[rant] Today I realised why I hate companies like Vodafone. I have been waiting to upgrade my Sony Ericsson P910 phone to the new P990i since March. Every month I've been into a Vodafone shop asking when it will arrive. "Oh, we're expecting it in a couple of weeks," comes the standard reply. Anyway, I noticed that the Vodafone shop in The Strand had a big poster in the window so they're now available. This morning I trolled off down to Clerkenwell Road Vodafone to get one - new gadgets always put me in a good mood. Sadly the store had run out and so had a nearby one in Chancery Lane. But the good news was that the Upgrade would be free of charge - not bad for a £600 phone. The shop assistant told me that if I rang Vodafone they would send me one out through the post.
So I got back to the office, eventually got through to them and was told that, no, it wouldn't be free of charge, it would cost me £150. 'Er, but why was it nfree of charge in the shop, then?' I asked. 'Because you went to a shop Sir,' came the less than illuminating response. 'And why should that mean you can charge me £150?' I said. 'We operate on a different computer system'. Oh well that's alright then. Another satisfied customer. Not. I was then advised to go back to the shop if I didn't want to pay £150. Er, but they haven't actually got any of the wretched phones, I repeated.
Doesn't this experience illustrate just what is wrong with the customer service attitude of big retail companies. Their entire approach is driven by computer systems, which ignore common sense. If I could be bothered I would happily change - but mobile phone companies are like banks. They're all the same. They've adopted exactly the same approach to customer service as the nationalised industries used to have.
And I STILL WANT MY P990i! [/rant]