back to article Oh dear, Vodafone: Sales dip in UK

Sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system. Overall revenue dropped by 4.5 per cent to €13.37bn (£11.2bn), with sales in Europe also dipping by 3.5 per cent to €8.7bn (£7.3bn). The biz blamed its …

  1. Ryan Kendall

    Helps if they have a signal

    I was with vodafone for 5 years before i left them.

    Never had a good signal pretty much where i lived and worked. Switched to a provider that actually had coverage.

    1. HAL-9000

      Re: Helps if they have a signal

      Too true, the work phone was a vodaphone and barely had signal most of the time. I worked less than 20 miles from the center of London!? How the f$%!

      Good riddance vodaphone, have a drink and rejoice at their demise.

  2. chipxtreme

    I used to be on vodafone years ago. Worst network to be with!

    In my house I get 80mbps on EE, 65mbps on 3, never tested O2 but you get a good 4G signal but with vodafone you barely get a signal and even then its 2G!

    I drove down to London last year with a friend who is on Vodafone until her contract expires and I streamed music the whole journey through TuneIn on 3 network without a hitch. She had no signal 10% of the time, 2G 50% of the time and the rest was on 3G. Only in London did she get 4G.

    In this day and age where data usage has way overtaken voice calls the importance of a good fast connection is paramount. I was perfectly happy with 3 right up until they took me off my £15 one plan and have since switched to EE where I do get faster speeds and also 4G in a lot more areas.

  3. N2

    No surprises here

    Their customer service is utter shite & the network not much better.

    When will they learn?

  4. Oz

    Nothing to do with their terrible shops?

    I've bought two contracts in Vodafone shops in the last year, and both went wrong.

    The first they packed me off with a PAYG SIM for a pay monthly contract, and I send ages with Tech Support trying to get the SIM working before they figured out it was the wrong SIM type.

    The second I was sent away with a SIM and number which, I discovered when I tried to activate it, were not actually registered against my account. So I had to head back to the shop for them to replace the SIM and update my account.

    Both times I had to use Vodafone's Chat Online option to diagnose the problems, as you're apparently no longer able to speak to anyone via phone - it does the job but it takes so long to get anything done. I can't believe it's actually saving the company any money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing to do with their terrible shops?

      > "Both times I had to use Vodafone's Chat Online option, as you're apparently no longer able to speak to anyone via phone "

      I wouldn't worry, you're not missing out on much. On business contracts where you can speak to someone, they're still a bunch of useless so and so's.

    2. IsJustabloke

      Re: Nothing to do with their terrible shops?

      When I first took a Vodafone contract I wanted my number ported.... I spent the first 6 weeks eitehr being able to call but nothing else OR receive a call but nothing else. It never took less than 45 minutes to get through to customer services who were then next to useless. The classic was I rang to complain that I couldn't send/ receive texts... CS operatives response? "I'll send you the phone settings by text"

      I did teh research and found all the settings for my phone (not on their website BTW) and did it myself. IN 6 attempts they never once solved any problem I rang them with.

      I'm sorry if you work for Vodafone but this company deserves to go under.

    3. g7rpo

      Re: Nothing to do with their terrible shops?

      Better using chat anyway, can screenshot it (The send transcript often doesnt work) you then have a record of what was said and promised for ammunition when they completely disregard what they said they would do and you have to contact them again

  5. Martyn775

    Not even a customer but ..

    Not even a customer of Vodaphone but I am getting emails showing a customers details incuding their spend each month. Tried to sort it many times even went in their shop to prove I wasn't! this customer. Nothing done.

  6. ParasiteParty

    Extortionate pricing...poor service.

    A few months ago I ditched 2 x £20pcm contracts with Vodafone and got two new contracts with Virgin at £3 per month each. They were also unable to move contracts from one business to another because "their system will not allow it". If there is any justice in the world Vodafone should bleed customers until they realise what poor service they are giving.

  7. Alan Denman

    Brexit means Brexit

    For any company, being HO based in Britain rather than the EU is becoming a major problem.

    Brexits main effect is one EXITing BRITAIN

    1. IsJustabloke

      Re: Brexit means Brexit

      it's got nothing to do with Brexit.... they were shit well before Brexit raised its head.

      Seriously, some of you *really* need to get over it.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Brexit means Brexit

        They won't leave the UK. They still have a huge tax credit to burn through.

        1. Jess

          Re: They won't leave the UK.

