Three and a half years ago, I signed up for Vodafone broadband and Landline phone service. National calls attracted a Toll charge apart from those listed under a "Best Mates" add-on for which an additional charge of $6 per month was made.
In March of this year, a smooth Vodafone salesperson talked me into taking out a 1 year contract which included unlimited broadband and a phone service (Talk 2) which gave free National calling, This in effect made the "Best Mates" add-on redundant.
Like many, I did not pay close attention to the 4 page account received monthly by email, but in July I realised I was still being charged the $6 for "Best Mates". I rang the "Help Desk" and after half an hour of "being told my call is important" and listening to crap music, I got to explain the situation and asked for the "Best Mates" to be discontinued and was I due for a credit? I received an assurance that both would be attended to.
Next month (August) my account arrived and sure enough a credit for the 4 months of "Best Mates" was included. BUT still included in the current month's charges was a further $6 charge for "Best Mates" Back on the phone I went for another round of crap music and waiting in the queue for 45 minutes. The Help Desk person from the Philippines was apologetic and seemed to spend a fair amount of time talking to someone in NZ about the problem. He finally assured me that "Best Mates" had been removed from my account and a $6 credit was again forthcoming.
This Months account arrived yesterday...... and yes you guessed it. A $6 credit and a further charge for September for..yes... "Best Mates". I fired off a complaint form which I still have yet to receive a response. Last night I searched my records and found the username and password to get into my Broadband account. Lo and behold after much searching I found a button to turn off "Best Mates" After pressing it, I received a Vodafone email response saying "sorry to see you stopping the service". If I had been told to do this by the help desk in the first instance, it would have saved a lot of angst.
What does concern me however, is how many other Vodfone customers on Talk 2 are in a similar situation and being charged for this redundant service without realizing it? I intend lodging a complaint to the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution service over this matter, but before doing so would like some response from a senior staff member of Vodafone NZ before doing so. Vodafone staff monitor these threads and I would appreciate if one would contact me with a Name and either email or snail mail address so that I can write to them.