Update: If you haven’t read the article, I suggest you read it and get the idea. Today, when I checked my online account, I could access it again! Looks like someone at Vodafone must be reading my blog…..
Back in the day (When I was a college student in the US), I paid all my phone and internet bills online. I would go to the online portal of my service provider, login and pay my bills with my debit card. Sometimes I would use the option where the service provider would just deduct the monthly bill from my debit card. It was seamless and easy.
That was back in the day and we’re now in 2016. I use Vodafone broadband and it is hell when it comes to managing my online account and paying bills compared to what I used to.
Is it fair to compare what I experienced in the US to what I’m experiencing now?
Honestly, Hell yes!
Vodafone is my internet service provider. I am paying money for a service. Vodafone has given the option where users can login and check their account online. If it’s not in a good shape, I think I can complain right?
I have a long laundry list of problems with Vodafone but for now I’m just going to restrict to the online portal which I currently can’t access.
So here’s the story: Vodafone has an online portal where customers could login and check their account information, check their data usage and do other stuff. They didn’t reinvent the wheel but the portal was sufficient and I checked it if I wanted to see how much broadband data I had left and when the next payment was due.
Then something happened. Suddenly, the portal went offline. Couldn’t access the URL. Apparently, there was some upgrade going on.
So I waited for a while (like three days) and then the portal came back. It had a new interface design!
Then I tried logging in.
Invalid Password. What? I checked both my username and password. It was correct. I tried again. Still the same message: Invalid password.
So I tried to see if I could sign up for an account. Unfortunately, my account was already in the system.
What the hell is going on??? My password is invalid and my account is already in the system?!!
I threw my hands in frustration and abandoned the portal.
A week later, I came back a week to the portal and tried again. It was working again! This time it took in both my username AND password.
So, it all looked good. My account page had a new design as well and I could check my account again. Looks like everything is alright with the world.
Then two days ago, I logged in and I was now presented with a completely different screen.
Why am I being asked to set up an account??!! Now I have to enter my account number and Modem User ID. I have NO idea what a “Modem User ID” is. Is it just my regular user ID? I have no clue.
So I decide try it. Entered my account number and ID and clicked on “Next”. For a few seconds, nothing happened. Then a message flies on the screen:
“You have successfully setup MyVodafone to manage your Fixed Broadband Account. Click On the link below to login to Vodafone Self-Care”
Do you say ANY link on that screen? Am I losing my mind?!
I’m going to give my opinion as to what happened:
Vodafone did an upgrade to their system. This included the online portal page. That’s why it went offline.
BUT I think they’re not done with their upgrades. There’s still probably errors that they’re trying to fix.
If my assumptions are right, the question I ask is this:
Why are you giving users access to something that is still in the works??! Why didn’t you just keep the old system up as a backup while working on the new upgrade? Does Vodafone not have testers to make sure their system is working before allowing their users to interact with it?
Vodafone has a LOT of problems. I’m not on their network but I have a TON of people complain about their Vodafone X service.
Vodafone, you’re not doing their customers any service by providing them with terrible user experiences. The online portal is a good idea but if it’s not working and someone like me with a background in IT is frustrated, I shudder to imagine what an average user is going through.
I think the work I’m now involved in with deals with user interface design and user experience is a good indication that’s a lot of work to be done.
Hopefully, when we pay Vodafone a visit, they’ll be receptive and allow us to fix their user experience.