Posts By Taaliah

Social Media Job Hunting With Altrincham HQ

It’s that time of year again – cold mornings, dark evenings and wet days means that we tend to spend more time indoors and, for many of us, that also means more time online.

Research shows that people are spending almost an hour online every day scrolling through Facebook updates, liking Instagram posts and chatting on Messenger but could that time be better spent?

With many businesses using social media as a way to engage with the public, there has never been a better time to catch the attention of possible future employers whilst still using the platforms you’re familiar with. However, this also means that everything you share online yourself can can also be seen by the same people you’re trying to impress.

I spoke to Alex McCann, founder of Altrincham HQ, to ask him for some tips about how to use online time in a more productive way and ensure you’re sending out the right messages….

altrincham-hq-profile

Alex in action…

“I always tell this tale whenever I’m doing a Business Talk – about how 1999 changed my life….

A normal kid from a normal background who, while at college, decided to set up a music website from his bedroom … and 6 months later got quite a well-paid freelance journalism job from a stranger in London.

I haven’t looked back since and even now, when I’m helping small businesses with Social Media Marketing, I trace back my current success to believing in the power of the internet back in 1999

Opportunities have never been greater for people who are prepared to use the internet as much for work as they are for keeping in touch with friends.

 BEFORE YOU APPLY FOR A JOB – DO A SOCIAL MEDIA AUDITsocial-media-1

If you haven’t heard of a young girl called Paris Brown do a quick search on google after reading this article.

In short – she was a 17 year old girl who got the £15,000 job of the Youth Crime Commissioner. Offensive posts on Twitter from years previous came back to haunt her and she lost the job just days after it was announced.

Now she was in a very public position in the public eye, but regardless of what some HR people say – it’s likely that if you apply for a job they’ll search your name on Facebook to get a picture of who you are outside of your CV

 Four Things To Do Now…

  1. Check your Facebook profile photo and cover photo portrays you in the best light from an employer’s perspective – it can still be you and personal and friendly
  2. Check your Facebook privacy settings are set to friends only – so that anything you do post by accident isn’t in the public domain
  3. Check which Facebook pages / groups you have joined over the years – and check there is nothing to raise eyebrows
  4. Use Twitter Advanced Search – https://twitter.com/search-advanced – for any swear words, abuse or anything that portrays you in a bad light – and delete those tweets

 

Now all that’s done – you can get on with the applying for jobs

 

USE TWITTER / FACEBOOK TO SEARCH FOR VACANCIES

Businesses quite often will try and fill a role from their own customer base / fans before going to more traditional methods of recruitment

Every single day I see local businesses advertise for jobs – both part time roles and full times roles

To make sure you don’t miss out – do the following

  1. Like all local business pages on Facebook from businesses you’d like to work for / businesses that regularly take on staff
  2. Join a specific Facebook job group like ” https://www.facebook.com/groups/salejobs/ ” – there’s always new local jobs advertised
  3. Join local Sale, Altrincham groups and use the Facebook Search option top right of the group to search the word job
  4. Set up a saved search on Twitter for jobs in the local town – simply type job altrincham / job #saletown / job urmston etc in the search bar and click save search so it appears in the drop down menu

 

Word of warning – these are few and far between on these platforms – but be wary of adverts offering “work from home” / “work around your busy family life” – they are often not salaried roles and require you to buy in to an opportunity

 

RESEARCH THE COMPANY TO WRITE THE NUMBER 1 COVERING LETTER / EXCEL AT INTERVIEW STAGE

social-media-3So you’ve made sure you’re Social Media looks squeaky clean. You’ve searched social media and found the perfect job – the next stage is getting through the covering letter stage and excelling at interview stage

And a little note for you here – 90% of covering letters suck!!!

Bland clichés that have been written before the day I was born – “I work well on my own and as part of a team” / “Hard Working And Dedicated” / “This Is Exactly the Kind of Role I’m Looking For” – well done for stating the obvious

Use Social Media to rise above the blandness and show you have some real interest in the company you want to work for.

