Helpdesk: Why should I pay for a mobile service that I do not receive?

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Like many other customers, I am in dispute with Vodafone over poor service and would be grateful if you could publicise the issue.

In November 2012 the Vodafone signal disappeared in Penicuik. It has intermittently returned and vanished for the last five months, with Vodafone recognising there is a technical issue in the area which they are “working to resolve”.

After five months they are no further to resolving it, it would seem, and it can take eight attempts before a number is reached. My key issue is that Vodafone.com states the service coverage for Penicuik is excellent. This means customers will be purchasing Vodafone contracts under this assumption. Discussions with Vodafone both online and in forums clearly show there is an on-going problem which they cannot advise when it will be fixed if ever. As such, they are falsely advertising a service they can’t support.

After months of arguing with call centre reps who progressed the issue no further, I was forced to request a termination of my contract. I was told in no uncertain terms this would cost me £600 termination fee as Vodafone had “honoured” the contract. The ombudsman service (Ofcom) was later contacted and informed me that they cannot take issue with Vodafone for a single case.

DL, Midlothian

A Jane Frapwell of Vodafone replies: “We are aware of the problem locally and we’re sorry some of our customers are being inconvenienced by the lack of signal. We have a problem with the “line of sight” between two masts. The trees have grown high enough to disrupt the signal and, because the growth is so dense, trimming them doesn’t seem to be an option at the moment. We are currently investigating the possibility of raising the height of the link.”

• If you have a consumer issue that you would like tackling, contact Claire Smith on 0131 620 8511 or e-mail csmith@scotsman.com.

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