Worst Company of 2009 - Vodafone v O2

worst 2009 It’s the end of the week and also the end of the first round of voting in our seemingly-endless Worst Company In Britain 2009 contest. Don’t worry – like an advent calendar, it’ll all be over by Christmas Day and there’ll be no cheap and nasty chocolate to scoff on the way.

We end the first stage with another phonedown showdown – today’s grapple of crapness is between Vodafone and O2. Perhaps you’ve never used either company and couldn’t give a toss. Perhaps you want to vote for O2 out of spite because they brought the iPhone to the UK. It’s entirely up to you, but you’ve only got until midnight.

You can find out who came out on bottomthe rest of the round one results here. Plus, owing to popular demand, there’s a picture of a large giraffe hanging about shamelessly outside a Travelodge here.


  • Nobby
    O2 give me cheap fast home broadband, so I vote for vodafone.
  • The B.
    Hmmm, why are either of these in there? Are you just listing all of the Telcos? I've got a Blackberry on Vodafone and an iPhone on O2 and both do as they say on the tin, although the iPhone's a PoS, the network is fine.
  • Spark
    My girlfriend's contract phone broke through bad design and O2 refused to do jack shit about it, they wouldn't even provide her with a cheap courtesy phone, however they still wanted a cancellation fee to terminate the contract, so for that, I'm going with O2. They deserved a real bollocking for that monopoly stunt they pulled over the iPhone as well. Personally, I use Vodafone and have done for a few years without any real trouble.
  • BecauseOfBoxingDay
    Monopoly stunt :D :D :D :D :D Bad design :D :D :D :D :D Vodafone :D :D :D :D :D
    The Real Bob is clearly a nob. The o2 data network has been up and down this year more than your mums knickers, and that takes some doing.
  • James
    Having been with Orange and Three, O2 are the best provider ever in my opinion. Don't really have a problem with Vodafone either.
  • A B.
    I left Vodafone and joined O2 this year, after 3 years Vodafone had to offer me upgrade deals that are WORSE than ones available to new customer. FUCKING WANKERS.
  • Stephen B.
    I have had the worst service ever with o2, they cut me off while i was climbing a mountain. They have over billed me, underbilled me, taken double direct debit and cancelled a bolt on without asking. Thanks o fucking 2
  • Paul S.
    @The Real Bob - the Telcos are in here because people voted for them. That's how all of this works. Enough people had a problem with them to vote for them, and they were amongst the top worst companies.
  • Stephen w.
    How were O2 meant to know you where climbing a fucking mountain you whinging cunt
  • Mark M.
    Stepehen - they actually cut the rope? Wow, that is mean; I'm voting for them then as trying to kill mountaineers is a bit off really.
  • BecauseOfBoxingDay
    Telcos are put forward for the knockout voting process because there's more mobile phones out there than there is people. Everyone's got a mobile phone. Everyone uses banks. Everyone uses household utilities like electric and gas. Everyone uses the postal service. Everyone uses the internet and computers. It's not representative of whether people have problems with them, it's a pure numbers game. What's more likely to get a company into the knockout draw, 200,000 peed off Vodafone customers, or 20,000 peed off Thorntons customers? Obviously the Vodafone one, but as a proportion of their customer base, 200,000 may be a lower percentage. That's a quick and dirty example, but basically this is a swipe at big SUCCESSFUL companies.
  • Chris
    I've never had a problem with O2. Only joined for the iPhone but I've found them completely fine to deal with. Previously I've had problems with Orange. As a brand I think O2 offer really great perks to do with their sponsored venues and also things like extra free texts, pizza deals, film hire deals, just for being a customer. The other day they sent me some Green & Blacks chocolate. I'm not even up for renewal yet. I really can't complain. Voted Vodafone instead of a positive vote for O2.
  • Ash
    I vote for o2. I have o2 standard broadband at home and it's brilliant. However, we have o2 pro broadband at uni and it is a piece of shit. Cuts out 10 times a day, especially when you need it. I'm on a Vodafone contract and have only ever had one problem that they corrected immediately. o2 charge too much for contracts in my opinion.
  • Stephen B.
