White Hot Hair – why being grey no longer means having dull hair

My #review of @whitehothair and why being grey no longer means having dull hair . #HairCare

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Books have feelings too

As a self-confessed bookworm and stationery addict I’m always on the look out for unusual and quirky ‘bookish things’, collecting them as some women amass shoes, and with the same ‘you can never have enough’ excitement.

page corners

Stylish and practical

My favourite has to be a good bookmark and I can often be found in the Manchester branch of Waterstones picking up the latest bestseller, browsing for new additions for my collection and having a cheeky brew. It was following my most recent visit that I discovered the absolute gem known as a Page Corner Bookmark 🙂

If, like me you are guilty of folding down the corner of the page when you’re reading, this bookmark offers the perfect solution. It gives the illusion of a folded page while saving both your place and, more importantly, the precious book corners from damage.

bookmark 1

no more bent corners

 

Page Corner Bookmarks come in an assortment of designs, each beautifully finished and embossed with different text. The packaging is trendy yet vintage and would appeal to bookworms old and young alike, making this bookmark an ideal stocking filler for the bibliophile in your life .

Created by an innovative team called ‘that company called if‘ the bookmarks are available to buy in branches of WHSmith’s and Waterstones. Bookworms in the Emerald Isle can find them in selected WHSmith’s stores and Eason’s in Ireland and N. Ireland.

bookmark 2

 

#VodafoneWoes Day8 – Finally Some Good News

I am beyond delighted to be able to update the whole #VodafoneWoes situation and say that my phone line was  finally reconnected this afternoon.

For those of you that have been following the whole debacle, or are stuck in the same cycle of pointless calls to Vodafone, you’ll understand just how awesome this really is. Anyone not read the story so far, take my word for it – it’s been a lengthy, mind numbing process and I am so glad it’s over.

I’m not sure what actually triggered the reconnection, several things have occurred in the last few days that could be responsible, but I will share my ‘journey to reconnection’ for anyone still stuck in the loop with the Vodafone Customer Service team.

At last....

                  At last….

Reaching the complete end of my tether after #Day6, I set out on a mission…..

  • Realising that no Vodafone execs are on Twitter and email addresses for them seem non-existent, I turned to LinkedIn where I found several including Jeroen Hoencamp (CEO at Vodafone UK), Jan Geldmacher (CEO at Vodafone Global Enterprise Ltd.), Petek Ergul (Head of Technology Demand, Planning and Quality, Vodafone UK) to name but a few. I sent invitations to ‘connect’ with all of them and when both Jan and Petek replied, I sent them copies of my #VodafoneWoes blog and asked for their help.
  • They both replied: Jan to say that he was passing it to the ‘directors helpline team’ and Petek to explain that she would reach out to the ‘customer operations team’ and also try to resolve the issue.
  • Meanwhile I emailed Watchdog, Rogue Traders and ITV’s Tonight show with full details of my complaint, also pointing out that there are hundreds of people complaining on social media about the terrible service from Vodafone – some still without a line after 6 weeks…. Once emailed I ensured that I told Twitter I had done so and tagged them, using the #Vodaphone then others also began to do the same, between us Twitter began to get kinda noisy where Voda was concerned and it was all negative publicity….
  • I took full advantage of Vodafone being in the news (launch of VodaTV and the CEO’s vote to stay in the EU) and tagged them with comments on shoddy customer service, again using the #Vodafone on Twitter.
  • I printed off a copy of my complaint and sent it to Vodafone HQ in London – recorded delivery of course 😉
  • I still called the Customer Service number several times a day but began to demand that full notes were added to my account each time so that when I inevitably called back again the call handler could see how long it had been dragging on for, as well as all the broken promises of reconnection and call backs. (I was promised a call back from over 20 different call handlers during the week and not one has ever got back to me.)

This morning I called first thing and was connected to the Egypt call centre where I was told to “Wait 24 hours and it should be on” for the umpteenth time.

I left it a couple of hours and called again, this time getting the Irish call centre and a very helpful call operator called Jade. She took the time to read all the notes and admitted herself that it was totally ridiculous, somewhat beyond belief in parts but that she would try her best to get the line operational. Speaking to her supervisor and explaining just how vexed I was by this point (browser open looking at trains to London to visit Voda HQ in person) she said that they would try their best to get it on by tonight.

