Vodafone's Legendary delay over HTC handset issues

Bitterwallet - Vodafone logoAvid Bitterwallet reader Brian has been in touch about our dear friends at Vodafone, and their less-than-satisfactory efforts at solving an issue affecting potentially thousands of customers. As Brian explains on his blog:

I’m on the Vodafone network and had been using a good – if now long-in-the-tooth – Samsung Jet handset. I thought that with my upgrade looming I’d get myself an Android phone, rather than an iPhone - I plumped for the HTC Legend. To get it I had to up my tariff by a tenner a month to my absolute upper limit of what I wanted to pay each month but that I did.

While I’m impressed by the phone’s build quality and looks, I’m less than impressed by the phone’s performance. The Android OS itself is fine, but the Legend suffers from a really crappy signal, which, going by the Vodafone forums isn’t an isolated issue.

44 pages of complaints by other users of the HTC Legend with a similar story to tell; that the phone has an antennae fault that causes poor reception, signal loss and an inability to stream data at any reasonable speed.

The thread in the Vodafone forum was started on 21st April - so over six months ago. What are Vodafone doing about it? Nothing, it seems, apart from continuing to promise that staff are looking into the issue. Fixes have been suggested, from software updates to elderly SIM cards, yet none seem to restore signal speed and data connectivity. And according to forum posts, Vodafone have also been cherry-picking reviews of the handset left on their site, by moderating many that mention the problem.

The CEO's office has recently stated that after comprehensive testing, "the Legend did not react any differently to any other smart phone in these conditions", despite dozens of customer comments to the contrary - all those customers who bought the Legend and used it in all the same locations on the same network as their previous handset, are all wrong.

And because Vodafone say they can't find a fault but are still investigating, they're refusing to allow customers to exchange handsets without charge. The circumstances make it impossible to reach a deadlock situation with Vodafone, because they haven't reach any conclusions about the issue.

Vodafone have been investigating this issue for six months and are still stonewalling Brian and other customers, who have posted nearly 900 posts in the official forums, which have received 90,000 views. If you own or have owned a HTC Legend, have you experienced any issues with it? Let us know in the comments.


  • Dave T.
    I have had similar issues with Vodafone about my legend and gave up on them after arguing with staff down the phone. They wouldn't admit anything to me and were unwilling to help. This isn't the only problem with the legend either, they sent out a faulty OTA update too which caused other faults. I believe there should have been a product recall but you may as well bang your head against a wall with vodafone! I have now removed the vodafone software from my phone by rooting it, my phone is performing alot better now, but this had invalidated the warranty. I will see out the rest of my contract with vf, which is another 16 months as I love the phone, it's VF that I detest! I will never go with or recommend VF ever again!
  • Daniel Z.
    Erggg... If only they hadn't got away with that £6bn tax dodge maybe we'd have seen the back of this bastards already :(
  • Exasac
    We have just transferred carriers from 3 to Vodafone after being informed that 3 has been bought by Vodafone and the 3 brand will be closing down. As part of the transfer we have purchased 6 new HTC Legend phones for our business. As with most of the forums, I feel the phone is brilliant and the functionality fantastic. However, we also have the reception issue and some of our staff cannot get any signal, which is starting to affect our operations. Vodafone never mentioned anything about these known issues and are not really interested either.
  • Brian
    I'm still having problems with the phone despite my blog entry, and thank Bitterwallet for highlighting the issue. I've tweeted the link to this post and tagged @VodafoneUK for them to see it... http://twitter.com/VodafoneUK/status/29375058630 "@Brian_Healy As soon as we have any more information we will update the thread on the forum ^AW" - vodafone Web Relations team. Clearly they are still trying to stonewall the issue and have either not bothered to read this thread, or have missed the point entirely.
  • Kip
    Well Exasac whoever told you that was talking bollocks - T-Mob and Orange are merging, nothing like that happening with 3 UK and Vodafone, there was a rumour, but nothing more.
  • ebbwboy
    I had a Legend from June - August, after numerous complaints to customer services, the CEO's office agreed to exchange it and they sent me a Nexus One. They said that some customers had reported an issue but they were still investigating the issue. I think I was lucky, my persistence made them exchange it. Some other forum posters were also offered exchanges. Have since cancelled my contract, penalty free, when they tried to introduce added data charges by the back door. Got my Nexus One and £150 quidco after only paying contract for 5 months. No profit from me to avoid pay tax on.
  • dbCEO
    I bought the Legend the day after it was released, and thought it performed fine as I had it as my personal phone and a Blackberry Curve 8900 as my secondary device for work, email, etc. I stopped using my Blackberry in August and from then on had to rely entirely on the Legend, which is when I started to notice these issues. I live in what Vodafone call a 'very good' area for 3G, but in the house I get GPRS which is understandable, but the minute I pick my phone up off the desk signal drops to nothing and takes about five minutes to regain a pathetic two bars of GPRS, before it randomly disappears again. I've been onto customer service for the past three months, not getting anywhere, so I've decided to wait for the Android 2.2 update. If this doesn't solve things, then I've already confirmed with Vodafone that I can sell my Legend and I'll pick up a nice Blackberry Bold to use on my contract instead.
  • klingelton
    there's a problem with the handset. Should HTC not be contacted here? they designed and built the thing. Honestly, why is there such a slating of Voda on at the moment. They suck donkey balls, but should only be accused of things that are their fault. or is this simply a case of throw enough shit and some will stick?
  • Paul M.
    I agree with the previous comment that HTC should also be taking some of the flack here. They built the handset and released the dodgy firmware update to Voda. However, Vodafone are being very, very bad at not getting back to customer on this topic. I've had a legend for a while now (after sending back my Sony Satio due to signal and software problems) and if it wasn't for the dodgy signal and bad firmware (plus lack of 2.2 update) I've be really happy. However, I'm not and won't be renewing. Ever. Back to Orange for me!
  • Ten B.
    [...] Vodafone’s Legendary delay over HTC handset issues [...]
  • J G.
    I agree with last two comments. I would say that any large multinational organisation is too big to cope with the average Joe Bloggs well, but that should be a major opportunity for its competitors. I rarely get anywhere with Vodafone, and have been with them for years. If Vodafone continues in this way, then there's a chance consumers will move in droves to other better and more customer focussed providers. If updated Android 2.2 (froyo) is the last perceived way forward to remedy network reception issues, and is installed in other phones (such as HTC Desire), why the feck haven't HTC pulled their digits out of their backsides and released it???? In an age where we can: fly to the moon, travel through air at over 600mph, invent pharmaceuticals to save thousands of lives, surely they have the 'know-how' to sort this faecal matter out? Or if it is the responsibility of the network provider...why haven't they done it?...Oh I forgot....it's Vodafone.....well we're all fecked then. New handset anybody?
  • David
    I've done some digging and have found a solid way to get the signal back or at least tested so you know it's the phone construction that's at fault. Have a look at the post here http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/t5/Legend/HTC-Legend-Antenna-issue/m-p/636947

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