Vodafone, why you no activate new contract SIM?

Vodafone have always been really good for me – a solid, reliable network and good customer service. That’s why both my personal phone and my wife’s phone are on Vodafone contracts.

Over a week ago, though, my wife’s phone stopped connecting to the network. I spoke to Vodafone, and they explained her SIM card was “too old to be updated” (granted, it was many years old), and manually did something to get it to reconnect, but said it needed replacing, and sent out a replacement.

When I received the new SIM I phoned to activate it – that seemed to go OK, but it never actually worked, and the phone could not connect with the new SIM. I phoned back 24 hours later, and was told the activation failed, and they went through the process again; it failed that time, too.

At that point, they deduced that the SIM they sent me may have been a dud, so sent another (meaning the phone is still out of action for 2 days while Royal Mail deliver the replacement SIM). Except, they sent a micro SIM. Not much use when you know it’s going in a HTC Wildfire S, which takes proper-sized SIMs.

So, Friday, I went to the Vodafone store in person to collect a new SIM, it was “activated” there and then, and “should work within 20 minutes, but could take up to 24 hours”. A couple of hours later, I called up to check whether their systems showed that the card was activated successfully, and was told that yes, it was, and that it would just take some time “for the network to update”, but would almost certainly work – and that if it didn’t, a different team would take on the issue and manually activate the SIM whilst I was on the phone.

Of course, 48 hours later, no go.

I spoke to them this morning, and they said that the activation of the newest SIM had failed (despite what I was told before), and was asked for the SIM card number of one of the previous SIMs they sent me – as one was the wrong size, that leaves only the first one, the one they’d deduced was probably faulty. They’re trying to activate that, and if that doesn’t work, they suggest the fix will be to change number, “but don’t worry, we’ll do it entirely free of charge”.

I’m sorry, what?! You think changing her phone number because your system can’t seem to activate a SIM card is an acceptable solution? Sorry, but no, it isn’t. I’d love to hear one of our support staff at work respond to a customer with “I’m sorry sir, I can’t figure out what’s wrong with your domain name that you’ve been using for years, so how about I give you a different domain, don’t worry you can have it for free!”…. yeah, I don’t think so.

If the latest agent I spoke to gets back to me and says it’s failed again, and that I need to arrange to change number, I’ll have to find out how to escalate the matter I think, as that just isn’t a suitable resolution.

Vodafone have always been very high in my estimation, but I’m starting to wonder what’s going on now – over a week with no phone, and what should be a simple task doesn’t seem to be working.

(Also, no, it’s not the phone – I tried my SIM in her phone, and it worked fine.)

UPDATE – phone still not working; another 20-odd minutes on the phone in which I was again told that giving me a new number would solve the issues (but I don’t consider that an acceptable fix); other than that, another SIM card could be sent out (another few days without service, and given that two have been tried already, I doubt that’ll resolve it). I’ve been promised a callback today, but I won’t hold my breath; a previous promise for a text update on registration attempt didn’t happen.

Starting to lose patience now, I must say. I don’t think that changing the number is a fix, it’s a bodgy workaround. At this rate, I’ll have to request a PAC and take the number elsewhere, but I’d much rather not do that.

UPDATE2 – the old original SIM (the one I was told needed to be replaced) still works! It’s still active and registers on the network – so all the attempts afterwards failed. Also, I mentioned above that the guy yesterday who promised to watch for the success/failure of that SIM activation attempt and text me the result *did* text me the result. Not to my number, but to my wife’s number – y’know, the one we’re having trouble with, and isn’t working. Gah!

2 thoughts on “Vodafone, why you no activate new contract SIM?”

  1. Hi David,

    Thanks for bringing my attention to this post on Twitter. My team will be happy to look into the issues you faced and get this fed back right down to an agent level to reduce the chances of this happening again in future.

    If you’d like to chat about your account with us, feel free to get in touch using http://goo.gl/oEEYD with ‘WRT135’ as the subject so as to route through to my team.

    Kind regards,

    Ben Haslehurst
    Web Relations
    Vodafone UK

  2. Thanks for the prompt response, Ben. I’ll use the contact form as suggested to provide further details, hopefully the issue can be sorted out then :)

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