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PR Disaster of the Year Winner: Vodafone!

PR Disaster of the Year Winner: Vodafone!

Last year BP’s oil spill took the cake, but this year it’s looking like Vodafone is a clear front runner in the PR Disaster of the Year Award. Vodafone is quickly becoming one of the most hated brands with its embarrassing lack of coverage, voicemail & SMS delays, billing issues and poor customer service. Vodafone customers are suing in a class action lawsuit spurred on by Adam Brimo, the founder of Vodafail.com and Sydney law firm PiperAlderman. Thousands of Vodafone customer horror stories can be found on the Vodafail.com website which reeks of a similar PR disaster Dell Hell that unravelled a few years back where disgruntled customers used internet forums and social media to band together and make a stand against crappy service.

It appears (and this is such a big social media no no) that it seems Vodafone dealers and staffers have been trying to defend the telco on Vodafail.com without identifying themselves – says Brimo who’s analysed the IP addresses of the contributors. Even worse, their tone has been “quite aggressive” says Brimo and basically argue that “it’s the customer’s fault and that all of our complaints are about tiny problems”. Their attitude is “if we don’t like it, we should just leave” and judging by the complaints on Facebook I witnessed this Easter long weekend it seems that people are leaving Vodafone in droves (over 22,000 thousand customers have approached PiperAlderman). Brimo, has even had legal threats from the telco and had the site’s logo removed from Facebook due to “copyright infringement” – a move he believes was sparked by a complaint from Vodafone.

Vodafone’s inability to provide SMS text messaging to its customers on the 24th of April (a full 24 hour day), led them to offer customers a half-day (that’s only 12 hours) of free SMS messaging to compensate but with many of its customers on caps that include free SMS anyway, this offer on the first of May seems a slap in the face to customers who are feeling utterly “Vodaboned” as ITWire puts it.

In terms of customer service and social media Vodafone are making some huge mistakes and seem like they’re on a one way path to self-destruction. They could really learn some lessons from Dell in the way they handle complaints and adopt some transparency in the forums they engage in. Every company has problems and will inevitably receive customer complaints but it’s the way they deal with them that matters.

Are you a Vodafone customer? What are your experiences? Will Vodafone survive this PR mess? Unless we see some big changes soon I’m not so sure they will!

Yours in PR disasters,

Belinda Vesey-Brown About the author
1 Comment
  • vodaphone illegally opened a direct debit on my bank account took out 350 dollars that wasnt owing and i couldnt pay my rent ; even so they acknowledge the mistake they have put incredible time consuming hurdles in place to delay paying it back; this is causing us incredible stress and costly time wasting; i actually feel ill writing this because you dont exspect uncaring or terrible treatment from a big wealthy firm such as this;

    November 21, 2021at1:53 am

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