As we were ending the call she noticed there was a note on my account – A man called Will in the directors office had left me a direct number, asking me to call him to discuss the issues I was facing at my earliest convenience.

Fearing it was too good to be true, I rang the number and couldn’t believe it when I was connected straight to a human being in the UK from the customer relations department 🙂

After a lengthy phone call where I explained just why I was so so fed up with Vodafone, pointing out all the many failings I’ve encountered this week, he promised to sort it out and get my phone on quick time. He confirmed what price package it was on, sim number etc and I began to believe that it may just happen this time – and it did, just 3 hours later.

So, while I am beyond delighted to be reconnected, I still have the dongle to sort out as well as a refund and hopefully some compensation for the worst week ever, courtesy of Vodafone.

I also think it is pretty sad that I’ve had to go to such great lengths to get something so simple done – what chance do those who aren’t so social media savvy have?

If you are struggling to get anywhere with Vodafone feel free to comment on this post and I will try and help where possible 🙂

UPDATE: Vodafone Woes #Day5

Saturday.

I would love to be writing this update to say that Vodafone came through after all, and that my line was now operational…….sadly this is not the case.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more ridiculous in the whole #VodafoneWoes drama, the interaction – or rather lack of it from ‘Customer Disservice’ was taken to a whole new level this morning.

While I found writing my complaint down yesterday rather cathartic, I woke up this morning feeling really frustrated and anxious about the whole situation and that’s not good when you’re trying to deal with 3 cats, 2 dogs and a herd of children.

Being the eternal optimist I decided to call Vodafone yet again, in the hope that maybe this time I would get a call handler that could actually handle my call and deal with the ongoing problem where so many others had failed.

Call #1: I waited on hold to speak to a customer disservice operator for 35 minutes before my call was answered. He took my details and seemed to understand the problem. He asked why the number had been disconnected in the first place and as I started to answer him the line went dead.

Call #2: I opted for the ‘call back option’ and, after 20 minutes I got a call from customer disservice operator called Sinah. She was very apologetic about the whole thing and said she couldn’t understand why a simple reconnection was taking so long. She then assured me that she would solve the problem and had escalated it to her manager – between them they would get the line back up and running in the next 2-5 hours. She also said she would call me back after 3 hours, just to check if it had been done, and if not she would chase it up again to ensure it would be on by 4pm at the latest.

I thanked her for her help but explained that I had been promised a call back from several operators and not one has ever actually got back to me. I also expressed my distrust of her promises as I have heard it countless times before over the past 4 days. At this point she gave me her full name and promised that she would be the one to restore my faith in Vodafone.

I am still waiting for Sinah to call me back………

Call 3, 4, 5 and 6: Having waited until 4.30 and the line still being inactive I decided to call customer disservice yet again. I tried to get through using the 191 number only to have the call dropped each and every time. On the 7th attempt I tried using my daughters phone in case it was my number that was causing this and this time I got straight through. Make of that what you will.

Call 7: This time I spoke to a male phone operator, when I asked to speak with Sinah he had no idea who she was and said that she was ‘probably in a different building’. He went through the standard apology and after putting me on hold several times he explained that the previous call handler hadn’t completed all of the steps needed to

Seriously?

Seriously?

reconnect the line, but it was ok because he would do that now and it would be back on within 24 hours. At a loss for words by now I said ‘ok, speak to you again tomorrow when it doesn’t happen’ and he assured me profusely that it really would, and that he was even going to send me a confirmation text. Whoop whoop.

When the text arrived it states, as you can see, that the reconnection will take place within 24 DAYS. Unbelievable.

Meanwhile, over on Twitter, it appears that @VodafoneUKhelp want to anything but help and have taken to totally ignoring me. Despite following me on Tuesday and tweeting to ask that I ‘DM’ (direct message) them my issue, they have refused to interact with any of my numerous tweets tagging them as well as all of my ‘DM’s’…..

I have sent a hard copy of my complaint to Vodafone head office and will update my blog until this situation is resolved and adequate compensation has been received. Oh, and the dongle removed and refunded of course 😉

Helloooo

Helloooo

Vodafone Woes….

I have been with Vodafone now for a number of years and never really had a problem. Until recently that is….

Firstly I should explain that I have 4 phone lines with them – mine, my hubbies, my daughters and my second youngest son. My phone bill averages at over £100pm and I have always paid it on time and in full.

