Friday, 21 February 2014


That's final, then. Andy and I are off to the furthest reaches of Scotland. I no longer care that Scotland is dark and cold and wet. I can only think that it will be the best place to go where technology cannot reach us. Of course, it means I shall no longer be able to blog or email, so will have to keep in touch with people by snail mail, smoke signal or pigeon post. But it will be a small price to pay for peace of mind and not having to keep sorting out problems that are not our problems in the first place.

Let me take you back to last December...(wibbley wobbley timey wimey...)

'I've been sent a letter from Vodafone,' said Andy. 'Apparently they are making changes to our account and are going to start charging us.'

'We don't have an account with Vodafone,' said I. 'We never have.'

(And I think it is probably because I am a stickler for proper English and would never engage in business with a company who are incapable of spelling 'phone' correctly. And now, it turns out, are incapable of running a service department correctly, too.)

'I know,' said Andy. 'Apparently if I don't want to continue with their service I have to write and tell them to cancel our account.'

'But we don't have an account with Vodafone,' said I. 

'I know,' said Andy. 'But I shall write and tell them this and tell them that we no longer wish to have the account we do not have with them anyway. Just in case.'

So he did. And he duly received a letter saying, 'thank you, we shall cancel your account.'

'But we don't have an account,' said I. 'How can you cancel an account we don't have?'

But nobody answered, presumably because we do not exist.

Anyway, about 4 weeks later, Andy got a phone call from Vodafone. They said,'Would you like to upgrade your account?'

'I don't have an account with you,' said Andy. 'How can I upgrade something that doesn't exist?' 

He was quite persistent, this sales guy. Andy kept saying, 'I've never had an account with Vodafone, I do not want an account with Vodafone,' and eventually the sales guy got the message and that was that.

Or not, as it turns out. For today, Andy got a bill for £10.64. From Vodafone. A red top bill, too. We aren't sure what for because a) nowhere on the bill did it say what we were supposed to have paid for and didn't and b) we do not and never have had an account with Vodafone. Also, I feel slightly aggrieved that they didn't even have the decency to send us a first bill for an account we do not have but went straight for the final demand. 

(I suspect you are picking up a bit of theme by now. I am sorry if I am boring you BUT I am feeling very testy about this having to sort out corporate cock ups.)

So Andy got on the phone. The p.h.o.n.e not the f.o.n.e. And he was getting cross because it was an automated line and it kept asking for his mobile number before it would connect him to a real person and he kept saying, 'I don't have a mobile number because I don't have an account with you,' and I was feeling anxious because he is already on 3 different types of blood pressure medication and does not need this kind of unnecessary rubbish after a long day at work. 

Eventually, through pressing random numbers, he finally got through to a call centre somewhere abroad. And fat lot of help they turned out to be. They kept asking for his mobile number which he couldn't give because he does not and never has had a mobile number with Vodafone, and the upshot is that now we have to go into the local Vodafone shop and explain to them what the problem is because the foreign call centre could not understand what Andy was trying to tell them i.e 'Why have you sent us a final demand bill for an account we do not have?' 

I am LIVID! Why should we have to sort out a problem that is not of our making, that happened in a totally random fashion, out of the blue? Why should we have to put ourselves out to go and put right something that should never have existed in the first place? How much kicking off are we going to have to do in order to get Vodafone off our backs? How many more Vodafone encounters are we going to have? 

And of course, because it has all been so random we are thinking there might be some sort of scam happening, that someone has stolen Andy's details in order to procure a Vodafone account for which we have been sent a bill. 

It is just yet another irritation that we can do without. It is an example of when living in Regency England instead of the 21st century would have been infinitely preferable and that actually, technology can be properly pants on a stick. 

I am off now to eat a crumpet. 


Countryside Tales said...

Can you just ignore it? Or ring the boss of vodaphone and give him a piece of your mind. How extremely irritating x

Denise said...

Our fear is that if we ignore it we shall end up with it affecting our credit rating and/ or being visited by bailiff type people. It is VERY irritating.

Olly said...

Don't ignore it. Someone has used your details to open a Vodafone account, and you should ring up and ask to speak to their fraud department and report it as a fraud. Otherwise, yes it will register on your credit rating. Afraid it's happened to me. :-(

rusty duck said...

Oh lord. I fear Olly is right.
But please don't move to Scotland. Come to Devon instead. We are totally bereft of anything resembling technology. Vodafone, like broadband, just does not work.

Denise said...

We were suspicious of such, Olly, and I am sorry you've had the same trouble. I have been ranting via e-mail to Vodafone this morning. I have mentioned the word 'fraud' several times in the hope it will galvanise them into action. It just irritates me that ordinary nice folk who are law-abiding and go about their daily lives minding their own business end up having to sort out some problem caused by a criminal little scroat. How DARE they?!

Jess, I am relieved to hear we can move to Devon and avoid technology because I really wasn't relishing going up North, mostly because I am a big fan of daylight! It is at times like these that I think technology is more trouble than it is worth and actually, as a resourceful human being, I could probably live a much happier and simpler life without it!