          Of course they won't. They will simply downgrade their headquarters to a regional office. As will any other multinational with an HQ here and a bigger market in the EEA than the uk. Obviously subject to brexit referring to the EEA rather than the EU. (If brexit means rejoin the EFTA and remaining in the EEA then the whole thing is a storm in a teacup, if it means WTO rules, then we will see the predicted problems.)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They won't leave the UK.: Semantics

            Are you a politician? So if they dropped down to 2000 employees and lost 9000 is this really significantly better than cutting all 11000 UK jobs?

            The vast majority of corporate roles would more to Madrid and Dusseldorf in both cases and Income Tax and Corporation Tax with them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brexit means Brexit

      I stood on an upturned plug this morning wearing my socks.

      I found myself shouting brexit rather than bastard.

      Where will this madness end?

    3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Brexit means Brexit

      An upheaval yet to come is when nearly all UK VAT registered company accounts systems will need to cease to treat EU VAT numbers in the way they currently do.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What they are migrating away from the sacrificed cow of Amdocs - surely not?!

    For years the Amdocs billing system has been sacrosanct in Vodafone, with the billing department effectively dictating project delivery timescales and priorities.

    From my various run in's with the billing department either involving VdF projects or projects from third-parties that had outsourced their telco billing to Vodafone, I very quickly learnt that doing anything that involved that billing system was non-trivial and time-consuming. It is in some respects satisfying to see that VdF themselves are now suffering from the problems with their billing system that were known about in 2001 and senior management didn't want to acknowledge...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What they are migrating away from the sacrificed cow of Amdocs - surely not?!

      2001? It's a new billing system, I suggest you check your sources.

      1. Streaker

        Re: What they are migrating away from the sacrificed cow of Amdocs - surely not?!

        Currently polishing his nails as he and a big team changed out a very very big UK Telco Billing system in 2005 and nobody noticed. Thanks Arfur and Stu.

        Ah wel,l all's well that ends well. They deserve it


  9. guyh

    In a surprise to nobody ....

    I particularly like :

    He said: "However, with a shrinking churn rate and a better than expected 2.2% rise in organic service revenue investors were impressed, even if Vodafone still consistently tops ‘worst mobile firm’ polls in Britain."

    I've just had one Ombudsman sanctioned "determination" in my favour ... and I have a second one in progress.


  10. IsJustabloke

    I offer a more plausible reasons...

    they're utter shite and people are leaving them in droves.

    Everything about them is 3rd class from their signal quality to their "packages" to their "support". Their website is a mess of dead links and is horrible to use.

    They should take this basic stuff on board before looking for more esoteric reasons.

    1. mrbawsaq

      Re: I offer a more plausible reasons...

      Vodafone is a perfect example of a truly broken company. When I was an employee, it took them 3 months to get me added to the payroll because of some broken internal process.

      Last contract I was on I had no signal at home ever. Had to forward calls to home number before getting home and remember to unforward later, major PITA.

      The on-line billing portal worked for a while but then stopped. Despite several calls and attempts to resolve they couldn't fix it and I couldn't ever log in again. Which was no big deal because the site was a horrible, horrible mess and a good example of awful design and UX. So they switched me to paper bills and magnanimously agreed to withhold the monthly fee for paper bills. Then I stopped receiving them too and guess what - they couldn't figure that one out and/or fix it either. So I had no idea what I was being charged for every for.

      I could go on, but suffice to say I was glad to be rid of them and will be for the rest of my life.

  11. Big_Boomer Silver badge


    My experience of Vodanaff was some 15 years of decent service followed by worsening signals, incompetent support, constant price hikes, and regular outages. When I complained that the signal level at my home had gone from 4 bars to 1 (and to get that I had to go upstairs, and I live in the middle of a housing estate in a medium sized town) their response was to try to sell me a £60 microcell jobby that would route their calls through MY broadband connection. REALLY? Are their people really that stupid. So, I got the **** out and moved to Tesco. 3 years later I am still with them, am paying less than half what I was paying Vodacrud 3 years ago for a much better phone and more minutes, have 4 bars signal at home, and whenever I have to call their Support, they are a joy to deal with. Of course, that may change now they have outsourced their support, but I hope not.

  12. ShortLegs

    Its not hard to figure out why revenue has dropped, it's implied in the first few sentences: link these together:

    "Sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system.

    ...operational challenges following a billing system migration...

