Vodafone's dubious dongle disaster causes despair

20 September 2010

Bitterwallet - VodafoneAnother day, another complaint about Vodafone, this time from avid Bitterwallet reader Antony:

After the whole FUP cap a few months back I was delighted to cancel not only my mobile contact, but also my Vodafone wireless Internet. When I cancelled my Vodafone dongle, I was advised that the internal SIM had been switched from a rolling contract SIM to a pay as you go SIM. Vodafone Customer Services advised me by email the following:

"The procedure to cancel your Pay Monthly account and transfer the number to pay as your [sic] go is that you need to give 30 days cancellation notice. I have considered you [sic] email as a cancellation notice. I'm pleased to let you know that as per your request, I've scheduled your mobile number to get transferred to pay as you talk on 09/09/2010."

The agent then went on to describe how I could continue to use it should I wish to, so long as I topped up.

Now either I am not as tech savvy as I thought or that email is deliberately deceiving. As I understood it, I could continue to use that same dongle and SIM on a pay-as-you-go basis. Tesco kindly confirmed this for me in store yesterday when I bought a £15.00 top-up voucher with cash to pay for a month of would-be delightful dongle usage for my dear mother, as she is going into hospital today to have a long awaited and rather serious operation.

After a whole night of messing with the dongle, I'd had no luck and even less sleep. On calling Vodafone in the morning, I was informed the SIM in question is no longer fit to use in the dongle. Neither, coincidentally, is my dongle fit to use at all. The plan the rep switched the SIM on to was a mobile phone PAYG plan.

Vodafone will not refund my £15 credit since I purchased using cash, and they want me to fork out £20 for a new dongle. They have no sympathy nor understanding of the situation. They didn't even apologize for the deceiving email from one of their agents that kicked it all off.

Has anybody else been told a similar story when cancelling a Vodafone dongle? Was there more than a little ambiguity concerning your concellation email? Or is it a simple mistake by the Vodafone rep, one that involved cutting and pasting the wrong stock reply? Let us know.

TOPICS:   Gadgets   Mobile   Consumer Advice


  • CompactDistance
    'Pay as you talk' didn't give a clue?
  • Vodafone L.
    Just batter them. They are in the wrong & know it & more than likely legally in the wrong for something like Sales of Goods & Services.
  • spyewk r.
  • Tim
    Take it higher. Just because it's cash is no excuse. They have all the evidence in their system about the SIM, who it's registered to, how much was paid and (hopefully) the support calls made. The requirement for a receipt or likewise is rubbish. If you have the goods and can prove it's from them (it's got their name on it!) then you are entitled to a refund if they've messed up. Contact Trading Standards also.
  • dunfyboy
    The pricks from T Mongo must be working for Vodafone now, given the poor English. As for the no refund policy, Virgin Mobile are even worse. Refused to refund me for 2 £20 PAYG top up cards that didn't work. I wouldn't piss on Branson if I saw him on fire. Unless I could piss petrol.
  • CompactDistance
    Vodafone haven't sold him anything, he paid cash for a top up from a shop.
  • Jack T.
    @CompactDistance So the shop just kept the money then? You don't think they had to hand over any of it to Vodafone? I think I'll set up a shop doing half price mobile top-ups in that case.
  • sirensammy
    I am said mother in the above article now sitting in my hospital bed having purchased a dongal that does work vodafone has sold him something that being the dongle and the £15 cash he paid to vodafone in the form of a top up voucher doesnt matter where he bought it from its still a vodafone voucher the above statement is i have to say ridiculous ......
  • andy
    I have had this but i believe that Vodafone can not migrate any customers at all over to the Dongle plan even if you are a current PAYG customer on Vodafone so the only way to get that plan is by purchasing one of their PAYG dongles, as you bought the topup via a different retailer then i would imagine your beef is with them to get the money back unless you have spent it. Did you specifically state that you wanted to move to a PAYG Data package or did you not mention that when cancelling? If they advised you that you would be moved over to a PAYG Modem package then i guess they are obliged to organise that for you especially if they have notes to that fact somewhere.
  • Zefal
    Vodafone don't actually supply PAYG sim cards only (apparently), every SIM that is PAYG 'internet dongle' comes bundled with their crappy PAYG dongles. Had this trying to activate a vodafone SIM shipped with Dell laptop. They wouldn't put it on PAYG tariff, and said SIM was invalid.. Customer services refused blankly that any Dell deal existed or to put SIM on internet PAYG tariff. They wanted us to pay for more PAYG dongles and SIMs together... but we already had integrated 3G cards in Dell laptops... Luckily, this was work related and my company uses vodafone as mobile provider, and after threatening to leave and going high enough, SIMs were put on PAYG tariffs...so their systems are able to do such things(change SIMs to any tariff they wish), they just don't want to.. my advice would to keep asking to speak to managers that actually have authority. I spoke to a director of something in the end and he couldn't have been more helpful if he tried, once he knew he could be losing out on hundreds of thousands of pounds of business.. not that we would have moved anyway.. because such a migration project is far too costly and time consuming. Same stands true for refund, they have to refund you, you just need to go high enough and complain enough, which is fine with vodafone as customer services number is free from vodafone phone.
  • Kevin
    My mum has had exactly the same problem, shes been promised her contract dongle would be switched to pay as you go. Then when she has topped up the dongle will not connect to the internet!! Shit service and basically vodaphone customer service agents are full of crap. they do not know what there talking about and have caused lots of stress through there constant lies!!
  • BillyB
    I've been told by Vodafone that I cannot use a Contract dongle for PAUG and I have to buy a new dongle. Is this True? I've also been told that a dongle issued in the UK cannot be used in Portugal and I have to buy a new Portuguese dongle. Any truth in this? I have two contract dongles that are now redundant; are they any good for anything ???
  • charlotte l.
    i brought a vodafone dongle about a few months back iv put about 50 pound on altogerther and everytime iv used it its lasted for 2 hours and u call ur self good service for dongles

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