Vodafone Germany : Shopping Experience

As this is something to do with online shopping, I had considered posting this on the company blog , but I think the emotional nature of this post won’t really lend itself to a “more professional blog”.

Last week I had the unfortunate experience of leaving my Nexus One on my AirMalta flight back from Valetta. After various attempts to contact Munich Airport and the AirMalta lost property guys, I settled that it was probably not going to show up again.

Shopping with Vodafone.de

So I did a bit of research on what to replace it with, I decided that the Nexus One, is still one of the better Andriod phones out there. Looking at Amazon and other online stores, it was clear that Vodafone.de had the best price. So flash forward to today, I take myself and my credit card to the Vodafone store near Marienplatz, Munich.

  • Me : Do you have the nexus one.
  • Vodafone Staff : Yes, we have a few.
  • Me : Great, I would like to buy one right now,  without a contract,  please.
  • Vodafone Staff : Errr, sorry we are only selling them to customers with out contracts.

Not being so happy with this I checked another store, but they didn’t even have the phone at the time. Back at home I checked up about buying it online, but they mention that it’s not available until end of August. So I call one of their ordering help lines (0800 – 800 10 70), where the lady said yes they are available (right away), and I said great I’d like to order one then. When she found out that I wanted it without a contact she told me I had to call customer care (0800 172 1212). After calling customer care and going through a few voice prompted menus, I get through to another girl. I explain that I want to get the Nexus One without a contract, and she gets a little confused. She says she is the wrong person to talk to. I explain that I was told from the “ordering help line” that I could order a new mobile over the phone on this number.

The girl put me on hold and when she came , back she said it’s not possible to order phones without a contract over the phone. Not wanting to waste more time I decided not to ask her as to why this would be the case. So off I go to order it on vodafone.de. The vodafone shop tells me that it won’t be available until August (but I know they have the phone available now), so I go ahead and fill out the order form. As I’m going through the order steps I find it rather strange that I’m not asked for my Bank Details (in Germany more people use debit cards than credit cards) or a credit card. So I was able to go through the whole order process, which ends in saying that I will get an email with details of the order.

This email simply says the order it will be processed in 2-3 working days . I’m guessing that not having my payment, will hamper the purchasing process a little. So I can’t order directly over the phone, and when I order online, Vodafone are just going to call me back to get my payment details ?

Update : it gets better, you can’t order with a credit card, or with your bank details, rather they will send it to a Deutsche Post office. And you will get a letter to tell you to come to the post office and to come and pay cash for it !

So Vodafone, it’s 2010 and buying a product that’s listed on your website really seems like pulling teeth.

P.S. I would have loved to have had the oppertunity to say this on your forum, but because I’m not a customer (yet) I can’t register.

Update : 20/08/2010 : After waiting over 6 weeks to get this phone, and not getting any information from Vodafone, I’ve decided to cancel the order.