Tag Archives: Vodafone


I haven’t finished writing about Eastenders yet, but before I start on that I must just “thank you” to Vodafone. Specifically, Jessy and Charlotte. This is how the story runs:

I tend to keep my mobiles on vibrate in the office. (Note to self, put the ringer on and then you won’t get so many complaints that you don’t answer your ‘phone.) I digress.

I have been receiving a number of missed calls, but if people don’t leave a message, I tend not to ring back, unless I recognise the number, and sometimes not even then. Monday, just after noon, the ‘phone went and this time I answered it.

“Hello, this is Dave from Vodafone. How are you today?”

“Not great, actually,” said I, “How can I help you?”

Dave put the ‘phone down on me. Hmm, I thought, that’s unusual for Vodafone. I rang back. There was a recorded message but it wasn’t very clear, something about partners and press 1 if you don’t want to receive anymore calls. I pressed 1. Then I went online to Vodafoneand asked for a “chat.”

Enter Jessy stage left. I explained what had happened, Jessy asked for the number, and checked told me that it wasn’t on their list of partner numbers, and that they had had a spate of people doing something fraudulent. After my recent experiences, I was extremely pleased that I had spoken to Jessy, and I am extremely pleased that I can warn anybody who reads this to be very, very careful. There are a lot of scammers out there. Anyway, as I was online, I asked Jessy if I could speak to someone about an early upgrade, so she put through to Charlotte.

Ladies and gentlemen, if I were in a senior position in Vodafone, Charlotte would be given a massive, massive pay rise! She very nearly sold ice to the Eskimos! Not that I’m an Eskimo, of course, but you take my point. There was no hard sell, she was lovely. We had a little chat (yes, Eastenders did feature!) while she was finding out what I wanted and how she could best suit my needs. There is a psychology behind this, and I know that, but it didn’t feel as though that was happening, so Charlotte was either very skilled or maybe she is just naturally good at selling. (Please get in contact Charlotte; I may have a little sales proposition for you, as a side line.)

I ended up with a ‘phone that I wanted that I didn’t think I could afford and it turns out I can. If I hadn’t had my sensible head on, Charlotte would have sold me more. I so wanted more, but I have to be sensible. Well done Charlotte and well done Vodafone. And I hope that she does get a pay rise as a result.

Now, back to Eastenders. Am I the only one who feels cheated that the murderer was Ben Mitchell? I take nothing away from the acting, particularly as it was live, but seriously? I was always taught, when writing fiction, that you should give the reader a few hints, and if the hints point to Colonel Mustard in the library with the lead pipe, the reader will feel cheated if it turns out to be the butler in the bedroom with the revolver. And that’s how I felt. At no time did I get a sense that Ben had  any feelings of animosity towards Lucy. In fact, the child doesn’t say very much at all.

Of course, we all knew that DC Summerhayes had met someone in the park, near the café, and said,

“But it’s still murder,”

so we knew it wasn’t someone that she was afraid of.  I imagine that was supposed to be Jane she was speaking to.

Then the writers threw us off the scent completely when she was killed. Ok, I know it wasn’t Nick Cotton’s fault that she died, she didn’t appear to be his target, although you’d never know with Nasty Nick, and he would have seen it as a result that he’d “offed a copper.”

And then there’s the return of Kathy Beale! What the…..? Talk about Bobby Ewing and his resurrection in Dallas!  That was daft enough.  I still have to watch the last couple of episodes of Eastenders on catch up (who am I trying to kid, I record it) so I don’t know how the plot has played out since Monday, but I shall watch with interest, I really will.  What on earth possesses a woman to not only walk away from her children (I can understand that, in some circumstances) but to allow them to think that she is dead for what?  Twenty years?  Who’s trying to fool whom?

I said in my last post that I do not think screen writing is easy and I still stick with that.  And I’m absolutely certain that to keep writing plots for the same programme week after week after week, keeping them fresh and keeping viewers interested is not easy either.  But come on now.  Let’s keep it real.  If writing were easy the whole world would be doing and there’d nothing in it for those of whom [some] editors think are good enough to write for their publications.

Will my displeasure at the recent storylines stop me watching Eastenders?  Probably not, they haven’t quite upset me enough for that yet, although I wouldn’t rule altogether.  There are a number of programmes I’ve loved and watched and then canned because I got bored.  Think Lost after the first series (I understand that ended being extremely unrealistic too), think Grays Anatomy, to name but two.  I’ve lived in the East end for a number of years now, although I am not, myself, an Eastender, and I think I know it pretty well now, so if the writers fancy a little break, I’m very happy to cover for them for a few weeks whilst they get their mojo back.

© Susan Shirley 2015E

Customer Services…. Or lack of it….

I hadn’t ever intended this blog to be a moan about things but I do feel the need to share my frustration about customer services in this country at the moment.  Or, the lack of them.

It’s been a year of things going wrong for me.  Earlier in the year, my broadband started playing up.  I’m with BT, and it took them a good while to sort it all out.  They sent an engineer and then wanted to charge me for the privilege.  Except that they hadn’t told me that they intended to charge me, and it didn’t solve the problem, so they backed down on that one.

Then, a month or so ago, they e-mailed me (and subsequently wrote to me) to tell me that they were closing Digital Vault (I’ve been with BT for about a million years, so that was part of my deal).  Without wishing to bore you all, I couldn’t access it.  BT told me that it was a fault with my [new] filters, and that I would have to pay for an engineer to come to fix it (oh really?), then they told me that Digital Vault had already closed (I’m actually beginning to think that is the case).  They keep telling me that they will ring me, so I rush home and then, when they ring, they tell me nothing.  I have now written an extremely stroppy letter to Warren Buckley, so we will see, but honestly, I shouldn’t need to go to these lengths.  I may be changing my ISP very soon.

I had Sky TV for a few years.  When they fitted my second Sky box, their engineer very kindly tacked the cable to my wall, rather than my skirting board.  Despite my complaints, not only did they do nothing about it, but they clearly didn’t even make a record of my complaint.  The second box kept going wrong, and they didn’t record that either, and were then somewhat surprised when I decided to take my custom elsewhere.

Then there is my mobile ‘phone.  I have two numbers, on different networks.  One is my personal ‘phone, the other is my business ‘phone.  I have them on different networks because, my thinking is, if I have a problem with coverage on one network, hopefully, I will get coverage on the other.  Not for the first time, I am having a problem with coverage from Orange.  There are rooms in my house where I cannot get a signal at all.  I can’t send any e-mails from that ‘phone at the moment, but, apparently, e-mail is nothing to do with Orange…  The fact that I received 8 text messages on Thursday morning, all in one go, that had been sent on Wednesday evening, is presumably nothing to do with them either…  They are going to have to go some when my contract is up to keep my custom.

To counter this, there are some companies that are very easy to do business with – First Direct, Vodafone (most of the time, and certainly, recently), British Gas (I know they don’t have a great reputation, but I must speak as I find).

So come on UK businesses – we don’t need to have brand loyalty anymore, you need to compete for our custom.  I work very hard for my money and I am only prepared to spend it where I get good value.

©Susan Shirley 2013