Vodafone: Information Constipation

Regular readers of my blog will know I’ve had some issues with my Vodafone Mobile Broadband connection. I paid my bill today which was about as much as I was expecting it to be, but given that I was into my extra quota for the billing period, and wanting to download some largish things, I wanted to be sure I was into my November quota first.

The first step in my quest began at the source, specifically trawling the 3G broadband plan and support pages. Having gotten no closer to the information I needed here, I shifted the focus of my search to the more generic billing section under the assumption that a section relating to monies owned would be garenteed to contain information about when they would next demand it – I was wrong. Upon realising this, I took a moment to reflect on the truth to be found in an adage stolen and imposed on me by my mother, assumption really is the mother of all fuck ups. This truth has been well illustrated in my past dealings with this company.

Thinking laterally, I poured over the legal section hoping that the very documentation obligating me to transfer my monies to them would be specific about when said monies must be transferred, but again I was thwarted by my own rationality.

At this point I had resigned to calling support and paying them a dollar to ask them when my billing period ends. Upon attempting to do so, the omnipotent automated voice informed me that human support was not available until 8AM tomorrow. Lessons previously learned would tell me that adding a human to this already volatile mix of a lack of information and frustration may result in further pain.

Having exhausted Google and Vodafone’s own support resources, I browsed the forum expecting nothing but the continued frustration I had experienced thus far, it was at this point my luck changed, reading an unrelated forum post yielded the solution to my woes.

On prepay one can text the word “bal” to 777 in order to receive a text message containing the balance of your account, it seems this feature is also available to On Account customers, when you have a data plan you will receive an additional message telling you how much of your quota remains and when your quota will be reset. Hazzah!

So a happy end to my tale, however it would serve Vodafone well to make things like this known more readily to prevent paying customers wandering aimlessly for extended periods of time in their support pages.

It might also be a good idea to use the information retrieved from whichever system runs this service to provide a higher degree of accuracy to the VMC software’s usage metre instead of the useless device packet counting that appears to be the current implementation.


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