It all began to go wrong back in March 2015. We went away for a few days and my son ran up a massive bill, by using a shed load of data whilst ‘Minecrafting’ of an evening.

Vodafone_letters

As soon as I saw the bill I called Vodafone to explain what had happened, and to request that more data be added to my sons number to prevent it ever occurring again in the future. ‘The Customer Disservice‘ (they don’t seem to provide an actual service so this name seems more fitting) adviser that I spoke to assured me that what I really needed was a dongle with some data on. Unconvinced but feeling somewhat pressurised I agreed and the dongle arrived a couple of days later. By this time I had realised that I really didn’t need a dongle at all, just some data adding to my sons line as requested, so I returned it the same day it arrived and received a text message soon after confirming it was back with Vodafone safe and sound.

When the April phone bill came I was disappointed to see that, along with my 4 phone lines, the dongle I had returned – unused and sealed as it had arrived, had still been billed to my account.

Being the good customer that I am, I paid the bill in full and called ‘Customer Disservice’ to ask that it be removed immediately and the money taken from my bank be credited back as a refund. She apologised for the mix up and confirmed that they would sort it out as a matter of urgency as she could see that I had, indeed returned it as stated.

Little did I know then that this was to be a pattern that would continue right up until today (November 2015) and I am still being charged for a dongle I never used. Each month I would check the bill, call Vodafone to be assured that they would remove it for me and arrange a refund only for it to appear the following month again.

This week things took a serious turn for the worse and I am now a very unhappy customer indeed – as are many

Twitter is full of complaints about Vodafone customer service, or lack of it.

Twitter is full of complaints about Vodafone customer service, or lack of it.

others judging by the countless complaints about Vodafone on social media, particularly Twitter.

On Tuesday morning I opened my November bill and was horrified/annoyed/upset to see that despite my countless calls every month for the past 8 months, the dongle is still on there. I called Vodafone ‘Customer Disservice’ and had a little rant about the clear lack of communication they have going on and was told that my problem was down to the returns department. Allegedly they never updated my account when they received it back and that was why I was still being billed. The representative then assured me that she had fixed everything and that the dongle would be removed the same day, I would receive a full refund on my next bill and (after me requesting some form of compensation for my inconvenience), a £20 good will gesture would also be credited to my account.

I ended the call feeling fairly optimistic that the problem would finally be resolved and I could look forward to a slightly lower bill next month. How naive was I…….

Within 5 minutes of me ending the call to Vodafone my hubbys phone lost signal and ‘no service’ appeared on the screen. Thinking this was just a coincidence I called Vodafone back and asked why the number had gone off. They talked me through several trouble shooting fixes, finally asking me to try the sim in another phone which established that the problem was with the sim itself and not the handset. She wasn’t sure why this had happened but advised me that the quickest way to fix it would be to go to our local store where that would be able to read the notes she’d added to my account and give him a new sim card there and then. Easy, right?

He duly went to the Sale branch of Vodafone where the staff gave him a new sim as suggested – he left the store thinking that it was all sorted and called me to give me the good news. Thing is, when he called it came up as my daughters number instead of his own. My daughter was in college at the time and messages me when she finishes to arrange for me to collect her from the Metro-link,  so if he had her number what number, if any, did she have??

Panicked I called Vodafone for the third time that day to be told that it was the store at fault and that they had ported the wrong number to the sim card they’d given my hubby. The only way to rectify this, they said, was for him to return to the store in question so that they could fix the problem. They also confirmed that my daughters number had been disconnected at the same time, meaning that I had to phone the college to pass a message to her to call me from a phone box when she got off the Metro – something that as a 17 year old in 2015 she has never done before.

Hubby returned to the store and, after an hour of calls to various departments it finally became clear what had caused the problem. Apparently, when I called to cancel the dongle for the 8th time, the adviser that took my call actually disconnected his phone number instead, leaving the dongle online with no cancellation or refund in sight.

On Tuesday evening I had a lengthy phone call with someone in the technical department where he confirmed that they had accidentally disconnected the phone and it would take 24 hours to reinstate it as they had to let it completely ‘switch off’ before they could switch it on again. He promised that he would deal with it himself first thing in the morning (Wednesday) and would call me to let me know it was in hand.

With no offer of a temporary sim card or emergency phone number from either the tech team or ‘Customer Disservice’, I ended the call and headed to the Vodafone shop in Sale to see if they could help. I explained that they still hadn’t switched the phone back on, despite me explaining that my hubby uses it for business and it was costing us both time and money while we were being passed from one incompetent call handler to the next.