    @Mark Minghella I feel i should explain my story, so as not to seem anymore of a stupid person. June 23rd o2 send me a bill for £44.04, and on the 24th i paid this on the phone. o2 cs told me that the diect debit would not be taken. July 8th, o2 took the direct debit, forcing me (a poor student) into the horrible world of overdraft charges. £35 (thanks Halifax). This was sorted by July 9th but o2 insisted the charge was not their fault, halifax insisted it was. I paid it. July 23rd, o2 send me a bill for £1.50 (the amount I had gone over my bill). I paid £5 online on the same day thinking wahey! o2 have realised they fucked me last month and now are going to be nice. I was wrong. August 9th, o2 ring me asking about the money, they want another £40. I say i paid what you billed me. They claimed their system was in error, and that i owed £40. After a 20 minute chat with the cs they agreed to postpone this until i was back from a holiday at the end of August. Mid August o2 cut me off. I went through 4 different CS people, each telling me a different thing. CS1: You must pay, cut off accidental will reconnect in 48 hours. CS2: Stupid system, i'll reconnect you CS3: You must pay, haven't paid will not reconnect. (i paid at this time from the top of mt Snowdon. Thanks o2) Told i would be reconnected ASAP within 12 hours CS4: Finally reconnected me 48 hours later apologised no 'treats' given. Forward 1 month and i ask to drop my contract down a tariff. They do(ish). But instead they cancel my unlimited text bolt on. I went over my contract, they refused to accept what i had asked for. Thanks o2.
  • Stephen B.
    Oh, and i rang back to get my unlimited text bolt on back, and was told as i had cancelled it i could not have it back.
  • dank
    Vodafone not only randomly cut me off two months into an 18 month contract, they then bodged up the billing and upon reconnecting me through their own fault, charged me £383.89 for cancelling my contract early. What brilliant service they provide. Wonder which I'll be voting for?
  • ridge
    o2 have been nothing but great since i joined 10 years ago , have had an iphone since the first and no problems . were as vodafone have been an absolute cunt to work with for my mrs . her c905 has been away 3 times for a repair each time for a different fault and the even lost it once . from dealing vodafone their customer service is below par
  • TheDon
    O2 Rule - cheap, fast broadband and good mobile deals with good 3G Coverage so you can go go bash your arses!
  • Harry C.
    O2 without a doubt.... they "launched" the HTC HD2 to a fanfare, yet no-one could actually go to a shop and buy it. And depending on who you spoke to when you rang, you could have been offered it from anywhere between £97 and £365! The 3G and data coverage sucks. Pummelled daily by iSheep downloading their apps. Oh, and they cut my wife's phone off when she owed them a couple of quid. Despite being with them for a number of years. Tossers!
  • TheDon
    Harry u fool - tell your wide to pay her bills then!
  • d
    Vodafone. The customer service staff are terrible, esp this one guy who works in the Bath store who's a total t**t. (he's rude, obnoxious, ignorant and thinks he knows everything) They never have a clue what's going on. (My bfs unfortunately on contract and has been told about 4-5 different dates regarding when his contract is due to end, and also when his free minutes start from!) They promise to give you a new phone if yours breaks under contract and is repaired more that 3 times, but this is a pile of rubbish. (My bfs phone had been in 4 times, 1st for a speaker, 2nd after the speaker was "fixed" it broke a few days later, 3rd time after they "fixed" the speaker they broke the camera button, 4th time he took it back they blamed it all on water damage (even though the phone never got wet) and refused to give him a working handset, and also had the nerve to tell him that the phone wasn't fixed because the engineers don't have to "put it back together properly" if its water damage!)
  • Pizza_D_Action
    @ Harry.... did you see what The Don just called your wife.... "tell your WIDE to pay her bills then!" I wouldn't stand for that.... get your misses to beat him up :)
  • dunfyboy
    Vodafone's firmware took the shine off my last phone. Good enough reason for me.
  • veedubjai
    @ Posted by Harry Corbett | December 4th, 2009 at 1:40 pm. The HTC HD2 handset specs are very good but as regards to trying to get it will depends on stock levels on th retail channels as not ALL O2 stores will get the same amount spread evenly throughout the UK as this is due to geographically determined by how many are sold & how often when they are available for local delivery. Handset prices whether if its free of charge or not is dependent on what tariff you upgrade to as monthly contracts are heavily subsidising the cost of the handset up front to start with. The more you pay for line rental, the cheaper the handset. The shorter term contract, the more for the handset. Either way, the mobile phone network are in business & not charity hence to make money to build on