Every single day on Social Media, the company that you’re applying for a job with, will be pushing the latest news about what the company are up to so reference that in your covering letter. Show them you’re taking note. Show them you care.

 And then once you get the interview do the research again

Very few others will do this – you’ll stand out as way above average and it puts you in a good position to get hired

GIVERS GAIN

There’s a saying in business called Givers Gain – help others and you help yourself.

Think about how you can adapt that idea in your own job search…

If whilst doing all of the above activity for your own job search – you’re thinking of friends and family members who are looking for work and keep letting them know about job opportunities – the help will come back at you like a boomerang

Givers Gain – look out for jobs for other people on Social Media and they’ll look out for jobs for you. It’s like having an army of 10 people helping you out

 

EVERY LITTLE HELPS AND NOT JUST AT TESCO

Everything I’ve talked about above us reactive – meaning you’re waiting for someone else to put the job out, to tell you about their latest news, for a friend to look out for a job for you.

What I want to talk about in this last point is the proactive stuff you can do long-term to draw people to you, rather than you look for it and all of it you can do with a smart phone or a computer … and an internet connection.social-media-2

We’ve all read in the media about people who set up a blog or a youtube channel and suddenly made a career out of it.The ones you know about are on the national stage – but these sort of things happen all the time on a smaller level, where you get passionate about your niche and suddenly someone offers you a job

If people are aware of you. People can offer you stuff.

So whilst looking for the day to day job – why not aim big – follow your passion and set up a blog / youtube channel that you work on at least once a week.

Tell us what this brings you if you stick at it for a year…

You can find Alex on Twitter @altrinchamhq or Facebook – Altrincham HQ

Print

*This article was originally written for SaleWestVoice Magazine – an online source of news n views 🙂

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-13-00-33

 

 

 

Irwell Valley, ‘variable service charges’ and what you really need to know…

As some of you will be aware, Irwell Valley Housing Association are planning to implement an ‘Intention to vary your tenancy agreement and charge you a variable service charge’.

You’ll know this because they wrote to every tenant back in September, to ask your opinion and for feedback – but did you actually read the letter or just throw it in the bin?

IMG_6332.jpg

 

I’m asking because, according to Irwell Valley, they received only 139 replies out of a possible 2580. That is just 5% of residents.

They also received a petition with 102 signatures on it. That’s 102 residents out of 2580 that currently live in property owned by the housing association.

It’s these statistics that make me think that perhaps you didn’t read that letter after all, if you had there would have been far more response from the letter in September and loads more signatures on the petition. That’s why I’m writing up this blog, to point out a couple of ways in which these changes will potentially affect you when they come in to effect on the 1st of April next year.

Firstly, Irwell Valley did ‘note and listen’ to all your responses and held a panel session in order to ‘review them in full’ – there were two resident board members present but at the time of writing I’m not sure who they are.

Either way, there were no comments relating to the variation in the tenancy agreement and they have decided to go ahead anyway, from April next year.

So, why are they introducing the charge? It’s because during a recent review it was pointed out that residents in Sale and Haughton Green weren’t paying for services that were being charged for in other areas and, to ‘ensure fairness’ they decided that you can pay it too.

At the panel it was raised that residents had queried what happens to the power generated by the solar panels on the high rises, as well as any income from the masts also on the high rises. Irwell Valley explained that the energy from the solar panels is used within the building to reduce the amount of energy used in communal areas and this will be reflected in the service charge to residents, although it will be negligible really. The income from the masts is not reserved only for the buildings they’re attached to – Irwell Valley say that this money is ‘used alongside rental income to invest in homes and neighbourhoods’.
swv-image-3

Now for the really interesting stuff…

What exactly does ‘Variable Service Charge‘ mean anyway?  Each year Irwell Valley will assess how much they expect to spend on providing services, this means that the charge is estimated based on the previous year’s costs or estimated costs. At the end of the year you will receive a statement showing the actual costs and any over/under charges. The service charge will then be adjusted for the following year.