    Earlier this year Vodafone came under fire for poor customer service, mainly related to its handling of a computer glitch that led to customers being overcharged."

    The implication being that the customer base was overcharged by 3.2% year on year, and that rectifying that has manifested as a decrease in revenue.

    Only slightly tongue in cheek....

  13. ShortLegs

    That said, I can wholly understand the earlier poster regarding Vodafone's god-awful website, and their inherent ability to fcuk up anything and everything. Billing? That's something they make up at the end of the month.

  14. Andy 97

    Can't say enough bad things about them...

    Until June, they were the only circus in town, but now I have the option of two operators that (judging by some of the replies here) are even worse.

    High-handed customer service and scripted responses to perfectly reasonable questions.

    Sadly, if you are the only circus in town, your position is assured.

  15. djstardust


    I live in Aberdeen City where the signal is great. Go to any town outside Aberdeen and there is absolutely no 3 or 4G

    All you get is GPRS or Edge with no data throughput. Is this 2003 or something?

    And every month I have billing issues and the CS is the worst ever.

    I really really hope they go under.

  16. G7mzh

    Doesn't surprise me. I use them for landline indirect service (that is to say, the account still exists but is rarely used). Paying them is impossible. They don't take payment in the shops (a sealed envelope marked "billing" left on the counter followed by a hasty retreat is invarably lost), a cheque in the post takes weeks, and over the phone, although theoretically possible, involves so many transfers and instructions to ring a different (chargeable) number it's rediculous. Once they charged ny credit card without permission (and for an amount that bore no relation to the amount owing) and I got it reversed by the card company. My last payment was left with the shop and I'm not going to do it again, it's up to them to sort out. Never any communication from them.

    I was at one looking at them for landline, but never in a million years!

  17. Slx

    Vodafone Ireland is just too bloody expensive.

    I'm not sure about Vodafone UK, but since their EU sales are taking a dip too, I just thought I would have a moan about their Irish operation.

    Vodafone mobile here seems to have a rake of good services but they're prices are like they're just blissfully unaware of having any competitors. Their data caps are tiny compared to other networks and their call plans are ridiculously more expensive. The service isn't any better either so it's not like you're getting some kind of super premium services.

    Meanwhile their landline, fibre and iptv stuff seems to be fairly competitive.

    I just don't know what their strategy is though. You can only rely on inertia to keep customers for so long. The other networks' offers are just soooooo much more attractive .

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Vodafone Ireland is just too bloody expensive.

      Not just UK, ireland or the EU

      There are lots of moans about shity customer and technical service on the other side of the world too (Australia and NZ customers are mightily peeved....)

      Portrait of a multinational service company imploding?

  18. AndrueC Silver badge

    The biz blamed its decline in Blighty on the "operational challenges following a billing system migration".

    I blame it on their generally crap customer service. They are a very frustrating company to contact and when you do contact them the 'help' you receive is often pointless or wrong. I resorted to calling them last year because I was sick and tired of getting spam SMS from them advertising their 'black tuesday' deals or some such drivel. Took over half an hour to get through. Then the bozo I spoke to said it was because I didn't have children's number blocking on my phone.

    When their Sure Signal service fell over earlier this year it took them a week to fix it during which people who called support were advised to reboot the device, reconfigure their firewall and contact their ISP. Those who chose to visit the support forum also got that advice but at least they could see the large thread at the top and if they read it finally realised it was a Vodafone fault and nothing to do with the customer or their equipment.

    I need the SS3 as the only currently viable alternative to decent coverage (not that South Northants is particularly rural, especially in the largest town) so I'm stuck with these monkeys. But lordy what a shower they are.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's what happens to all public companies that get too big. They start to be run like financial companies by beancounters rather than sell a product they care about. Dividends above any common sense!

  20. g7rpo

    Took me 5 months to get away from then, triple billed 4 months in a row requested a pac and was told that I had to pay for the arrears which was due to the triple billing, have since been told that refusing a pac isnt allowed.

    Once I had removed myself from them and with a different carrier, still got calls threatening to cut me off!!

    Finally managed to get them to credit all the overbilled amounts and got a closing balance of around £25 owed to them, asked for a bank paying slip as I wasnt going to allow them to have any access to bank accts or cards, wanted £15 for that, but eventually got that and paid it.

    Last week got a letter telling they were sorry I had left and a cheque for £44 odd

    Absolute joke

  21. jarganito


    can any one send me a proof of purchase model vodafone

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