Telephone Hell: Vodafone v GiffGaff

April 18, 2012

There is nothing quite as infuriating as Technology That Does Not Work. After two years of Vodafone hell, I switched to GiffGaff. It took six weeks of intermittent chunks of wasted time to escape from the Vodafone contract. This was time AFTER the expiry date of the contract. But contracts with Vodafone never expire. I learnt my lesson and complied. 

With a deep sigh of relief I headed on, out of Vodafone and into GiffGaff. Many sighs of despair later, I discovered that I had headed nowhere. On porting my mobile number, I ended up with a Split Service. My outgoing service was on GiffGaff; the incoming service on Vodafone. Into Vodafone nilihism because my account has been terminated.

Vodafone couldn't care less.  They cut off my calls and, in effect, told me to stew in hell.

GiffGaff are the only mobile phone providers without any mobile phones.

Wikipedia informed me that GiffGaff are owned by O2. I called O2 who fervently denied any connection with GiffGaff. I battled with endless web based agents and online GG forums aka The Community. A dozen agents have messaged me claiming to have Resolved the problems. The GG Educator failed to respond to my communication. My link to GG is broken. The Community could not help either. Nearly a week without mobile service and nobody can apparently do anything.

I called Ofcom, the telephone regulator.  Ofcom decreed that the problem lay with Vodafone because they had failed to fully port my number. But the problem could only be solved by GiffGaff because they had to apply to Vodafone for the number to be correctly ported.

Today I wasted. Most of today, in visiting every mobile phone shop in my local city. They were all very nice but could do nothing. So I came home and reverted to scouring the internet for some buried clue. 

GiffGaff told me on Twitter: "Hi there. We can't help with individual account problems, we're afraid. Are you in touch with the agents?" As that is the prescribed route, what fool wouldn't be? They did not reply to my sequel tweet. Which was far more polite than they deserved.

GiffGaff  is registered as a company at the same address as the headquarters of O2. In Sough, SL1 4DX. So why do O2 claim to have no idea where GG are? They share a building. It exists perfectly clearly on Google Street View.  

Now it is midnight - many midnights into this saga -  and I still have no mobile service.  My daughter has no mobile service either. She has lost a week's work. I don't know what I've lost. I've been denied the route to discovery.

Now I have the phone number for the address in Slough.  In precisely 7 hours and 55 minutes I shall be dialling that number. 
If they do not sort everything immediately or in something approximating to a reasonable immediately, you will probably hear a report on tomorrow's news about a demented woman being arrested at 260 Bath Road, Slough. And that will be me.   


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