So, for the first year they will be working on estimates that could be quite reasonable. However, if there’s a spate of vandalism, houses being damaged, fencing being stolen or general stoopidity leading to damage, you can expect your service charge to go up and up and up…..

Interestingly, Irwell Valley say that the cost of the service charge could vary amongst similar properties – for example, looking at the blocks, ‘the number of repairs required to each block will change each year, e.g. one block could require 3 repairs to the door entry system in one year and another block could have no repairs, therefore the first block will have a higher service charge that year’.

In theory that could also mean various roads or sections of the estate could have differing charges – if you live in a patch that sees a lot of damage you could see a rise in your service charge. Hardly fair if it’s not you or yours causing the damage in the first place….

…which leads me to the next possible bone of contention.sale-west-sign

If you are in receipt of full housing benefit/universal credit the service charge will be covered by your benefits and you shouldn’t be required to pay any additional cost yourself. You do need to inform Universal Credit yourself as Irwell Valley won’t be doing so, but if you receive housing benefit you don’t even need to do that as they will inform them themselves.

However, if you are working full-time or not in receipt of the benefits above, you’ll be expected to pay it yourself on top of your rent.

I pity those that are out at work and not receiving benefits when they come home to find the kid up the road has damaged yet more property that will increase the Service Charge that their parents will be unaware of because they don’t pay it themselves…..

Maybe this is a clever ploy by Irwell Valley to get residents to stand up to the few that spoil it for the rest, after all, what better way to bring it to your attention and bring about a little community action than to hit you in the pocket.

If you feel you may have money problems paying your service charge you should contact the Irwell Valley Income Management Team as soon as possible on 0800 035 22 11 – they will be able to offer you confidential help, advice and support.

Once you get the letter in February 2017 with the full breakdown of charges, Irwell valley will be holding a number of surgeries to allow you to meet with an IV colleague on a one-to-one basis and discuss your individual circumstances.

To try n end on a positive note, here’s a list of all the services you can expect to receive from Irwell Valley – please let us know if they fail to meet any of them n don’t forget to take a pic and post it on SaleWestVoice 🙂

  1. Cleaning communal windows (blocks) – quarterly, in March, June, September and December
  2. Communal cleaning (blocks) – monthly and includes all ledges cleaned, nosing on stairs and bannister rails cleaned, sweep n mop all hard floors, dust, damp wipe of skirting, clean of internal fixtures n fittings, check on external door and light fittings for cobwebs and clean all internal door glazing.
  3. Communal Electricity (blocks) – you’re paying for it in your service charge so you can expect the communal area to be lit, warm and with a working lift.
  4. Lift Service Contract (blocks) – again, it’s included in the charge so you should expect to have a fully operational lift that’s maintained monthly.
  5. Repairs to Lift (blocks) – Irwell Valley have taken into consideration previous breakdowns etc so if there are more this year expect the charge to go up.
  6. Estate Maintenance (EVERYONE) – This cost is included in the service charge and is divided by the total number of properties on the estate. The service is provided by Greenfingers and Nurture and you can expect grass cut fortnightly throughout the growing season, kerb edges and fence lines kept neat n tidy, grass areas to be edged during the dormant season, weeds removed in shrub beds and on hard surfaces as well as all shrub and hedges to be pruned to a neat ‘hedge like’ appearance. Remember that fly-tipping issues and bin emptying will remain responsibility of Trafford Council.