I have to say that the Sale branch of Vodafone were extremely helpful and gave me a temporary pay-as-you-go sim with some credit on so he could at least make calls in the meantime. The manager was disgusted at the runaround we’d been given and explained how frustrating it was for her and her colleagues to be on the receiving end of such complaints without the proper support to resolve them. I was also informed that there was another customer with a very similar complaint that had been without their number for 6 weeks before it was finally sorted out……..

Despite being told by Vodafone on several occasions that someone would call be back to no avail (for the record the only Voda representative to ever return my call is the assistant manager at Sale branch, thanks Dean), I duly waited until lunch time Wednesday and, having no call back from Vodafone as promised, I decided to call them again.

Unknown-6This time I was on the phone for 50 minutes, passed between 6 call handlers and asked my full name and phone number a staggering 9 times. I was then told there were no notes from the night before so we were no nearer the phone being switched on, but not to worry as they would do it straight away and we could expect the phone to be operational within 24 hours.

At this point I began to feel like I really was being fobbed off every time I called – told to wait 2 hours, 24 hours and, latterly 72 hours and the line would be active again and also meaning that there was no point calling back until that time had elapsed as they can’t/won’t give you any further information. I’m sure the buffoons staffing Vodafone ‘Customer Disservices’ are given a script to read and if you try and discuss anything other than a general enquiry with them it leads to total communication breakdown, cross wires, tears (mine) and long painful silences (theirs).

Another 24 hours passed and my phone line was still not active so, on Thursday I decided to call Vodafone. Again.

I had to explain my whole situation again but was optimistic once again when Omar in ‘Customer Disservice’ apologised and said that he would action it straight away and my phone would be up and running in 2 hours. I questioned this, I mean 2 hours is too good to be true, right? He confirmed that he would ‘handle it personally’ and it would be on for sure so I had no option but to hang up and wait some more.

2 hours later…….phone still not on

I called Vodafone ‘Customer Disservice’ yet again (see a pattern forming here) and this time was told that the phone number couldn’t be reactivated by them at all and every time he tried to submit the reactivation form it was coming up with an error and not allowing him to continue.

  • I asked why Omar had promised me it would be on within 2 hours if this was the case. He had no answer.
  • I asked why it was taking days to reconnect a number that Vodafone had cut off in error. He had no answer.
  • I then asked why I was being told something different every single time I called and why the notes that were put on my file were incomplete, wrong or, in some cases, totally absent. Again he had no answer.
  • Instead he stuck to his predetermined script in a drone like manner repeating that he would refer it to the reconnection team and it should be on within 72 hours.

At this point I was seriously losing the will to live and had developed a banging headache from being on the phone to Vodafone so much without getting anywhere so I ended the call having absolutely no faith in what he’d said at all and feeling rather despondent.

Your line reconnection we can not do....

Reconnect your line we can not…

This morning (Friday) I decided to visit the Vodafone Sale branch in an attempt to get the phone put back on before weekend, they had been so helpful on Tuesday that I hoped they would be able to do what so many ‘Customer Disservice’ team members had tried and failed.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the case – they were extremely helpful in so much as they gave us more credit on the temporary sim they’d given us on Tuesday, and the assistant manager did try to sort the issue on the phone, but he got no further than I had managed the day before. After spending a ridiculous amount of time on hold and repeating himself several times he too was told that it should be on at some point on Saturday.

I asked what time Saturday but they were unable to provide me this information, despite it being them that put a 72 hour time span on it in the first place. The staff at Sale Vodafone advised me that if it didn’t come on as promised then to call them back and they would try again, also that they aren’t open on Sundays but the Trafford Centre branch is…….

So that brings me to where I am now.

  • It’s almost 8pm Friday night and the phone line is still inactive.
  • I have no idea if it will actually come on tomorrow and the thought of having to repeat myself to Vodafone ‘Customer Disservice’ again is making me feel physically sick.
  • My husband, who is self employed, has lost an immeasurable amount of business and numerous calls as people try to contact him and get a dead tone.
  • Remember the dongle I mentioned? It is still on my bill and showing as active………

Have you had a similar experience with Vodafone? – I’m interested to see if this is a widespread problem and if anyone else is still waiting to be reconnected.

Indeed they do....

Indeed they do….

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