The Christmas period is coming to an abrupt end shortly and with the New Year approaching, the shopping sales are going to be revived. Revive and flourish! Flashy sale signs and bargains upon bargains will be the main theme of nearly every shop in the vicinity. I’m not usually one for buying many material goods, or to phrase it better, expensive material goods. I choose wisely what I spend my hard earned money on, for the most part! I will admit I slip from time to time, but doesn’t everyone? It’s natural to indulge in unnecessary goods at times. The Christmas period saw me slip tremendously in this aspect.
Generally, when you buy something in a shop or online (especially when it’s worth a substantial amount of money) you expect to receive a good service and allow your sale to run quick and smooth. Unfortunately for me, this was not the case. So, I’m writing this blog post as a sort of warning/tip before you embark on your quest for those eye-catching sales.
Before I explain my story, I want you all to know that it was technically 100% my fault at the beginning and although I did cause the problem through my sheer stupidity and inexperience at being a skilled shopper, I did not expect to foresee what was about to occur. It was a lead up of events that rolled and rolled until I was left with an Indiana Jones-esque boulder rolling right my way. For those of you who haven’t seen an Indiana Jones movie, this boulder isn’t pleasant and not very easy to dodge. Unless of course you are Indiana Jones himself! So, when you relate this to my shopping inexperience and gradually growing service problem, it’s a perfect fit.
It all began when my phone of many years broke suddenly and created a catalyst of bad luck in relation to phones. This left me having to re-evaluate my options and I decided, out of my norm, to buy an expensive phone. That phone being the iPhone 7 Plus. Very much indulgent I know, but I felt like I deserved to spend my money on something I would genuinely get value from. I needed a good quality camera, so buying a DSLR was an option, but when you take into account that I also needed a phone it was best to try get the best of both worlds. The iPhone 7 Plus camera is by no means at the quality of a DSLR but it’s not too far off and when you throw in the fact that you’re getting a phone on top of the camera quality, it wasn’t a bad option. You’re going to spend a few hundred on a decent quality DSLR anyway so it seemed like a good fit to purchase the phone. Weighing up my options was very important to me, as I did not want to rush into a drastic decision. Although, when you look at this in the long run it did actually turn out a very drastic decision.
I ended up buying the phone online, through Vodafone, as part of a bill pay package. There was a once off 400 euro fee for the actual phone itself, plus 40 euro a month for two years. This may seem like a bad deal, but it suited me best. I did not have the money to buy the phone on pay as you go, most people don’t! So for me to pay this monthly fee was ideal, especially as I knew I had a steady income. The option to upgrade the phone for free in a few years time was also available, so that was certainly an added incentive. Technically, I was going to be paying 20 euro a month for credit on pay as you go anyway, so adding an extra 20 euro a month for the iPhone 7 Plus and all that came with it wasn’t much of a change over price wise.
I ordered the phone on 8th of December with no problems or hassle. Literally just a few details, a payment and a click of a button. The fact that I had actually spent this much money on a phone was something I was still getting used too. Now it was just an eager waiting game. To be honest, I was very excited. Finally indulging on something I generally would have never done before. I was a self-proclaimed handy down man in regards phones. Not anymore though! Now I owned a phone, and a good one at that.
A few days passed and the phone arrived. The postman had left the package in the shed, as no one had been at home upon his arrival. I had received an email that day, telling me the phone had arrived, so I knew it was at the house ready to be savagely opened and operated on for endless hours. Nothing could go wrong now, the phone was here and all mine. Yes, the phone was in fact there, but the wrong phone! My face went from sheer delightment of seeing the package on the kitchen counter to absolute disappointment when I realised it wasn’t the right phone. Apparently I had ordered the Iphone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus, bookmarking my name into the hall of fame of inexperienced shoppers. I guess I managed to overlook the iPhone 7 sign and not iPhone 7 Plus sign that was staring me blatantly in the face throughout my whole transaction, presumably through excitement and again my inexperience at shopping. A simple mistake indeed, but a drastic one in the long run.
(Note: I understand that it may seem bad that I was disappointed that an iPhone 7 came instead of an iPhone 7 Plus, it sounds bad writing it! Although you have to take into account that I haven’t indulged this much in years, if ever so you can kind of see where I’m coming from.)
It took me awhile to cool down and calm my emotions. How could I have been so stupid? I now had no phone, no number, no contact, nothing. My number had been changed over to bill pay for a start, but I didn’t even have a phone so it didn’t matter. It wasn’t long until I was thinking of the best way to solve my problem. I knew there was a 14-day cool off period on returns so all I had to do was send it back in that period of time and everything would be ok.
I began searching online for options on sending the phone back. The best way to sort this out was by contacting Vodafone, just to let them know the problem I caused and that I was returning the phone so that I could reorder the proper one. They kindly offered to pick up the phone the following day, through a courier between the times of 9am-6pm. Great, I had solved the problem in a day and didn’t had to worry anymore. The phone would be picked up and I would kindly be refunded in 5-7 working days. Wrong.
A day passed on no phone was collected. It wasn’t long before I contacted Vodafone again telling them it had not been picked up. They apologized and assured me the phone would be picked up the following day again at the same time. Same scenery occurred, and no phone was collected. Even Though this annoyed me, I understood it was Christmas time and they were presumably very busy. So again, I contacted Vodafone and they told me the exact same thing, that the phone would be collected the following day. However, this time they told me it had been relayed back to their management team and assured me 100% that the phone would be collected. Guess what happened the next day? Nothing. The phone was still sitting on my kitchen counter collecting dust. I can understand they were probably busy, but they need to understand that it is not far to promise a phone will be collected, and not pick it up three days in a row. I stayed patience and continued to contact them each day, with the same thing being relayed back to me. It got to the point where there was only two days left on the cooling off period, and I had decided to take matters into my own hand. Retrieving the Vodafone returns address, and sending the product back myself through fast-track postage. Yes, I could have done this at the beginning, but it meant having to pay quite a bit of money to send it back and the fact that I was told they would pick it up for free meant me not sending it back in the first place.
To say I was disappointed with the service was an understatement, It didn’t stop there though. They managed to somehow make things even worse. Take into account now that it was 20th of december and I was still without a phone. I couldn’t go any longer with no contact, and decided to ask Vodafone kindly to transfer over my number from bill pay back to pay as you go. The Sony phone was just about usable at times, so I guess it was better to use that as a short term option, until the problem was solved. The number was transferred over in seconds, so I presumed Vodafone had finally done something right. I had service on the phone again and didn’t think anymore of it. That was until the following day arrived and I was getting phone calls from middle-aged women asking how there daughter/friend/sister was. This then followed up with questions asking had I stole said girls phone? Seemed pretty weird as this was definitely my own phone. Back in contact with Vodafone I got to see what the problem was this time. They had transferred over the wrong number to my phone. Wow, really. So not only are you going to affect me but also this poor unaware girl who could be waiting on important calls. It just got worse and worse.
It’s now 31st of December and the phone has been received and refunded. Needless to say, I’m not getting the iPhone 7 Plus through Vodafone anymore. I’ve currently re-evaluated my options once again and I am very happy with the decision I have made in regards the money and the phone. I’ll explain that in a later post of course.
I guess what I’m trying to advise through this post is the be aware of what you’re buying over the January sales, and don’t do anything too drastic. Make sure you second look if you are buying online and try not the cause any unnecessary problems like I did. I’m sure you are all better, experienced shoppers than me though so have no fear!
Have you ever had any problems like this with service you received while buying a product? Let me know in the comments below!
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