 

Irwell Valley will also be charging a 15% management fee which is calculated by taking the cost of each service and multiplying it by 15% – this is ‘to ensure services are delivered to a high quality n provide value for money, the cost of working out the service charge and the cost of collecting said service charge. Funny times eh 🙂

unknown-1

 

 

 

New figures reveal 1.6Million school-aged children estimated to be living with an undetected vision problem

More than one and a half Million (1.6Million) school–aged children in England could be living with an undiagnosed vision problem that impacts on their educational and social development according to new figures released by National Eye Health Week and Boots Opticians.

unknown-1

With up to eighty to eighty-five per cent of our perception, learning, cognition and activities facilitated through vision, it’s clear that the quality of a child’s eyesight plays a vital role in his or her development, especially in their early years.

A recent study by a team of UK academics published in the British Medical Journal found a clear link between visual ability in young children and reading and writing levels. Children with reduced visual acuity – a measure of how well we view detail – had significantly lower literacy development even when other factors – such as demographic, socio-economic and cognitive skills – were taken into account.

Poor vision in younger children is often due to the presence of Amblyopia (lazy eye) – a developmental disorder that leads to reduced vision. The human eye continues to develop until we reach about eight years of age giving just a small window of time where good vision can be restored through early detection and treatment. Unfortunately, there are few signs and symptoms to observe so detection is very difficult for parents, carers and teachers.unknown-2

David Cartwright Chairman National Eye Health Week continued: “As a child’s eyesight is usually fully developed by the age of eight, regular sight tests, every two years unless advised otherwise by your optometrist, are crucial. Sight tests for all children in the UK are free and funded by the NHS – the only investment parents have to make is time.

Conditions such as squint or amblyopia can lead to lifelong problems so it really is a case of ‘After Eight is too Late’. If detected early amblyopia and squint can often be corrected and other visual problems such as childhood myopia can be managed effectively, yet, fifty per cent of parents with children aged eight and under have never taken their child for a sight test.”

Levels of Myopia (short-sight), which typically occurs in childhood between the ages of six and 13, have more than doubled over the last 50 years and currently affect around a fifth of all teenagers in the UK.

It’s often difficult to tell if your child is having problems with their eyes but some tell-tale signs that there could be something wrong include struggling to recognise colours and shapes; frequently bumping into things; not showing any interest in learning to read; not progressing or being disengaged at school; complaining about headaches and sitting very close to the TV.

You may also recognise some physical signs, including:

• Rubbing eyes frequently
• Squinting, head-tilting or closing one eye when trying to focus
• One eye turning in or out
• Blinking a lot
• Excessive tearing
• Red, sore or encrusted eye lids

With a wealth of clinical evidence emerging to suggest that lifestyle factors can play a role in keeping children’s eyes healthy, including the importance of outdoor play in preventing the onset of myopia, National Eye Health Week has joined forces with Boots Opticians to launch a guide to help to care for your child’s eyes.unknown-3

This digital resource includes seven ways to help keep kids’ eyes healthy, tell-tale signs your child could be struggling with their vision and common childhood eye conditions explained. There are also links to resources such as the Boots Opticians eye check story book, Zookeeper Zoe which contains a range of interactive eye check activities to help parents and carers understand if their child might need support with their vision.

Commenting on the collaboration Karl Thomas, Customer Director, Boots Opticians said: “We want every child in the UK to be as happy and healthy as possible. We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback about Zookeeper Zoe and we’re delighted with stories we’re hearing around the joy that Zoe’s story brings, be that the simple act of reading, or in raising parents’ awareness of vision needs that in turn are resulting in a vision correction for their child.”

“Good eyesight can be so important for a child’s development, so we want to ensure their vision is the best it can be, which is why we are printing more copies of Zookeeper Zoe and encouraging parents to take their children for an eye test to ensure that their children reach their full potential.”

imagesDespite the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) recommending, universal vision screening for all children between the ages of 4 – 5 years by an orthoptic-led service an estimated 200,000+ children will miss out on this basic screening in the 2016/17 academic year as fewer than a third of local authorities in England provide this service and where it does exist screening has been found to be patchy.

