Mumbai Diary, Travel

Why Vodafone pisses me off : #MobileWoes

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Truly unbelievable!

I had almost made up my mind to give up blogging when I was struck by the unfairness of Vodafone. I felt it was my duty to blog about this unsavoury experience.

Those of you who have been following me would have noticed that from 23 May – 14 June I was blogging from my iPhone. This was because I was in America far away from my trusty desktop.

I have now got quite used to blogging on my mobile and was seriously thinking of using it all the time when I got a whopper of a bill from Vodafone.

Here’s the story of why Vodafone pisses me off

When I went to the US last September , I was travelling with Daughter No 1 and since she had a Singapore SIM with International Roaming, I didn’t bother with getting my International roaming activated.  I bought a local SIM card in the US and used it during my stay there.

But this time round, I was making a transit halt at CDG Paris which is about the worst airport to fly in/out of. Moreover with a short 40 minute layover on my return flight and a high chance of missing it, I HAD TO HAVE THE FACILITY of contacting my family at either end.

So I bought myself an iRoam package fromVodafone which assured me 30 days of free incoming, outgoing calls  and unlimited data transfer. I didn’t need a month’s subscription but since that was the only option, I took it .

The minute I boarded the aircraft I put my phone on Airplane mode. When I landed at Newark, I switched on the phone and called the taxi that was waiting outside. I called my daughter who was waiting at her apartment and then chose her wifi network to read emails, whatsapp, download data and of course BLOG.

The only other time I used my phone to make a call was from CDG to inform Hubby Dear that I hadn’t missed the plane. He actually does have quite the black tongue and his misgivings that I’d miss my flight made me quite nervous.

I wish I’d listened to his misgivings about the small print and hidden traps that Vodafone lays for you in their seemingly easy customer friendly plans that let you roam fearlessly round the world. Because a few days after my arrival, I received a bill for an amount that I normally spend over two years of mobile phone usage in India.

Suffice to say my jet lag vanished in a flash and I was on fight with Vodafone mode. After several phone calls to a helpline number where a husky voice assured me that Vodafone empowers you, I eventually managed to talk to a live human. Obviously her mumbled explanation didn’t throw any light on the matter . So I went to the shop for a harrowing experience. It was filled with drippy umbrellas and wet haired, grumpy  people. Every second person was a senior citizen.  So by the time it was my turn I had already been standing in the store for an HOUR! By this time it was way past my lunch time and my sugar levels were lowering as fast as my temper was  rising.

When I finally sat in front of the customer sales person I asked for a cup of tea which was promised in true Ahmedabadi style ( the man is asked to bring a tea with a wagging finger which actually is code for DON’T BRING THE TEA I’M ASKING FOR) . Foolishly, I thought Vodafone was better than the traders at Mangaldas Market,  who specialise in the Ahmedabadi Tea, being international and all. However the Customer Sales person bumped me up to his supervisor who also gave me an unsatisfactory explanation.

Several phone calls to various customer sales persons who are happy to help you, I got a step closer to solving the mystery. It seemed that while my calls were free, the data wasn’t because I hadn’t chosen the right partner. Now I don’t buy this argument because if a service provider has an arrangement with another service provider, your pack should link up with the chosen one automatically. I mean can you really think in a flash whether you have to choose T mobile ? AT&T and God alone knows what other network? All when you have travelled over 20 hours over 1000s of miles, two airports and several time zones?

I mean when I go to the US on an airline with a partner airline, I am not asked to choose at the airport which airline I would prefer to travel on? It is already linked up when I make my booking with the ticket provider so all I really have to do is show up at the airport with my boarding pass and get onto any plane that is scheduled to fly at that time.

But even if this were the case, what really got my goat was the explanation that my 2 minute call from CDG was the real killer . It seems that it was enough time to transfer data that cost me all of Rs. 10,000!

Now Vodafone I maybe stupid but do you really expect me to buy this story?

Honestly, dear reader do you ?

Do you think I’d have fared any better with Airtel or Jio? Frankly, with all the verification required for a new SIM, I’m a bit wary of changing my service provider, but there’s one thing I can assure you :

The next time you travel just go for a local SIM . Don’t opt for the Vodafone experience that impoverishes rather than empowers you !

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Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!


    1. Yes that’s just it. I had to publish this post because everyone is out there to get you. And as unsuspecting travellers we just fall into their traps and then have no option but to pay up. A friend of mine told her that once she had to pay up Rs.40000 for a week in NY so according to her I got by lightly 🙂

    1. I’m glad you agree. And Vodafone seems to think that they were justified in charging me so! This is the second time I’ve been so cheated – the first was when I didn’t know about putting the data off while travelling abroad. But overall they try and find the chink in your armour and then just slap you with a ridiculous bill.It is best to use a local SIM when going abroad.

  1. WOW! That’s truly insane! I am glad that you decided to blog about this unpleasant experience, Sunita. Should share maximum in Social media to make more people and Vodafone aware of the rip off they seem to be doing without a second thought. If partnering with the right service provider was the reason, then shouldn’t they have educated you about it in detail while you bought the plan? There always seems to be fine prints well hidden to cause trouble and only trouble to the customer.
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  2. OMG! That’s one harrowing experience you have had. Is it sorted now? I believe, Vodafone has better customer service as compared to other telecom operators. And I sincerely hope that you get a quicker resolution of your bill.
    I have had a terrible time with Airtel. While their products are good, their customer care sucks big time. I have struggled with them for 3 months over an issue which was an issue from their side.
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    1. I have had to pay and that’s it. I know for sure that the next time I go abroad I will buy a local SIM because the small print is too much of a fiddle

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