I have two phones on our account with Vodafone. I pay them about £65 a month to provide a mobile phone service. They don’t have a signal at my house although their website says they do. I decided I had, had enough of paying for something I don’t get, the same as people who do get it.
I rang them to explain that I would like to come to some arrangement as they are failing in the provision of their primary function. I could go to another provider but no one has a signal at my house so whats the point. I put it to them that some sort of financial discount would placate me as I didn’t feel it was right that a) Its 2011 and although I live just 40 miles from one of the worlds great communication centres and I had no signal but, for example, I could stand halfway into the Sahara desert and get a signal. b) They are charging me the same for something that I can’t use as they do to people who can use it. “It” is their primary function. This is not good enough.
So, the guy at the call centre said I had an excellent 2g signal, just stop my phone looking for a 3g signal and that would resolve the issue. I said I would and discovered this to be total bollocks.
So I rang back and a lady answered the phone with a classic. After holding for an interminable period, pressing half a dozen options and eventually getting a person, she clarified who I was as a customer and then came out with “So what can I do for you babe?” I was silent briefly and then asked her if she knew me. She pointed out that she did not and I enquired about the appropriateness of calling a customer “babe”.
I regaled my tale and her solution was to relieve me of a further £50 for a sure signal box. A signal booster. I explained that I felt that as it was they who were not providing me with a signal. Asking me for more money to do what I already pay them to do, but they don’t, wasnt really the way forward. She offered it to me for half price. I said that wasnt really the point! I rang off.
Later in the day I thought “oh bugger it” I’m never going to win I may as well just pay the £25 and be done with it. So I rang back. Got a very nice chap who agreed I had been dicked around and offered me a sure signal box for free.
It turned up a few days later, I followed the instructions, plugged it in and hey presto. it didn’t work. So I rang the call centre. They said Oh sometimes you need to change the port settings on your router (The sure signal plugs into your broadband router) . I said really, She said yes. You need to talk to your ISP she said. I spoke to Sky who emphatically informed me they do not provide support for other companies kit. (which is fair enough). So I went back to Vodafone. got through to tier 2 support, spent an hour on the phone with the delightful Lucy in the Egyptian Call centre. (Yes really) We went into the dark recesses of my PC and router dashboard to reset the settings and open the ports.
It wouldn’t work though. She said have a chat to the ISP as she was really only guessing on some stuff as she doesn’t actually work with sky routers as a matter of course. She was lovely though.
Then I spoke to Alan at second tier support at Sky. He couldn’t fathom why my router wasnt “seeing” the sure signal box. But we had a wander round some more dim corners of the PC’s innards. We even changed routers as I still had my old netgear one. Nothing ! Anyway I had to have dinner and a life so he offered to call back at 5.15pm the next day. Which he did. But we still couldn’t get it going. I spoke to Vodafone who gave up and said they would replace it with another one. So they did. I registered, plugged it in, turned it on and hey presto. IT WORKS !!
I now have 3g signal at my house