David Cartwright concludes: “Regular eye checks performed on your local high street, by a qualified optometrist and paid for by the NHS are vital to ensure kids live well and fulfil their potential in the classroom.”

Discover more at www.visionmatters.org.uk/children or to share Zookeeper Zoe’s adventures visit www.zookeeperzoe.co.uk

unknown-1

Pokemon insurance now available…

Not wanting to miss out on the recent Pokemon Go craze sweeping the world, one canny insurance company have launched what they are calling ‘the world’s first Pokédex insurance’, in response to the growing popularity of the new Pokémon Go game.

Unknown-1

No Caption needed…

The British firm, Row which advertises the cover, making references to the Japanese television show launched in 1997, reads “taking up the challenge of becoming a Pokémon Go trainer and becoming the very best like no one ever was is undoubtedly important, but don’t forget to defend your Pokédex (mobile phone) with the UK’s top rated specialist insurance provider to keep you playing the game without interruption”

With reports of the augmented reality game having 5.9m daily users, more than Twitter (4.06m), Pokémon Go has become a phenomenal overnight success.

images

90’s classic with a 2016 twist

During the game players explore the real world using their phone’s GPS and camera to catch virtual monsters. Once caught, Pokémon are added to the player’s Pokédex – a handheld gadget that resembles a mobile phone. Players, known in the game as trainers, must catch as many as possible while levelling up by making use of their Pokémon’s unique skills during battles at local ‘gyms’.

So far so good, right. Below is where it gets interesting – [excerpt from press release]

“Many players have been injured while playing the game, been mugged at secluded Pokéstops, found dead bodies while searching for the Pokémon and even been shot at!
The large use of the game will also undoubtedly lead to more phones being dropped, an increase on the 90% of people who drop their phone at least once a month, according to a survey by phone case manufacturer Tech21.

The same survey states that for 38% of people the biggest stress factor of a broken phone is paying for the repair. Luckily, Row’s new Pokédex insurance covers accidental damage, including cracked screens, plus liquid damage and mechanical faults. In the event of theft or loss, the firm boasts they aim to get a replacement phone to your door within 24 hours of the claim being accepted so you can keep catching Pokémon and winning gym badges!”

So there you have it – rather than protecting your Pokemon from being stolen or securing your account from being hacked as the headline would have you believe, they have simply rebranded their existing accidental damage/theft policy to attract a whole new clientele of Paranoid Poke Hunters.

Wonder what we’ll see next, perhaps a ‘PokeSim’ offering unlimited data just in time for the summer hols, or maybe ‘PokePancakes’ –  after all I was one of the parents duped into buying numerous packs of *Tubby Toast back in the the 90s when my eldest was a toddler and the Teletubbies phenomenon was in full effect.

If you’ve seen any Pokemon related PR campaigns that have made you chuckle or shake your head in despair get in touch, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

*  For clarity – Tubby Toast is a round piece of toast with a smiley face on it. Tubby Toast is made from Tubby Bread, and It is one of the Teletubbies’ favorite foods. The Teletubbies make Tubby Toast from the Tubby Toaster. Tubby Toast has also had some fun incidents, the Tubby Toast once made too much Tubby Toast in the Tubby Toast Accident, there was once a Tubby Toast Tower and the Tubby Toaster once made a very big piece of Tubby Toast. The Tubby Toaster made a Tubby Toast Pattern on the Tubby Table. Once, Tinky-Winky made lots of Tubby Toast and put it in his bag. But all the Tubby Toast burst out all over Teletubbyland. The Teletubbies love Tubby Toast……

 

2015 in review

It has been a very busy year – now on to 2016…

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Year – New Notebook…

As 2015 comes to an end it can only mean one thing for stationery addicts across the world, time to source new stationery for the new year – including a diary, calendar, note books, useful sticky pads, pens and various other writing paraphernalia. Being super organised (and slightly neurotic) I have already started my New Year Collection n thought I would share my finds with you 🙂

12431263_1013251562053941_858454436_n

A few faves from Blueprint Collections

I would like to start with a special mention for a very special stationery company – Blueprint Collections. These guys are responsible for some of the super stylish stationery found in John Lewis, Tesco, Primark, Sainsburys, Waterstones, Claires Accessories and many other high street shops.

