Hoencamp: We need to do more on customer service


Vodafone UK was most complained about network in Q4 2014 but CEO said improving customer service is “key focus”

Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp has highlighted improving its customer service as a key focus in the coming financial year.

Hoencamp admitted that he was disappointed with Ofcom’s latest report in to customer service which found that Vodafone was the most complained about mobile network during the final three months of last year, with 0.15 complaints per 1000 customers.

“We’re disappointed that more customers needed to raise complaints with us in the second half of last year,” the Vodafone CEO explained. “We always want to provide our 20 million customers with a great service and we are clearly not there yet. This Ofcom report serves to remind us that we need to do more to deliver our goal of providing the best customer experience in our industry.”

The report was published in today (May 12) and found that Tesco Mobile was the least complained about network with around 0.2 complaints per thousand customers.

Significant action

Speaking to Vodafone’s blog, Hoencamp argued that the network had taken “significant action” over the last six months in an attempt to improve this, including a £1 billion investment in its network infrastructure.

He also pointed to propositions such as the Fixed Price Promise, introduced last year, which sees Vodafone fix customers tariff costs for the duration of the initial plan, and the launch of the my Vodafone App, which gives real-time billing analysis.

Hoencamp also promised further investment of £1 billion to be spread across improving its network and its customer services.

““The first thing to say is that customers really shouldn’t notice anything, other than that everything just works,” he said on the plans to improve the network. “20 years ago when I was holding my first mobile phone in the early 90s, if you didn’t have any coverage or you couldn’t make a call, you knew it was because the technology was new, so you accepted it.

“Today, if somebody can’t make a phone call, or the quality is poor, they’re upset. When my kids don’t have access to the internet or social media, they’re upset. Why? Because it’s become such a big part of our lives.

“To do that we need to develop both our mobile and fixed networks, making them bigger, better, stronger and faster. We’re not done yet, but it’s a heck of a lot better than where we were a year ago.” image016

Call centres

Hoencamp said part of Vodafone’s efforts to improve its customer services will see major changes in its call centre operations over the coming year.

His aim is to halve the number of calls coming in to Vodafone call centres within the next two years by improving its network and products and services.

It will also promote self-service and e-care, giving customers the tools to diagnose and fix problems with their mobiles.
“Customers continue to tell us that they’d rather ‘do it themselves’,” Hoencamp added. “They’d rather have an app or quickly look at the web to solve problems instead of going through the hassle of ringing a customer services agent.

“This explains why last year we responded to more than 2.5 million enquiries through our live web chat service and interacted with customers through our eForum which had 12 million visits last year. Our YouTube help videos were viewed more than four million times.

“If we do all these things well, we will massively reduce the number of calls to the call centre; give you a better customer experience by quickly, seamlessly – either online or through web chat – solving your issues and answering all your questions.”


  1. ABSOLUTELY THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED ANYWHERE! I’ve written to Jeroen Hoencamp several times as his staff are perpetually lying and our business is being irreparably damaged by the fact that we cannot use our phones on the One Net service. His interviews are completely at odds with reality – not one email or letter has been acknowledged and we have spent literally hours on the telephone to Voda staff who just pass you from pillar to post- no one cares that they have removed the local mast and been refused planning permission for a new one – they simply keep on lying. Way to go Hoencamp – you should be utterly ashamed of yourself. Note to potential customers: DON’T USE VODAFONE IF YOU CAN AVOID IT.

  2. Good Afternoon Mr CEO

    I would like to report such a shocking customer service experience I have received from Vodafone.

    We have contact Vodafone numerous times regarding our query we have been passed round to various teams and promised call backs numerous times, no one ever called back or anything. When ask for a call back during live chat they are not even prepared to do that.

    I have been given incorrect information continuously, I do understand if one person gets it wrong but to 5-6 people getting it wrong makes me worried as a customer.

  3. Customer service ? My new phone now 12 weeks old still doesn’t work, Vodafone offered to buy it back to close the contract – but as it doesn’t work it isn’t worth much. The problem with the Samsung is the signal randomly drops – calls are not registered and texts do NOT appear!

    It hasn’t been dropped, washed or any thing else

    Vodafone Techies confirmed the problem is internal to the phone and to do with some sort of frequency (?) and stated it has probably been like this since day one – but said the best option is to give me a “good as new” or “refurbed” phone !?

    Yes Vodafone and Mr Hoencamp like to say how wonderful they are – but in truth small consumers have no comeback or say.

    So they admit the phone is broken, has been broken since it was sent and the best they can do is offer a refurb for a contract for a new phone ?!

    In my opinion do no use Vodafone – check reviews and make your choice, Vodafone have no customer service ability.

  4. Believe me Vodafone do need to do more on customer service! My phone was disconnected in error by one of their staff three weeks ago today. To date despite endless phone calls (most of them to the Directors office) and three visits to their local store, no one can give me any indication when the line might be restored and, frankly, I think they care even less.
    Julian Cox