TL;DR Version: Applied for new Vodafone Postpaid SIM on Feb 24th, 2014. Number wasn’t activated till Feb 27th. Submitted fresh set of documents & form on Feb 28th. Number is still not activated as of today, March 6th, 2014. Vodafone refuses to help me.
Background: I have been a happy Airtel Mobile customer for about 10 years now. Their service has been generally good for me and I continue to recommend them to anyone who comes asking. However, I tend to travel to offbeat places a fair bit and Airtel’s network is completely absent at times. A lot of my peers suggested that I get a Vodafone number as an alternative, so that I won’t be completely in the dark. So I thought, “Why not? What’s the harm.” Pretty innocent, right?
Here’s how Vodafone has been dealing with me and my attempts to get a Vodafone Postpaid Number.
February 21st or 22nd, 2014
I filled out a form on Vodafone’s website requesting a new Vodafone Postpaid SIM. It said I’d be hearing from them in a couple of days.
February 23rd, 2014
I received a call from a Mr. Rohan from Vodafone, regarding my request for a new number. Rohan was supposedly an employee Systematic Knowledge Services Pvt. Ltd, one of Vodafone’s DSA in Andheri, Mumbai. If you google them, you’ll find _tons_ of complaints & bad reviews about them.
I had several conversations with Rohan where he explained what bill plans were available, what services I’d get and what number series I’d get. My current Airtel number ends with x699959 and Rohan offered me the same last few digits on a Vodafone number. I was happy I was getting a good number that I and others could remember easily, so I asked him to send over his executive for collecting my documents & filling up their form.
February 24th, 2014.
Rohan sent over a Mr. Ashish Tawade to fill out the form and collect my documents. He handed over a new SIM package, sealed with a Micro-SIM in it. He wrote the number I was supposed to get on it, which was 98xx699959. I signed everything and off he went. He said the number should be activated within 24-48 hours.
February 26th, 2014
The number still wasn’t activated. I tried calling up Rohan, but he didn’t answer my calls. Later on this day, I received an SMS from Vodafone on my alternate mobile number (airtel) saying that the request for activation of my Vodafone number 9167999313 cannot be completed. This was a totally random number that I hadn’t applied for, so I ignored the SMS. I tried calling Rohan to ask him about the status of activation of my application, but he kept ignoring my calls.
Febryary 27th, 2014.
I received an SMS from Vodafone saying that my new connection request had been completed successfully, but for that totally random number I mention above. At this point, I was confused. So I tried calling Rohan again, but he still wasn’t answering my calls. After this, I continued to receive several SMSs and Calls from Vodafone, asking me to call 177 to activate the random number — the one that I’d never applied for.
February 28th, 2014
I received a call from another person, Mr. Rahul, again from Systematic Knowledge Services who told me that “by mistake”, another number was activated on my form & documents and that I’d need to submit fresh documents and form if I wanted the number that I’d originally applied for. I was skeptical, so I reached out to @VodafoneIN on Twitter. I received a call from Mr. Amit from the Twitter team who assured me that I should continue with this as since the tele verification of the random number hadn’t happened, I won’t receive a bill for it. I then asked Rahul to send his executive by 3PM. Rohan on the other hand was still not answering my phone calls.
At 3PM, Ashish Tawade came again, filled out the form, took my documents and gave me a new SIM again. He said since it was the last day of the month, the SIM would be activated in 24 hours as they have to meet their targets.
– From this point onwards, there has been no communication from Rohan, Rahul, @VodafoneIN or Vodafone support.
– The number I actually applied for has still not been activated.
– I continue to receive 10-15 SMSs and 2-3 phone calls from Vodafone for the activation of the number I didn’t apply for, the totally random number.
– Every call to Rohan or Rahul is still unanswered.
– @VodafoneIN on Twitter tweets at me daily saying they’ll get in touch with me, but still haven’t.
March 5th, 2014.
I called up Vodafone’s Nodal Officer’s number and explained the story. Speaking to ‘Divya Sharma’, I was told that she’d make sure I get a call from Systematic Knowledge Services in 24 hours.
Of course, that never happened.
March 6th, 2014.
I visited a local Vodafone Store and after waiting for ~20 minutes, I spoke to ‘Altamash’ who said that he can’t really help me much since I did not apply for a new connection with them. He could only “mark an email” to the DSA, who would then get in touch with me.
I also called up the Nodal Officer’s number and again, I was told I’d be getting a call from the DSA by end of the day.
Meanwhile, I continue to receive the unwanted SMS spam from Vodafone asking me to activate a number I didn’t apply for.
Today is the eleventh day since I first applied for a new Vodafone Postpaid connection and every thing I’ve tried to get support regarding my case has been unfruitful.
At this point, I no longer care about the new Postpaid connection. In a way, this whole experience has been a good eye-opener that taught me how Vodafone India’s service and support really is. Their network might me great & people already using their service might be happy, but knowing first-hand how they’ve handled a potential customer, they’ve secured a special place in my books.
At this point, all my attempts going forward are to stop Vodafone from sending me the unwanted SMS spam in the screenshots above. That’s what is most annoying.
Vodafone now has couriered me one more SIM pack, sealed. This makes the third SIM of Vodafone that I have in my house now. Yet, the number I actually applied for is still unactivated.
I received a message from Vodafone at 7:02 PM on March 6th, 2014 (a few hours after this post was published) stating that the number would be activated in 24 hours.
A few hours after that, I received another message from them asking me to call 117 for tele verification of the number. The number was activated 40 minutes after that.
However, I still continue to receive the SMS spam for the other number that I didn’t apply for. That’s yet to stop.