Aikona, Gogo.

Bad meerkat!

After months of putting off the unavoidable trip  to Vodacare to upgrade my BlackBerry software, I finally bit the bullet yesterday. A BlackBerry software upgrade is relatively straight-forward and can typically be executed from the comfort of your own home. But you see,  my 10 year old Apple PowerBook isn’t playing ball, bless her, and I was forced to make the journey to the Dark Side.

I left Vodacare Sandton feelting frustrated and disgruntled, here’s why…

1. I traversed Sandton City (someone please shoot the team of architects that designed this maze and eye-sore) and eventually found the elusive Vodacare store, nestled at the end of a quiet corridor on Nelson Mandela Square. I wasn’t able to identify a ‘queue’ as there appeared to be people standing everywhere, no system, so I simply stood behind the gentleman who’d walked in ahead of me. I waited for about 20 minutes to be served and the lady who I dealt with proceeded to tell me in no uncertain terms that any data not saved to my SIM would be deleted upon upgrade and that I would need to back-up all data before proceeding. But, “we don’t do that here, you’ll need to go to a Vodacom 3G branch“. Ugh. So off I march to Vodacom 3G.

2. I’m faced with another queue in Vodacom 3G, however thankfully this one’s shorter. I tell the assistant I need to back-up the data from my phone. She tells me that it will cost me R99 and that I will need to purchase a blank CD or flash-stick in order to complete the data transfer. They do not sell blank CDs nor flash-sticks. I leave the store  in search of a mass storage device of some description. Note to self: always keep flash-stick in handbag.

3. I stumble upon CNA eventually and make a bee line for the music section. I ask the gentleman behind the counter for a blank CD and he immediately asks if I’m backing up data from my phone. “Why?” I ask. “Because we have countless requests from Vodacare customers, sent here to buy a blank CD to back-up their data”. This is clearly not the first time this has happened, and I’m obviously not the only frustrated customer requesting a simple software upgrade.

4. I limp back to Vodacom 3G where I face another queue. I’ve stupidly worn uncomfortable shoes and I now have gargantuan blisters on both heels. I’m seen to eventually and the technician is helpful, but cannot load the data onto the CD for some technically bizarre reason he doesn’t understand. I plead with him to keep my data on his machine and tell him I’ll be back in a couple of hours with my upgraded phone and software  to retrieve the data. He agrees and I part with R99.

5. Back to Vodacare and the store is quiet now, I go straight to the counter and I’m helped immediately. I part with my beloved BlackBerry and I pray that the upgrade won’t take 17 hours. I’m asked to return in an hour.

… I kill some time by investing in my ass which I intend to get in shape in a massive way in 2011, the Year of the Beast.  I leave Nike with a Nike + training system and I’m pumped. Sheik is a phenomenal salesman and I wish more were as knowledgeable and passionate as he is. I sigh as I make the trek back to Vodacare, 3o minutes early.

6. To my surprise, my phone is ready and waiting. The upgrade was successful and I find that no data has been lost. I now learn that this happens in the minority of cases, whereas I was previously led to believe the data would almost certainly be erased, hence the reason for me having to back it up at Vodacom 3G. I part with a further R250 which I feel is a little steep considering an upgrade can be done at home for free.

6 steps to perform a very basic software upgrade that costs me, a loyal customer of Vodacom for 12 years, R349 and 2 hours  is painful, convoluted and unnecessary. The only impressive part of yesterday’s saga was the message I received from @Vodacom111 on Twitter, having read of my rant, immediately requesting my phone number and actually calling me back.  Zaheed was extremely helpful, apologetic and promised to pass my feedback on to a team of people who will hopefully use my experience to improve customer service and efficiency going forward.

brandslut xoxo

1 Comment

    1. some companies just don’t understand the term “customer service”..

      I had a rant at Cell C about their new data stick. They advertise it like crazy yet it isn’t available everywhere in SA.


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