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Is your Vodafone Glasgow 3G data not working either?

The capacity crunch is well and truly biting for Vodafone in Glasgow it seems. Reader Squawkbox tweeted today asking if I knew anyone on the network side at Vodafone to help out. I have been thinking carefully — alas, I’m not sure I do. I wonder. If you’re reading, and you manage Vodafone’s data network in the UK, could you see what’s going on with “Site 32520”?

Apparently, as Squawkbox points out, this is the site that’s causing a substantial amount of pain for a lot of Vodafone’s Glasgow customers. (Dive in and have a read of the issues here).

From what I can glean from the Vodafone eForum team’s responses, it seems that this particular cell site is due an upgrade ‘later this month’ that ‘should improve matters’.

I do feel for the eForum team in this instance. Normally they can fix stuff right-away, especially if it’s a billing issue, a handset delivery problem and so on. However when it comes to infrastructure? Well, I suspect ‘Networks’ probably don’t talk to customer service that much. Indeed, if Vodafone is anything like some of the other UK operators, the chances are that customer services are the last people to know there’s a problem and when there’s a fix.

The fact that the poor eForum team are reduced to having to issue rather tenuous statements because there’s no information for them to supply customers.

You’d think that if this site was due an upgrade, somebody in the Networks team might — you know — happen to have an idea when this would take place, so that the eForum team can pass on the data?

Why isn’t there a live status update system that everyone can check to see the progress of enhancements to a particular cell? I don’t think Vodafone customers mind about the occasional network niggle, or even seriously poor service — provided it feels temporary, provided it feels like something is being done.

Instead, it’s the eForum chaps who get it in the neck from the customers. And, well, the customers have a point. Just look at some of the complaints on the page.

Unfortunately Wayne from the eForum team has got the pressure cooker of annoyed Glasgow Vodafone customers moved up to the next notch. How? Well he pointed out that:

I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to give you any credits at this point as you are still able to use 2G. Calls on 2G seem to be unaffected by this issue so you can still use your phone for its purpose (making calls).

Warning bells started ringing for me at that point. Especially given Vodafone’s current marketing about having the most reliable/outstanding network.

Wayne, alas, when it comes to defining the ‘purpose’ of a smartphone, the ability to make 2G calls is most probably a secondary or tertiary consideration, especially when the 3G data isn’t working.

MIR reader Squawkbox wasn’t having any of it:

That response would have been suitable if it was perhaps at the start of 2005 but not today. Consumers come to vodafone with smartphones take contracts out for multiple purposes, not just to make calls as you suggest above. I entered into the agreement with Vodafone to provide both circuit switched services (calls and SMS) and packet switched services (data). As you’ll see from my usage, I’m very much a heavy data user and don’t tend to use too many SMS or use much of my allowance. You even advertise data as part of your PR for your network (see “deep pan” and other silly marketing terms you use).

He continues — and here’s where it gets a bit, well, embarrassing for Vodafone:

I previously worked in the network department of another network and I was able to see when sites were due to be upgraded or what particular faults were. If the issue impacted a large number of customers then it would be raised as a high priority fault and was usually quickly resolved. If I felt the issue was big enough, I’d push it on behalf of customers to get looked at sooner.

Yup. That’s what they do at Vodafone too. However, in this case, I reckon it’s not got the priority it needs.

Squawk continues:

Why didn’t you seek an update on this particular site? Why didn’t raise a case to have the other sites checked for faults? For example I’ve done some testing and I’ve been connected to the following 3G sites:

LAC: d5 CID: 30dceff
LAC: d5 CID: 30debd6
LAC = d5 CID: 30dceea

It’s ridiculous Squawk is having to do this.

The standard ‘over capacity’ explanation that works for most users didn’t work on Squawk:

This suggests to me it is an additional fault rather than completely due the excess demand placed on it due to site 32520 being down

Ah dear.

It’s also ridiculous that the eForum team aren’t getting the resources they need to resolve this particular issue.

I reckon the eForum team will have submitted a ticket reporting the fault.

One would imagine it’s worthwhile prioritising an area that’s getting a lot of heat ahead of other areas without so much heat.

Or, is the reality that the whole network is on fire? 😉 The key here is, ironically, communication — and then action.

The customers getting a rubbish service need some clarity on WHY and WHEN it will be fixed.

I’ve had similar issues myself and it’s hugely frustrating — in one memorable experience last year, a senior chap at 3 noticed my post and escalated a fix, meaning my local base station was back online within a few hours.

Now then, come on Vodafone, what can you do for the people of Glasgow?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

4 replies on “Is your Vodafone Glasgow 3G data not working either?”

Sadly, I think the whole network is on fire.  I think I joined just as their claim to reliability took a dive.

Five months later an Vodafone’s network is still very dodgy in central Glasgow. I believe they’re aware of it, because they let me out of my 12 month iPhone 4S contract 9 months early after some hardcore complaining!

Switched to O2 and it works perfectly in central Glasgow.

Vodafone – absolutely shocking, even their own shop workers in Glasgow are switching to other networks although they do at least sympathise. Speaking to vodafone via email or phone is a nightmare and although they say there is a problem they are still insisting things will improve soon!!!
No chance of terminating the contract though, I’ve switched to 3 and things are literally 20 times better. Vodafone chasing me for payment though!

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