance; when your phone breaks they take it away and fix it. Apparently this is not the case. Vodafone have managed to mess me about, completely piss me off and leave me without my phone after a MONTH without it.

My phone died on Thursday; that is Thursday 29th FEBRUARY. I just plugged it in to charge it up that night and… nothing happened. Over the next three days it slowly lost battery with me completely unable to do anything about it. By the Saturday I knew I needed to do something about it, as I had just applies for a new job and my mobile is basically the only way anyone can contact me.

By this point we’d decided it was probably the battery, as the battery is only guaranteed for six months even though the phone is guaranteed for two years. Guess how long I’ve had it?

The simple answer would have been to take it into a Vodafone shop and get it fixed, but I can’t cos contract is in my mother’s name. And in any case, I needed a usable phone immediately, not in a week. So I’m running around Beeston trying every phone shop to see if they have a battery for my phone. The answer all round was that they don’t keep them in stock, but they could order one in, which would take about a week. Which was absolutely great because I needed it that day. The nice bloke in the Orange shop said that the Carphone warehouse might have one, but kindly neglected to tell myself (and my poor boyfriend, who’d been bullied into accompanying me) where the Carphone warehouse was. We finally got directions from a lovely woman in the cafĂ© we stopped off at for a cuppa because I was starting to get annoyed by this point.

Turns out that the Carphone warehouse was at leat a miles walk away. Definitely walkable distance if you’re not a cripple with a bad ankle and you’ve already been walking around for at least two hours. We got to the Carphone warehouse and waited patiently while the bloke sorted out some other person who didn’t seem to quite understand the process of buying a new mobile phone. When we finally managed to speak to someone it turned out that the DID indeed have batteries in stock. Hallelujah, problem solved! Except that they had a battery for my make of phone, but not my model. Apparently there is no such thing as a standard mobile phone battery anymore, despite the fact that is says STANDARD FUCKING BATTERY ON THE BATTERY FOR MY MOBILE PHONE.

At this point I was getting desperate. Fortunately Beeston has a cash converters so I nipped in there to buy a cheap, second hand mobile phone and a pay as you go sim card. At this point I was starting to feel relieved and went to let my potential employers know my new number.

I managed to register the sim alright, but nearly 24 hours later I still couldn’t text from it, as I’d not had my confirmation text. Getting ratty again, I turned the phone off and back on, and lo and behold, there was my text! Next problem; putting credit on the phone. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t register my e top up card, and I was apparently being charged for a call that was supposed to be free, which ate up the £1 credit I got simply for signing up. In the end I gave up and biked to Sainsbury’s for a voucher. Credit went on no problem and hey presto, a usable phone at last!

At this point I thought everything would be fine. I’d be home for Easter in less than two weeks and we could take it in to the Vodafone shop to get it fixed. No problems right? Little did I know my problems were only just beginning.

We took my phone into the Vodafone shop at home on St Patrick’s Day. Handed it over to the assistant, explaining what had happened. They booked it in and said they’d send it off for repair under the warranty. They said that it should be back on Thursday (20th March) but it might take a week. I’d get a text when it was back in store (not that they offered me a courtesy phone, I had to rely on putting my sim card into my mum’s phone every so often cos my emergency replacement was on orange and wasn’t unlocked). I went on my way and thought everything was hunky dory.

Thursday came and went. I thought that was okay, cos they’d said it MIGHT take a week. Monday came and went; they’d had it a week and still nothing. But we gave them the benefit of the doubt as it was the bank holiday. By this time by stop gap phone was on its last legs (that’s cash converters for you) and I was forced to dig up one of my old phones that was at least three years old just so I’d have a workable phone. By the time Friday rolled round and I’d still heard nothing, I was well and truly pissed off at Vodafone. Saturday (March 29th) we went back to the shop to see why they’d needed nearly a fortnight to sort out what I’d assumed was a simple enough problem.

Turns out that the repair centre had decided it was ‘customer damage’ and therefore not covered under warranty and they needed my permission to actually repair it. Except they’d not let me know that that was the case so I couldn’t give permission, and neither had they let the shop know. Cue a ginormous hissy fit that in the least persuades the shop manager to waiver the £40 repair charge that we should pay cos they decided the damage was my fault. So the shop manager sent off the email telling the repair centre to repair the phone and said it might be another week.

Today I got the text saying that the shop had received my phone back. Hooray, end of saga. Not by the look on the manager’s face when we walked into the shop. The repair centre had indeed sent my phone back; UNREPAIRED. Apparently they can’t read emails that say ‘PLEASE REPAIR’! The manager was obviously wary of another hissy fit as I now have £20 credit on my bill as well as a courtesy phone (finally, a phone that actually works.)

But yet again I have to wait a week to see if they are actually gonna fix my damned phone. Its not difficult, and its their bloody job. Suffice to say I now have the number for the Vodafone store so the next time I get a text saying my phone’s ready I can ring up and check it has actually been repaired. I am NOT happy with the service I have gotten from Vodafone (and d’you know what, I thin they could tell) but at least in the meantime I have a working phone.

So, in short, I am not happy with my phone for dying in the first place (although APPARENTLY it was my sodding fault anyway) and I am very nearly on the verge of hating Vodafone and every single person employed by them.

The only solution I see to this is to go out and get good and drunk. Thank goodness I’m off out tonight for a girly night with shwenny and our mothers.

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