Vodafone’s useless customer service and fraud protection

If you’ve ever been the victim of an account hijacking, you’ll be familiar with this story. Essentially throwing a dictionary crack against a login isn’t exactly rocket science. And neither, it seems, is Vodafone’s fraud protection system.

To summarise, the Mrs has a Vodafone account that’s essentially for use by our daughter.

On Tuesday (22nd November 2011) we got a bill £200 larger than expected and after checking the on-line account discovered a new and totally unknown mobile number had been added.

Obviously we contacted Vodafone immediately. After 20 minutes of being on hold we got to speak to a moron in customer service.

“Let’s authenticate you…”

Account number fine.

Name fine.

Address… “Oh, dear that’s not the address we have on file” he says.

“Well, it wouldn’t be, because the account has been hijacked.” – Says the Mrs.

Then he refused to move forward.Because she couldn’t provide the “address” on the file.

Which is stupid in itself, because we called to say the accounts been hijacked and surely he could see the previous address.

So after the Mrs tried about 3 times to explain and eventually burst into tears I snapped and took the phone. Basically, if you want Vodafone to do ANYTHING, just threaten them with the Police. Because all of a sudden we had “alternative” security questions to answer.

After a major argument, we managed to get the whole thing put to the “fraud department” who isn’t “customer facing” and kicked off an investigation.

It was then explained to us TWICE that no further action or amendments could be taken on the account until it was sorted in 7 days time.  Which sounded fine to us

….. until today.

Because today we received an email welcoming us to Vodafone on our NEW phone.

Yep, you guessed it, our “locked account” had another bogus number on it.

So we called Vodafone again, this time they were even more useless and it took over an hour to make them even recognise that the new number is fraud also. They even gave us a number to the “fraud team” that called the main number instead. Because they are not “customer facing”.

Now you might think that logically the best solution would be close that account and create a new one. That way all the account data would be useless… you’d think that, right?

But that’s just not allowed, Oh No Matey boy! It seems Vodafone is happier to let fraudsters run up your bill, collect the cash and sort it out at their discretion, than it is keeping customers.

8 years ago we had a similar run in with T-Mobile, we’ve never used them since.

You know, you can tell a lot about a company when things go wrong. When my Apple iBook went “pop” years back, it took less than 48 hours to get sorted. I just dropped it off at a local “expert” (part of their service group) and had a call the next day. All sorted, new motherboard and they even cleaned it!

When my overworked MacBookPro had a similar incident, the same again. Polite, efficient, effective.

So when you face this amount of incompetence, inefficiency, stupidity and neglect; you are really being given a simple message.

We don’t care about you. We are only after your cash.

.. and if that’s their loyalty to us, then that’s our loyalty in return.

Accounts get hijacked, I get that. Given we shred everything and never give out details… I’m not sure how. But twice in a week and once after we reported the original fraud. You see my point is that after they “locked” the account, NOBODY should have been able to add to the account, not even us. So how was it done? Well, it “couldn’t be” according to Customer Service. Which is pretty funny, because IT WAS and presumably over the next few days IT WILL AGAIN AND AGAIN.

If ANYBODY knows of a good Mobile Phone company, please leave comments.

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