Ok, well no not really saved my life but hey that’s a good example of how people can get too involved with their gadgets huh? Anyway. Vodafone were really good to me and here’s how.
Note that the title of this blog post could also be “Sucking up to corporates sometimes pays off”.
Less than a year ago, I bought a touch screen LG KP500 mobile phone and inserted my Vodafone SIM card. “Look at me,” I would sing in the streets, “I’ve got a flashy phone and it’s way cheaper than your iPhone”. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the display recently broke.
I contacted the supplier and they cheerfully pointed out that screens aren’t covered in the warranty and that repairing it would cost about the same as a new phone.
Not having a great deal of money (for God’s sake, I’m writing a blog and it has ads on it. Why am I not rich yet? Damn you), I decided to try an alternative method of funding a new phone.
Caution: if throwing away all self respect and dignity while begging for money from big companies is the kind of thing that makes you cringe, why not read that blog post where I made a funny Twitter picture instead?
So anyway, I decided to write to Vodafone. I dug out their customer support email address, licked the end of my virtual biro and began to type. I won’t put the whole email in here but here are some typical extracts:
First off, I’d like to apologise for not buying my cell phone through one of your fine stores – so much finer than the stores of those “other” two phone networks (spits).
Not surprisingly, the screen on my cellphone broke recently. Clearly, non-Vodafone phones are not built up to Vodafone’s high standards …
after some more shameless groveling and general ass-kissing, I went straight to the point …
So now to the reason of my contact. If you, oh mighty Vodafone, were to accidentally slip $150 or so as credit onto my Vodafone account, I would go right round to the Vodafone store on Colombo Street (Chch) and purchase a new Vodafone cellphone. Everybody wins!
I shall then go to my blog (sorry, readership numbers are pretty crap. Let’s just say you wouldn’t call me an “influencer”) and I will wax lyrical about how mightily fine Vodafone are.
Good plan yes?
P.S. don’t call me on this number – the screen’s broken.
After just a few days, I received a response. To my surprise, it wasn’t “Hi. Vodafone have received your contact. Thank you for your contact. We will not be contacting you again.” It was in fact:
I am sorry to hear of the issues surrounding your mobile phone.
After further consideration of the circumstances although we cannot offer a credit of $150 what I would be happy to offer is a handset voucher to the value of $65. This can be used as a part purchase of a new mobile phone at participating retail stores. If you’re keen let me know and I’ll get a voucher organised for you.
Result! I quickly responded and received a reply straight back with:
Glad to hear you have accepted the offer. The voucher has been sent via email. Hopefully you can find a new phone to your liking.
Have an awesome week.
How cool is that? So I headed down to Dick Smith – they couldn’t take the voucher at their store, Harvey Norman – they didn’t even get to look at the voucher as they’d advertised completely the wrong price on their website for the phone I was after (after 3 staff told me they didn’t even know what their website address is. It’s harveynorman.co.nz), Bond and Bond – they had no idea how to process the voucher and called 4 other stores including Noel Leeming without any success … and so I finally headed to the Vodafone store itself. They were great.
Voucher accepted, phone purchased and now, blog written. My side of the deal is complete!
To top it all off, Vodafone have been great on Twitter. They’re a great example of how a large corporation is using Twitter to interact with their client base. I even told everyone how awesome they were and that I’d be announcing why soon (this is the announcement) and they responded straight away, showing how keen they were to hear from an influencer such as myself …
P.S. I believe you too can try and sponge free stuff from Vodafone by sucking up to @VodafoneTreats. Good luck!