Finally got my phone back from Vodacom… Thanks Helena and @UysPJ

Posted on August 8, 2011

My ongoing saga with Vodacom with respect to my faulty phone is now (mostly) resolved. Thanks to Helena and @uyspj.

Background for those who missed it :

  • Got a new HTC desire on contract during late May
  • It worked for +- 10 days then died
  • Took it back to Vodacare, they confirmed it was dead (at very least the battery was stone dead and couldn’t be “boosted”), I asked for replacement under CPA as I thought was my right, they said go back Vodashop
  • Vodashop manager was extremely unhelpful, said CPA doesn’t apply to them, and they don’t represent Vodacom
  • I left the phone at the shop (on the counter and walked out) after laying a complaint with Vodacare against the shop
  • Same day I laid a complaint on Hello Peter
  • Had various interactions with Vodacom people over two months, nothing useful – weeks would go by while they were “waiting for feedback” from someone else

I sent a twitter message to @uyspj (just one) who responded immediately. Thank you Pieter, I really do admire you for interacting with your clients and following through on your actions.

@uyspj had Helena call me the next day, she asked a whole lot of questions, I mailed through what I had and forwarded various SMS’s, Helena then followed up for me.

Summary of the outcome:

  • Helena couldn’t get a straight answer out of her own people everyone blamed another
  • The phone was supposedly never faulty “The technical staff could not find any error with the handset and therefore could not approve the return. ” and therefore I should have been able to collect it after 3 working days (yes 3 days)
  • However after 6 weeks “Vodacare have now ordered a new battery” was the SMS I had received (anybody notice the problem in timing?)
  • After the 8 weeks, Vodacare was waiting for me to collect, while the Vodacom rep was waiting for Vodacare to let them know?? (The Vodacom rep ignored SMS’s during weeks 7 and 8)
  • Helena could not explain why the 3 days vs 6 weeks story, nor any of the actions of the Vodacom staff

None of this gave me much confidence. Too many mmm, lies seem harsh, let’s call them discrepancies. Not enough accountability, and certainly none of “customer first” that seems to be missing.

Helena though to be fair was very helpful and tried to make right as best she could, so Helena :

  • Had my phone couriered back to me (was done within 3 days, would have been same day if I was home)
  • Sent the phone with a new battery (and the old one)
    • Aside – strangely the two batteries have different product codes, and a google search shows people complaining the battery with the old product code ( 35h00132-05m) doesn’t work properly while the newer one (35h00132-06m) seems better (read more here)
  • Promised I would get a second (working) battery, just no stock so I must wait for that
  • Gave me a credit for one month’s rental (still to be reflected on my account)
  • Answered my emails and questions as best as she could, though I didn’t get too many answers as to why things happened the way they did or about Vodacom’s view on CPA

In all of that, I didn’t get a straight answer on why Vodacom think CPA doesn’t apply. Well, Helena said CPA does apply, but they get the chance to assess the phone first (which is fair) and that within 3 days I must have the phone back if it isn’t faulty (they took 2 months). Also Helena couldn’t explain what would happen in my case where it took them 6 weeks to get a battery – even though the Vodashop (where I bought it) were still selling more of these phones (strangely enough – with batteries). Still lots of confusion, but I am thankful to Helena for the effort in (sort of) resolving my matter and getting me a phone back. If the 2nd battery and credit to my account materialise, then we have a reasonable resolution.

Thank you Helena, and thank you @uyspj.

If anyone from Vodacom reads this and is willing to give a proper answer to the CPA issue, I am more than willing to add it.


Poor HTC Battery Life

Before I get too excited though, I’m still not convinced the phone is working properly. On my flight over to London yesterday I switched the phone off before getting on the plane, it had maybe 40% battery. When I landed this morning the battery was dead and it wouldn’t turn on, which is just bizarre. I will need to do more testing (the same one that was tested for 2 months and no fault found).  I am charging it all of today, will turn it off and unplug it from the charger this evening and see what shows tomorrow morning. I will be more than livid if there is still a problem with the device. Will keep you all posted.

I am also trying the recalibration trick listed here :

This guy over here has an amusing solution, not quite what I had in mind when I bought the phone though :

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Categories: Consumer Protection Act, Gadgets, Pick On, Praise

One Response

  1. Vodacom vs the Consumer (protection act) - we lose, four nil |

    […] More than six weeks later (13 July 2011),  I still don’t have a phone (despite the store who sold it to me having stock).  Vodacom refuse to investigate the manager’s behaviour (oh, it is his word against yours) and refuses to tell me why my rights in terms of CPA are being ignored. Vodacom are continuing along their path of doing a repair despite all my objections. I was getting semi-regular updates (a Vodacom representative calling or sms’ing me every few days). I then called the Consumer Commission, they said I must put the complaint in writing. When I mentioned this to the Vodacom rep, I stopped getting the updates. As a last resort, I tweeted @uyspj who got someone on it and we have a (mostly) satisfactory resolution. Read about it here. […]

    03.08.2011 19:29 Reply

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