Always bang on trend, Blueprint Collections really do have something for everyone – their designer, teen and kids stationery sets feature some very well known characters and I have collected quite a few already 🙂

One of my all time favourite characters is Wally from the infamous ‘Where’s Wally‘ series and I was beyond delighted to find that he had his very own stationery set, complete with super cute post-it notes and ‘to-do’ list pad (both of which I seem to use a lot of…)

Add to this a cardboard backed A5 pad with a ‘Where’s Wally’ insert and you really do have everything needed to see you into 2016 at work/college/school, including a way to procrastinate away the hours as you convince your work/classmates that they really must help you find Wally before work can commence…..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just in time for the Peanuts movie, Blueprint have also released a fantastic range of Snoopy inspired products, each one totally adorable and no doubt much sought after by Peanuts fans, old and young alike. I love the quality of the A5 notebook, and the fact it has a cute cartoon on each page, it makes note taking fun – especially when written using a matching Peanut pen complete with Snoopy charm 🙂

 

Other notable stationery in the last Blueprint collection are the ‘old-fashioned’ Coca Cola pieces, my 13-year-old son was well impressed with

12436104_1013251545387276_44865145_n

Coke – a timeless classic

the ‘essential’ set that includes a wooden ruler and other trendy items, so much so that I haven’t seen it since he spotted it and he’s now requested a matching bag for school.

My personal all time favourite collection has to be the designer range. I love notebooks, especially really pretty yet functional notebooks with decent quality paper. Yet again, Blueprint don’t disappoint and their Kirstie Allsopp A4 hardback notebook is the business.

As some of you may know, I have a brand new and very exciting project in the pipeline for next year – having secured some funding, I’m launching a hyper-community magazine and am currently up

12431450_1013251558720608_715119454_n

My all time fave – Kirstie Allsopp notebook

to my eyes with flat plans and page layout plans. I’ve dedicated my Kirstie Allsopp notebook to the cause and am finding it the perfect place to keep all my ideas together and it looks really smart when I’m going to meetings and other ‘grown-up’ stuff 🙂

I have already had a sneak peek at what the guys at Blueprint have planned for 2016 and have my eye on a few goodies – look out for collections from The Gruffalo, Peppa Pig, Designers Guild and Trolls (a real blast from the past and top of my wish list).

I have ordered my 2016 diary from Siratt – it’s an Islamic Lifebook and is full of tips and reminders on how to get the most from your year; after buying my first one last year and finding it really useful I’m hooked. Sadly the Lifebook hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t offer a review yet (watch this space).

If  you’ve got a favourite piece of stationery, recommendation or are a lifelong Troll fan give me a shout – always good to hear from fellow #StationerySistas 

Pop over n have a look at Blueprint Collections on Twitter – tell them I said hey 🙂 @BlueprintColl

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Wild Like the Flowers

Rhymes and Reasons

Ummi Homeschools Me

Our journey through homeschooling...for the sake of our Beloved!

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Pencil Hub

For the Love of Stationery

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Thoughts, Tales, and Whatnot

the world as I see it through rose-tinted glasses

bookowly

bookowly

Captain's Log

Life On A Different Plane (The only way to get there is together.)

ashutosh buch

Random Stuff

Mo Ansar.com

The official website of Mohammed Ansar

Da Masked Avenger

Waiting to strike...

A Buick in the Land of Lexus

fresh hell trumps stale heaven

The Buttry Diary

Steve Buttry, Dearly Departed Husband, Father and Grandfather. Former Director of Student Media, LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication

twinswins

Life is two-riffic with twins!

Road to Brazil 2014

World Cup News, Opinion and Guide