the business. You wouldn't work for free will you? You really have not paid up for the full handset cost really to start with in the first place hence this is why you are tied to a 12/18/24/26 months contract. Try finding out how much does the handset cost to buy on its own without a lengthy contract then you realise how much mobile phone networks have to pay upfront to the mobile handset manufacturers in the first place. As for coverage in the UK. I can guarantee that NO mobile phone network in the UK or even internationally will guarantee 100% coverage 24/7/365 when a number of factors can affect coverage like weather, power outages, criminal damaged & geographical locations. As regards for been cut off [Beware: choice of word. Been suspended & NOT disconnected] could be the fact that you may have not paid the monthly bill on time within specific time usually within 2 weeks from bill invoice been printed that must be paid in the time frame. Been suspended even for a few £'s has no relation to been how long you been a customer. It will be irresponsible if the mobile network did not try to collect funds for monthly payment & allowed the account balance to be carried over as if the payment is not paid & build up to a amount where a customer can not afford to pay in one go. Would you allow your mortgage to rolled over for several months & then pay at a later date? Can you afford the lump sum amount when demanded the payment? At what guarantees can the mobile phone network expect the payment to be made on time by the customer? Would you still earn interest for £0.01 credit in a bank account? Yes, you will then if you own some money to the mobile phone network then why can they not suspend you then when you have not paid the bill. Having any background programs on mobile phones that needs to connect & download from the internet to update the statuses still uses data hence will be charged & itemised. It's like having your backyard light turned on throughout the night for security even if its low watt. Do you expect not to be using any energy & not been charged for this? You really have to check your account on what tariff & bolt ons do you have to cover your charges & what are you really entitled to. You sound as if you not aware how mobile phone networks really work as a business & how they charged customers & expect good fair service. Most mobile phone networks will allow you to setup online account to manage your usage & bills. Have you do that?
  • Thompson
    Got a text from vodafone this afternoon saying to contact c/s. replied by text saying would phone when got home tonight, when I tried to text my daughter to arrange to pick her up this evening the phone had been cut off, there was no way to contact her, she was very distressed. It's bloody discusting that a company can cut you off with no warning whatsoever, I havn't been able to contact them yet to find out whats wrong, but I feel it could be very dangerous to cut off peoples phones with no warning. When I checked my reply text had not been sent so must of been cut off b4 they sent it. Contract phone, money in bank, not my fault.
    Thompson are you retarded? You think you can reply to those automated texts? Sweet jesus your dumb.
  • Lee_Vodafone
    Hi everyone, I work for Vodafone UK's Web Relations Team which is dedicated to scouring the internet in search of customers who're not getting the level of service they expect and putting things right for them wherever possible. After reading the comments you've all posted it's apparent that some of you are not having the best of times with us and as such I'd like to extend the assistance of the Web Relations Team with getting your concerns sorted out. We can be contacted at [email protected] and we promise do everything possible to fix things for you. Many thanks, Lee Web Relations Team Vodafone UK
  • OFI
    ^ Ooh a proper personal response :-D Already makes them better than O2 Shame I missed this poll really, anyone who is stuck with O2s Broadband Access right now will know why i'm not impressed with them. Same price, no customer support yet blocking all P2P 24/7 on a service which was sold as having net neutraility. They couldn't even settle for on-peak/off peak throttles like most ISPs. Without warning they've killed it. Oh and there's the huge reduction in connection speed even whilst P2P doesn't work.
  • htc p.
    i've had my pure for a week now and that i nonetheless dont know what to do... like changing the message alert tone to no matter i would like it not just the basic ones on the phone... every part about this telephone is complicating.. i also wished to change to that android software program as a result of home windows is simply too gradual and somebody please assist me how to do this

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