Vodafone’s Customer Service: How I left them after nearly two decades

vodafone-evilThis will be brief. Something is wrong with Vodafone. I was one of the first Bell South customers in New Zealand and I have always been fiercely loyal to the company, but after recent experiences I’ve changed to 2 Degrees and I have to say, it’s been awesome.

It started late last month when 2 Degrees came out with new plans that basically would have halved my bill. In fact, for slightly less, I could get three times the data that I was getting from Vodafone. As you can imagine, I use a lot of data.

Surely Vodafone could match this miracle deal. In fact, once upon a time, Vodafone would call me proactively and ask me if I wanted to change to a cheaper, better, more fabulous plan, when they came out with them.

I tried to tweet them about the issue. Because up until about December last year (read their twitter feed) the Vodafone social media team were awesome. Several times I had tweeted them and they had DM’d me, called me, followed up, and made sure that I was looked after. So it was surprising that no response was too be had.

So I looked on their website and it did seem apparent that some new plans were available but I was still on the far more expensive old one. I couldn’t see how on earth to change my plan online, that seemed to be an inexplicable enigma.

Ok. So I had to call them.

Big mistake. After two or three attempts and waiting times that stretched into oblivion, I just gave up. If I am your customer I don’t want to be on the phone for more than fifteen minutes. Why is there no callback option?

So I logged a call. This is difficult I can tell you. You have to fight your way through the internet page to actually put a problem into their system.

I asked:

“Can you please advise the best plan that I should be on?”

After some indeterminate period of time I was advised to call them to discuss options. I wasn’t going to sit on hold anymore thanks.


  • I went to the 2 Degrees website and in about two minutes registered.
  • A couple of days later a sim turned up.
  • I plugged it into my phone.
  • I registered my number.
  • I swapped my number online.
  • I now get 8GB of data a month for less than the 2.5GB plan I was on with Vodafone.

All for want of some service.

And the 2 Degrees service is excellent. I’m getting 8GB’s of data a month (which rolls over if I don’t use it) and download speeds in Strathmore of nearly 40Mbs with upload of near 25Mbs.

I’m sold.


  1. Interested to hear how your voice coverage is with 2Degrees because I’m not far away too. Have also been a customer since the Bellsouth days and am near the end of the string because:-

    – they’re sending spaceships to mars but do you think you can hold onto a call going round Point Jerningham after god knows how many years

    – while its been better lately, calls have always been dropped on a regular basis and the “We’ve got no idea why sir:” response from their help desk is pathetic

    – loyal customers from the Bellsouth days get absolutely no special treatment or deals whereas anyone switching to VF used to get treated like royalty

    – and last but by no means least, everyone’s pet hate, their call centre (a term used very loosely). Its absolute rubbish and getting worse. Would love to see the wait time stats – would be horrific. Or the “lets pass them round different people til they hang up in anger” stat. FBk is full of horror stories eg. Kevin on hold for 221 minutes a few days ago.

    In the past their products were significantly better so you could absorb some pain but now there is some decent competition, watch out

  2. wow – an echo of my experiences. i was a BellSouth customer and went with Vodafone. two years ago i rang them and said “hey i see that you are offering all these great packages for new customers – what about me? what can you do for me?” um, er nothing as it transpires so i moved to 2Degrees. and have never looked back.

    i have stayed with Vodafone (transition from TelstraClear) re broadband and have wondered at my sanity. i have had occasion to call them several times in the last year and on one occasion spent close to 4 hours on the phone before i finally got some resolution. i have been double-billed, i have had problems with an old account still persisting on their records etc etc etc. at one point they had a “call back” service but i only experienced it the once!!!! never come across it again or since.

    as a brand practitioner and as a customer i am appalled at their service. their web site is a dog. they still have legacy stuff (operationally and finance) from the days of TelstraClear. it’s a frekkin’ circus, a joke

  3. The failings of Vodafone in New Zealand get mentioned anywhere service issues come up (at the cafe, on the bus, in the office). Horror stories like the evening shift in their Manilla call centre of six staff being over-stretched, under-informed, and leaving customers waiting on the phone while they take a break (over 40 minutes waiting). That happened to me. Emails that leave out attachments. Wrong contracts sent. Letters with information missing or wrong. Lack of text accessible information on the website. Inaccurate website information …

    I hear from different sources that Vodafone now operates in New Zealand as a shell company only with services and technology supplied by others e.g. Sky TV. The technology may work OK – or not- but the service and support aren’t there. Vodafone appears to have no interest in New Zealand as a customer base so no wonder people are going elsewhere.

  4. Another BellSouther gone to 2 Degreesl. Major billing stuff up on Vodaphone’s part. Not wanting to wait on the phone sent an email explaining their issues. Phone was cut off on Tuesday. After doing the obligatory 60 odd minute wait on the phone, the person said she could see what was wrong but she couldn’t fix it so would have to get the original person who setup the change to ring me in a few minutes. 2 hours later, walked out of 2Degrees with my original number, amazed how easy it was.

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