Very. Awful. A disaster. I regret ever switching to them and am counting the days to the end of my contract when I can switch to someone else.
Broadband is critical to me because I work from home. I’ve had no problems with performance before now. I switched from a 3MB ADSL line with BT Ireland to a 7MB ADSL line with Vodafone Ireland. For you non Irish people, that sounds pathetic. It is. We live in an IT stone-age in this country and it is far from the “digital hub of Europe” that politicians like to claim. Why don’t I switch to a business service? Because they cost a FORTUNE. Your 30MB broadband connection is probably cheaper than my 7MB one.
It started of with a brutal purchase process where I had to gain attention from online rants to get marketing people to come in and save their reputation. Customer “care” failed to resolve the issue so I had to go nuclear.
Then there’s the daily outages. Vodafone sets the DHCP address scope for your router’s external interface to have a maximum life of 24 hours. There isn’t a smooth renewal process like normal DHCP. Oh no! Instead your router loses communications with the Internet for 3-5 minutes. I’ve usually found this happens when I’m in the middle of an RDP session doing some sensitive administration task on a server or when I’m in the middle on an online form with a session timeout. Vodafone’s line on this is … most ISP’s do this and it’s perfectly OK. Huh? No other ISP I’ve been with has done this. And no it’s not OK in a time when we’re trying to promote home/remote working. Their other line is that most people turn their routers off at night. No they don’t, you filthy liars.
When you go from a 3MB to a 7 MB connection you expect a performance increase. I know there’s contention to consider but … I’ll explain. When I got the service I ran some speed tests. I got 6MB out of my 7MB line. OK, it’s ADSL. Downloads from Microsoft were nice and fast. Fair enough. But web browsing – oh does it suck. And it’s completely random.
I follow the NFL. Sports pages have plenty of images. On my 3MB BT Ireland line the pages downloaded fast. On my 7MB Vodafone line they are painfully slow to download … often taking 30 seconds. I’d expect that from dial-up. I recently signed up to go to a conference in the States. I had to do the ESTA online process for the visa waiver and the page wouldn’t load. Friends could get to the page but I couldn’t. I ended up changing the router, changing DNS and eventually doing it via RDP and our data centre at work where I could access the page with no problems.
I called up Vodafone Ireland Customer “Care”. The muppet there refused to escalate the call. His little menu only told him to reset router (done), change DNS (done), change router (done). I used multiple PC’s. He couldn’t even understand the problem because his fragile little mind was just too weak. I went online and targeted @VodafoneIreland on Twitter. I was promised a callback. I got a call at 15:00 on a Friday. That person said an engineer would call me at 18:00 to investigate. 1 week later and no call back. I targeted Twitter again. Eventually a call came to investigate but for some reason I was able to get on the ESTA site now. Hmm.
Last night I had a 90 minute outage. OK, outages happen. Of course, I would expect not to be charged for that 90 minutes. I had no service when I needed it. They failed to provide service so I should not be billed for it.
Afterwards I decided to go onto the Vodafone Ireland Online forum. It was time to see what others were experiencing. It appears I’m far from alone from the rubbish experience. Lots of people are complaining. I decided I would try to sign onto this forum and join in on the fun to vent my spleen too. A funny thing happened – the sign-in and registration pages weren’t responding. Maybe it was my “can’t load some pages issue”? I waited until this morning and tried again. The forum wasn’t even loading now. Maybe my problem was getting worse? Now I tried an anonymous proxy because that would bypass the random Vodafone Ireland broadband pages not loading issue. No response. Could it be that Vodafone Ireland pulled the site to prevent people from complaining?
So here’s my advice to people:
- We know that BT Ireland customers are being forced over to Vodafone Ireland as part of the home broadband takeover. If you have the option then don’t do it. Find another ISP, even Eircom cannot be as bad as this. I’d take an Eircom 1MB line over a Vodafone 7MB line right now because my Vodafone browsing experience is like using a 56KBPS dial-up.
- If you are tempted by Vodafone Ireland’s “cheap” (for Ireland) prices then look elsewhere. Do not switch to Vodafone Ireland fixed home broadband. It is truly awful.
I’m not the only one saying these things. People have responded to me on Twitter to report similar experiences. Their forum (when it was running) also was full of similar comments. Steer clear of Vodafone Ireland. They give an awful service and brutal customer “care”.’